Watch these videos to learn more about what it's like to pursue a PhD in business. The webinar sessions were filmed on February 25, 2021.
A Consecutive Three-Session Webinar: Shape the Future of Diversity in Business with a PhD
Session One: Reach Higher—Make an Impact
Description of the video:
Dean Kesner: Good evening. Good evening. And thank you so much for joining us. My name is Idie Kesner and I am the dean of the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. I'll be your moderator for all three portions of this evening's webinar.
It's really a pleasure to see so many interested attendees at the first ever Big Ten Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Doctoral Education Initiative. That's a mouthful. So for shorthand, I'm simply going to call this the DEI2 event. Since I know we have attendees from all over, for those who are attending tonight who are unfamiliar with the Big Ten, this is a conference comprised of 14 schools located in the Midwest: Carlson School at the University of Minnesota; Broad College at Michigan State University; Fisher College at Ohio State University; Gies College at University of Illinois; Kelley School at Indiana University; Kellogg School at Northwestern University; Krannert School at Purdue University; Nebraska College of Business at the University of Nebraska; Smith School at University of Maryland; Ross School, University of Michigan; Rutgers Business School at Rutgers University; Smeal College at Penn State; Tippie College at University of Iowa; and Wisconsin School of Business at University of Wisconsin.
In early fall 2020, I met with the deans of the schools at an affinity meeting. I introduced the idea for this conference to build interest on the part of underrepresented candidates applying to business schools for doctoral programs. The ultimate aim was to improve diversity of faculty ranks within our schools. Deans and business school faculty members are keenly aware: It's not enough to just increase DEI content in our business goals and curriculum and courses. It's not enough to just increase DEI activity and cocurricular programming and business goals. It's not enough to increase the diversity of our student populations. We need all that and more. We also need to do the important and difficult work of increasing the diversity of our faculties. And when I say difficult work, this is because the lack of underrepresented students entering into business school doctoral programs really causes a challenge.
Now just two days ago, there was an article published in The Chronicle of Higher Education. There's a link in your chat to this article. The article is entitled “Race on Campus: Why Faculty Diversity Remains Largely a Zero-Sum Game.” I encourage you to read it; follow that link. The point made in the article is that we won't be able to address faculty diversity until we get to the systemic or root causes that have led to few underrepresented candidates entering the academic profession. The article correctly points out that simply having schools steal underrepresented faculty members from each other does very little to fix the problem.
So I really want to thank and applaud all 14 Big Ten business school deans who joined with me to begin thinking about ways to solve the systemic issues. And I also want to thank their doctoral chairpersons or doctoral deans who joined this effort as well. And I especially want to thank our panelists today. Business school faculty members and doctoral students will be joining us. And trust me, they have very busy lives, very complex schedules, and yet come to gather this evening to help share their insights about why they joined the academic profession. And also share their insights about their doctoral experience, whether it's currently going on now or whether it was in the past.
So let me begin briefly by explaining how our three sessions are going to unfold this evening. We're going to have three 25-minute sessions back-to-back with five-minute breaks between each to change our panel presenters. Each panel will feature four or five different presenters. And so over the course of all three sessions, you're going to get a chance to see one representative from each of the 14 Big Ten schools. There'll be no formal presentations per se. We're going to follow a Q and A format.
Session One is going to be about business, academic profession generally, and why diversity is so important. You're going to hear stories from some of our panelists about why they entered the profession and their personal journeys. And you'll also hear about the differences between faculty positions in a business school and faculty positions in the other units of the university, say Arts and Sciences.
Session Two: We'll focus on the job of a faculty member in a business school. You'll hear about three buckets or categories: research, teaching, and service. What does each area represent? And how do faculty members engage in each?
And then our final, third session is aimed at helping attendees move to the next step. What actions can you take to build your understanding further? How do you apply and go about finding the best doctoral program for you? You'll also hear from a representative to the PhD Project, an organization aimed at helping underrepresented candidates who are interested in pursuing doctoral degrees in business.
Our panelists will be tackling questions we have assembled in advance, but if you have questions, you can submit them in the Q and A link at the bottom of your screen. I urge you to use that Q and A function for questions. Please don't use the chat function because I'm not going to be looking at the chat. I will be looking for your questions in the Q and A. Please know that your specific questions may be asked in that upcoming portion though. So for instance, a question submitted in Session One may be better answered later in Session Two or Three if it fits with that portion of the webinar. So just be prepared for some delays in when your question gets answered.
Each Big Ten program will receive your contact information so they can follow up. Likewise, the page when you registered for the program provided links where you can find out more about each school's doctoral program. But each of you should feel comfortable reaching out to various schools directly to learn more. In fact, I encourage you to do that.
As you'll hear in a few moments, doctoral programs are very different from undergraduate programs or master's programs. Connecting directly to learn more is a very important step to finding the best-fit program for you. Extended bios of all of our panelists can be found at the link that will also be posted in the chat. My introduction’s therefore going to be very brief to save time and allow for more questions. So I encourage you to check out those bios. I promise you, you'll be extraordinarily impressed with the distinguished speakers on all three panels. They're amazing.
So, our first panel. We have five panelists: Brandy Edmondson, a current doctoral student at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School. Brandy’s area is management. Dionne Nickerson, an assistant professor at Indiana University's Kelley School. Dionne’s area is marketing. Terry Esper, an associate professor at Ohio State’s Fisher School. His area is logistics. Denise Lewin Loyd is an associate professor of organizational behavior at the University of Illinois Gies College. And an extra thank-you to Denise, who was also on our planning team for this event. And Jose Uribe, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan's Ross School; his area is management.
So with those very brief introductions, I want to welcome our panelists. Thank you all for joining us. And we're going to dive right into our questions. And my first question is going to go to you, Jose. The focus of this program is on increasing interest among candidates who are underrepresented in business doctoral programs. Why is diversity so important in doctoral programs? And why do you think there are so few black and Latinx doctoral students and faculty members in business schools?
Jose Uribe: Thank you very much, Dean Kesner, for having us here. So there's really two questions in there. So there's the question of why it's important, then the question of why is it that there's so few black and Latinx doctoral students. So I'm going to take the first question. And then depending on time, we'll see if I can speculate on the second one. But the first question, I do have some very strong opinions and I can think of at least two main reasons why diversity in doctoral programs is important.
The first one is that as a business professor you have the opportunity to influence future managers and business leaders. You see dozens and dozens, if not hundreds of students every year. And you're shaping their mental models and their priorities. So for example, a class on business in society, which a lot of business schools have for both undergraduates and MBA students, could be a class that emphasizes the duties of organizations to maximize shareholder value and creative ways that financiers can extract profits from the stock market. But this very same class could also emphasize how organizations can collaborate with their community or how corporations can reduce inequalities within the organization and help employees at the lowest levels. Or how corporations can work towards a sustainable environmental future and care about things beyond the boundaries of their industry. So depending on what the professor emphasizes, students respect their professors and listen to their opinions. They are, after all, based on research and lots of studies, but if the professor emphasizes a wide angle and shows the importance of that angle, these future managers will actually have a different outlook on what their duties and responsibilities to society are in the future, right? So if we want society to stay the same, we can continue to teach the same things. And if we want society to change, we actually have an opportunity to emphasize different priorities. That's the first reason.
The second reason is that without a full representation of the country's diversity, these points of view are going to get lost in the classroom. They're simply not going to be enough of a critical mass. Research shows that students will be attracted to schools where they will feel psychologically safe. Where they will feel there's...that this is really their home. That there's people not only who look like them, but who have similar life experiences. So by having that diversity, it really ensures that everybody will have a seat at the table. And then the benefits of this first point, of training managers to do different and care about different priorities, will actually come about. So, that's the first question, why diversity is important.
Now regarding why there is such an underrepresentation, I don't have such a good idea. I have more like some informed opinions. I think it has to do, one, with networks. I think when there are few people anywhere, it just attracts few of similar others. And so in that sense, you here at this panel who are attending, you will be pioneers, who would be not the very, very first thing, there will be a few others, but you will be sort of building up that mass that then will attract more and more students. So there is that network story. I study social networks, so I see it through that angle.
There’s of course other societal reasons that shift people towards other career paths rather than academia. And I think many of these might come up later in the panel, so I yield my time.
Dean Kesner: Thank you. Yeah, that was great. Thank you for that. Terry, is there anything you would like to add from your perspective about why you think there are so few black students or Latinx students going into doctoral programs?
Terry Esper: Yes. Thank you so much and Dean Kesner, again, thank you. I think Jose really hit some really important topics there. You know, I think a larger part of this is the realities that, to be quite frank, you know, the business school primarily is...the MBA was oftentimes and for so long viewed as the terminal degree in business. And so I think that this idea of going for a doctorate and not going back into industry and staying committed to the academic environment, that really is a different model of what studying business is about. And so I think that we have primarily emphasized so much about the practice of business, which...you get an MBA and you go back out into corporate or whatever you decide to do to utilize that degree.
But to have that discussion about going to the PhD level really requires a totally different conversation. It's not so much, as we see in other disciplines where getting the doctorate is the, that is the terminal degree and then you still practice after you get that doctorate. But in business, it requires a bit of a differentiation in how you manage your careers. I think the realities are that we just don't have as many prominent conversations within business schools about going beyond the MBA and the importance of pursuing PhDs and going into academia. So I think there's a larger conversation about just business education at large.
And so if you kind of look at that issue, that is a broader issue, then we're still going to have some of the underrepresentation that we have even at the MBA level and at the undergraduate level for that matter. Yeah, so I think that this is a function of a larger conversation. And so as a result, that underrepresentation persists across those different levels of business education.
Dean Kesner: That makes sense. Thank you for that. Brandy, I'm going to turn to you next. I want you to tell us your story. The kind of who, when, where. In other words, who introduced you to a business academic career path? When did it happen? Where were you in your career when you first started thinking about this?
Brandy Edmondson: Thank you so much for having me. I actually started to think about this when I was an undergrad at Spelman College. I was an economics major. I did a senior thesis in my senior year. That was my first time ever really conducting my own research. I had no idea prior to that I had any interest in doing research and for that reason academia had not crossed my mind whatsoever.
So in my senior year, that first semester, fall semester, I decided, I love this. I really want to continue. I had two mentors. One was my thesis professor, and the other was my department chair who reached out to me. And we had a great conversation because they didn't know if I was already thinking about going into a PhD and they're telling me, hey, this would be a really great fit for you and your research. And so they really helped me and pushed me to know to take the GRE and to know what classes to take in that last semester and how to prepare myself.
I am really happy for that push that I was given because it really helped me to feel competent as I went into the process.
Dean Kesner: You know, it's interesting to me because the same thing happened to me. I got a push from someone else, from a faculty member, because I wasn't thinking about it either. But that was what did the trick. So I'm glad that we share that experience. Thank you for that.
Dionne, I want to talk to you about...our audience includes a lot of people, probably from different degree programs. And I'm hoping that you might be able to share what makes this different from a master's program or an undergraduate program. I know you have your AB in engineering from Brown and then you have an MBA from Providence College. What makes a doctoral degree different? Dionne?
Dionne Nickerson: I would say that a doctoral degree really prepares you to be a researcher, and that's what differentiates it from an undergraduate degree and an MBA. I always tell people that, you know, an MBA is closer to what you do in an undergraduate program than it is to what you do in a PhD program. You are learning a lot of concepts and how to do things related to a very specific discipline, either in undergrad, or, more specifically in an MBA, same thing: You're learning how to maybe solve business cases, business issues, problems that arise in business.
In a PhD program, on the other hand, you're learning how to conduct research. That is, the goal is to critically analyze in our academic work and how to build on that, to build theory, to analyze data, to conduct either qualitative or quantitative data. So I would say that is the primary differentiator and that is what makes it similar to other disciplines in the social sciences, whether it be psychology or sociology, using archival data or surveys, interviews, experiments, all of that. So it's really to prepare you to be a researcher.
Dean Kesner: And presumably, also, to teach. You'll get instruction on how to teach in the classroom, which would be very different from traditional MBA and undergrad. Thank you. Yeah, super.
So Denise, I'm going to turn to you next. I think there's a lot of confusion about issues such as the costs associated with pursuing a doctoral degree, especially given that it is so different from other degrees and perhaps even different from nonbusiness doctoral degrees. So how do things like tuition and stipends and...how does it typically work when you enter into a doctoral business program? Denise?
Denise Lewin Loyd: Thanks so much, Dean Kesner. It's so different. So for undergrad programs and many master’s programs and MBAs, generally, as well, you are paying tuition to participate in the program. The PhD, which has a goal of you becoming a future faculty member, is an investment in the student. So you receive tuition waivers in the program. And you also receive, generally, a stipend, so money for you to live on or certainly to heavily supplement your living expenses while you're in the program. And that is because of the focus that is required for you to really engage in this depth of knowledge learning and also knowledge creation as part of the degree. So it's completely different. You are...the goal is not for you to incur debt when you enter into a PhD program, so you have a tuition waiver for the time that you're in the program and for many programs that’s multiple years, four or five years, and you get a stipend.
Dean Kesner: And so Denise, I'm going to keep you on the hook here. I think there's also a lot of confusion about, maybe, salaries when you get out of the program. And I think a lot of students make the...it's comparable to professors in the arts and sciences, for instance. What makes faculty salaries different in business schools? And to put it bluntly, when I conducted the focus group, the question was asked, Am I taking a vow of poverty to be a business school professor?
Denise Lewin Loyd: You're definitely not taking a vow of poverty. I really appreciate this question. I was saying just to my RA a couple days ago, encouraging them to attend, this exact thing. And in fact I said, Well, I'm at a public school and my salary is actually public, I said, so if you looked it up, you would see this and then he was like, Oh, that is entirely not what I thought you were going to say.
So it is quite different. There is this assumption that there's a vow of poverty. The difference, particularly with business schools, and I guess I can say business school faculty are among the highest paid faculty in universities. And part of the reason for that is because there is a market element. The idea being, to recruit and encourage faculty to stay in this space, we have to think about what their alternatives would be to doing this work. And if their alternatives would be being a manager at an institution, being a high-level accounting person, or working in finance industry, those salaries in those industries are high.
And so to recruit people to be in this space instead of in those other spaces, the salaries for business school professors are correspondingly high, definitely relative to faculty in many other spaces. So I encourage you to look. It's public information for many of us. You I think will be pleasantly surprised. I came from an engineering space and I was not interested in taking a vow of poverty, and I have not had to do that in this career.
Dean Kesner: Thank you for that. That's very helpful. I do remember when I told my parents that I was going to be a professor, they thought I would be poor for the rest of my life. And then when they found out what I was making, they said, “And they pay you that much for what you do?” They were incredulous. So thank you for clarifying that.
I'm going to go back to Terry now. Terry, our audience members may have heard about different faculty ranks, but they may not understand them. So can you help explain, sort of, tenure-track positions, non-tenure track positions, assistant, associate, full, give us a little bit of a lay of the land for various professorial ranks?
Terry Esper: Absolutely. So, you know, so you talked about tenure and tenure-track professors. And so we'll start there. Generally speaking, professors kind of fall into two camps: those that are tenure, tenure track, versus those that are non-tenure track, right? And so those that are on the tenure track or tenured professors are, generally speaking, particularly amongst these schools, the faculty that have really focused on those research insights and developing and creating knowledge through their research endeavors. And so these are faculty that have a primary emphasis on research activity and really focus on producing knowledge that contributes to their respective disciplines in meaningful ways. And so the goal of that tenure-track faculty, if you will, is to produce a body of work that positions them as a thought leader within their respective disciplines. So much so that the university decides that this is someone that we want to maintain a relationship with, that we believe that this faculty member is contributing to their respective disciplines in such a meaningful way that we would like to keep that faculty member associated with, in my example, The Ohio State University. And so that's what we mean by being on the tenure track and working your way to tenure, which is that juncture at which the faculty evaluates your body of work to determine whether or not your contributions have proven worthy of tenure at that respective institution.
The non-tenure track faculty are so important to the work that we do in the sense that while they may not have that strong emphasis on research productivity, they offer so much value to the community of scholars that make up our respective business schools. They may do a bit more on the teaching side. They may focus a little bit more on administrative responsibilities, but those are all important parts of what it means to run a top-tier business school.
And so there are career opportunities for those who want to focus primarily on that research component, as Dionne was suggesting. And this would be your traditional tenure track faculty member. But there are some scholars that have gotten a PhD and decided to focus more on service or focus more on teaching. And that particular track offers that career outlet.
Now there are the assistant, associate, and full professor ranks in some institutions within both of both of those tracks. So generally speaking, the assistant professor rank is roughly around six years: generally, how long it takes to work your way to associate what you then have to present your body of work for consideration, for promotion as well as tenure. And then you're promoted to associate professor. And associate professor is that rank where you have proven that you are a thought leader and an emerging thought leader, international thought leader within your field. And then eventually you get to the juncture of being considered for full professor. And that's where your body of work is evaluated in the context of, are you a globally recognized scholar in your discipline? And have you done the things at the associate rank that would warrant promotion to the full professor rank?
So two different general tracks and three different levels within each of those tracks. And I didn't cover assistant, associate, and even full in the non-tenure track rank, but it's somewhat the same. Your contributions are evaluated to determine if you're promoted to that next rank.
Dean Kesner: Great, thank you. Jose, can you enlighten us about teaching loads? Does a person...is it like high school where you're teaching all the time or how do you, what’s your teaching, what’s your teaching assignment, what your teaching load, typically, for a tenure-track faculty member? Jose?
Jose Uribe: So the typical load for a tenure-track faculty is 12 credit hours, which in some institutions would look like two classes with perhaps two sections of one class and two sections of the other class. And another institution might look like teaching the same class to four different groups of students. Many times for assistant professors in some institutions, you get...they know that you have to, you're in the tenure track and you're going to be evaluated on research primarily. And so you might get even nine credit hours. So three sections of a class. And if you're very, very lucky, you might be able to teach all of your classes in one semester and then have substantial time the rest of the year to pursue your research. But that's specific to different institutions.
Yeah, in general, you will be teaching one or two classes in the fall or in the winter or perhaps in the summer, right.
Dean Kesner: So that's for the year. That 12 credit hours, which amounts to approximately four courses in your model, is for the entire academic year. Not a semester. So it's not like being in high school and teaching all the time, is it?
Jose Uribe: No, no, not at all.
Dean Kesner: Okay. All right. Super. Thank you. We have time for one more question before we take our first break. So Dionne, I'm going to...this came from one of our attendees. And their, the question is, why does a PhD degree take four or five years? Why does it take so long? Answer to that?
Dionne Nickerson: That’s a great question. Well, the first...usually in most programs, the first couple of years you're taking, you're doing coursework. So you're taking courses that relate to your discipline so you can get a grasp of the theoretical foundations in a lot of the work that's been done in the past. And then you'll start to take courses as well on research techniques and how to analyze data, how to conduct an interview, all these types of things. So the first two years of coursework, from there, you may start some research projects prior to that, but once the coursework is done, you'll typically get really, your hands really dirty, not dirty, but figuratively with your own research projects, working with faculty.
And it takes time to develop the skills necessary and then to put together a research paper. And that will turn into a research project that would ultimately become a dissertation. It takes a number of years, so that's why it takes so long. You're studying to become an independent researcher and scholar and to do research on your own.
Dean Kesner: Right. Thank you. Well, I wish we had more time because there are so many more questions that have popped into the chat and I want those people to know, we are going to get to some of those questions. They do actually fit very nicely into the next session or the third session that we're going to do. But we're going to take a very quick five-minute break and change over panelists. I strongly encourage you to stay tuned. We've got much more to do. In the meantime, I want to thank our amazing panelists for joining us. They did a phenomenal job in sharing their insights with us. The next session, we'll get more deeply into the job. We will get answers to those questions. So start your mark. We're going to take a quick five-minute break. Thanks, everyone.
Session Two: Create Change—Advance Business
Description of the video:
Dean Kesner: So, welcome back everyone. I really am so glad you stayed for our next session, the second of three. Our sessions go by very, very fast. What we learned in the last session is you do not have to take a vow of poverty. And there is tremendous need for faculty from very diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, races, women, men, everybody to join in the academic ranks. And we're so happy that you are staying with us to consider this as a possibility.
In this session, we're going to dig deeper into the job of business school faculty member to understand what it's all about, and to help us do that, we’ve got four panelists. Remember that their longer bios can be found in the link that is in the chat. And remember, too, that you can submit questions and we are going to get to some of those questions in this session and the next one.
Let me introduce our panelists. We've got Aziza Jones. She's a doctoral student at Rutgers Business School in the area of marketing. And she's actually doing double duty tonight because she's also representing the University of Wisconsin Business School. She'll be joining that school this fall as an assistant professor. We have Michele Williams who is assistant professor at the University of Iowa's Tippie College. She's in the area of management and entrepreneurship. We have Shana Redd who’s a doctoral student and professor of practice at Michigan State Broad College. And she's in the marketing area. And we have Bernard or Bernie Banks, who is an associate dean for leadership development and inclusion and clinical professor of management at Northwestern's Kellogg School. His area of expertise is management and leadership development. And so with that brief introduction of our panelists, I want to get started with our questions.
And Aziza, my first question is for you, if that's okay. How did you select your area of research? What influenced you and how did you develop that interest over time? So how did you make that critical selection of what you are going to study and do research on?
Aziza Jones: Great, great question. Thank you, Dr. Kesner. This is a huge part of the beginning of your PhD program because it sets the stage for essentially what you're studying very much all through to tenure. And so, how many people start...I’ll put it this way, how some people start is that even prior towards to be getting a PhD program and even just like selecting a program, they'll start thinking about, well, what sort of research area is of interest to me. And one way of examining that is to look at published research, and you can access them through a library or if you currently have access to a university, you can use those resources as well. But by looking at published research, it can help you get an idea of, oh, this is a topic that speaks to me, and some that may not be of interest to you. And so that can be an initial start.
And so for me, I know that I began with very much that practice and that helped me realize that Rutgers was a good environment for me because my advisor is someone whose work I came across and was like, Hey, this is really cool. I want to do the sort of work. Ironically, I didn't do anything close to what I thought I was going to be doing researchwise, and that’s pretty normal, because after you start your PhD program, you often, with your courses, you're exposed to so much more, so many more areas of research. And through that process you can, again, start to see which areas really, really excite you. And so after taking several different classes, seeing what sort of research ideas popped in my brain, over time, you're able to see consistency and some of what excites you. And so one really good practice is to every couple of months, do a little bit of an intake in that you'll stop, you think about your research projects, and think what is the glue that holds them together? What’s similar amongst these? And then that’ll slowly help you realize your research area.
So it was through that process that I realized that I’m really interested in social influences on consumption and was able to dive more specifically into things like social status signaling and work of generosity. And so again, that was just through that entire process, but it’s not something that you need to have figured out before the PhD program. It’s great to have an idea of like, Oh, this would be kind of cool, to help you pick the right program and find faculty that can train you in that regard. But that's generally the process, that's one process that one might take to realize their area of research.
Dean Kesner: And maybe just a quick answer to this question. Are you…On the continuum of, I'm scared to death, I can't think of anything to research versus I have so many things I want to research, I have to figure out how to do them all. Where are you on that continuum?
Aziza Jones: Right now?
Dean Kesner: Well, just in general, I mean, do all...?
Aziza Jones: Oh, I see, I see. Students, in terms of like...yeah, so people will be at either end of that continuum or within the middle. Some people do have a ton of research ideas and they're like, Oh, how could I commit to some? And others are like, I'm kind of struggling a little bit. But usually the hope is that you have at least one thing that's like, Oh, this is exciting to me, that helps pull you into the field. But your advisor’s there to help you, to help mold you, to help you figure out what is a good research area for me to go into, to help you define more specifically what your topic will be.
Dean Kesner: Great. Thank you. That's perfect. Bernie, I'm going to turn to you next. We talked last time about teaching—that you, in addition to doing research, you teach. What determines what you teach? Is that your choice? Is someone else giving assignments? And what you teach: are you teaching multiple different courses or are you teaching one course all the time? Bernie, can you help us understand that?
Bernie Banks: Absolutely. So the answer is, it depends. There will be some times where you will be asked to teach a course based on your expertise and based on school needs, i.e., somebody might be on sabbatical. Something's transpired, and so they need you to cover down on a specific course. Many times you are asked to create courses born out of your research. And then if there's tremendous interest in that course, that will determine how many sections of the course you offer in a given year.
So there's department needs, there's personal interest, there's overall student interest. It's a combination of factors. But the total number of courses that you'll teach regardless of how many times you're teaching in a given year will be a function of your academic rank and school needs because sometimes they might ask you to overload. And other times, based on things you have going on, you might actually be able to get a reduction in your required teaching load.
Dean Kesner: That's great. And it just...a point, when you do overload, you're paid extra for those kinds of things above and beyond your salary because you’ve sort of stepped up and taken additional course teaching on when it's needed. So thank you for that.
Shana, I'm going to turn to you next. You're in a doctoral program now. Do you teach in the doctoral program or do you only focus on research? And if you do teach, can you tell us a little bit about that experience?
Shana Redd: Absolutely. Thank you, Dean Kesner, for the opportunity. I appreciate it. So at Michigan State, we are an R1 school, Research 1 school. That means that we are heavily focused on research. However, we are also focused on teaching excellence and we recognize, just as much as we need to train and educate ourselves and research, we also need to train and educate ourselves on how to be effective teachers in the classroom.
And so we begin after the first semester, or first year, our first academic year, in the summer. Usually we teach courses. One course, more often than not one small section, but it's to begin to give us that experience very early on in the process, because being an educator is a very big part of this role, being in higher education. Another bonus for that, speaking of not being a broke college student when you’re a professor: When you take on courses as a student, you also are paid overload for those courses.
Dean Kesner: Great. Thank you for that. And are you given a teaching assignment...at that point they tell you what you're teaching and it's usually a course they have need for?
Shana Redd: Absolutely. Actually, and it’s double-fold. They do also ask you if you have a preference. And they also recognize that not every doctoral student comes in at the same level. Some may have industry experience that would be valuable to teach and bring to the classroom. So it's a mix of need as well as the desire and the tools and experience of the student.
Dean Kesner: I bet teaching is, it's a different pace for you, and it's a different way of orienting your thinking. It's probably a release from the intensity of research many times.
Shana Redd: It absolutely is. And what is super neat is when you're a student, especially as you're learning a little bit more about your own research and areas of interest, being able to bring some of that research that you're learning about into the classroom, and seeing those connections and intersections are really, really interesting. And they usually, more often than not, in my experience, inspire research questions for me, so I can bring back ideas and be on the sort of high end of the spectrum of having a lot of questions to research after the experience of teaching one course over the summer.
Dean Kesner: That's great. In fact, I'll admit to getting a couple of research ideas from my students. They actually gave the ideas to me. They didn't want to do the research, but they wanted me to do it. So…
Shana Redd: Absolutely.
Dean Kesner: That always works out. Thank you for that.
Michele, I'm going to turn to you next. What do you like best and perhaps least about being an academic? What's the favorite part of your job as an academic? And it could be research and teaching or both.
Michele Williams: Thank you so much, Dean Kesner. I love this forum. I have to say I actually love a lot of the parts of my job. So I'll start with a thing I don't like. And I bet everybody will agree with me. I hate greeting. But other than that, other than that, I love the teaching, interacting with the students, watching them develop.
One of the courses I teach is negotiation. So I love giving skills that they will use in that first job right away. So that too, and I love...I teach for PhD students, I teach theory building, and I love doing that. So teaching is very important. Research is just...Research I see as really melding with service. So I research in areas of trust and collaboration, and also I look at stereotypes within entrepreneurial firms and across boundaries. And so what I love about my research is I'm finding new knowledge that then I also can take to organizations and take into the classroom and help people build better organizations. So I must say I like both of those things.
And then the third piece which we haven't even talked about yet is service. So really giving back to the institution and at Tippie, we are a business school, but we have a full university, so we have a hospital, we have a school of pharmacy, a school of dentistry, and the skills that we have at Tippie are very valuable to other parts of the organization. So being able to be on different committees and working with the nursing school on collaborative projects. It's all, it's a very rewarding career. And the other nice thing is that you have flexibility in doing that, that you can kind of...we still have the hours to drop your kids off at school every morning usually.
Dean Kesner: Yeah, I think that's the really neat part about academia, is that you can build your life around it in many ways. Yeah, you have to be in the classroom at a certain time, but your research time can be flexible. Your summers are yours for the most part unless you decide you want to teach and that flexibility in your personal life, as well as your work life, is a really nice thing.
Michele, I want to stay with you for this next question. I'm guessing that some of our attendees have heard the expression, “Publish or perish.” What does that mean? And is it realistic in terms of the intensity that faculty members experience?
Michele Williams: Well, as some of the other panelists have mentioned, Tippie is also a Research 1 school. So research is very important. We are here to contribute to the knowledge base of the world. But “publish or perish” really refers to the tenure track. What you talked about in the last session is that if you don't publish, you will not be able to be promoted. And publishing, I think, at all R1 schools is very necessary for promotion.
That doesn't capture, I think, the breadth of which you can do your research in. The university doesn't come to you and say, Well, you have to research on this topic and we're not going to...and we're not going to promote you if you publish on another topic. You choose the topics that you're interested in. And they have a set of diverse journals that you can publish in. And so I think yes, publishing is important, but that's the way you actually get your ideas out there. You can't make an impact if you do a study and put it in your drawer.
And I think doctoral programs really help you. In your doctoral program you should work with faculty on publications and you see that whole process. So when you become a junior faculty member, you kind of have an experience with that process. And I'm sure that Tippie is very like all the other Big Ten schools where colleagues read your papers and you work to...So people think you publish all by yourself. But it's not, it's really the community and the support that leads to publications.
Dean Kesner: Right. And I think you’ve said two really, really important points here. One is you get to choose the areas that you're doing research in. No one's assigning it to you. So it's something you do out of interests that you have, so it makes it easier to think about that from a publishing standpoint.
Second of all, you do work with colleagues. Most publications today are joint authored, coauthored with others. So you're going to be working with others, not just to get feedback, but actually on the publications themselves, which is not as onerous as it sounds from the outside. So thank you.
Michele Williams: It’s fun. Some of my best friendships are with coauthors that, you know, that we've developed over the years writing papers together.
Dean Kesner: Exactly. Thank you for that. Shana, I want to come back to you and ask you to describe what you think are the skills or personalities that make someone a good fit for this career path? Shana, what do you think?
Shana Redd: Absolutely. I think there are so many different reasons why we may come to academia. It may be out of sheer curiosity. Say we are continuous learners and we like to continue to question and find answers. It may also be...for me, in my experience, I had a lot of questions in industry that I didn't have time to answer. And for me it was, I came to academia as a point of reflection and exploration.
But I think when we think about the core characteristics or maybe attributes that we might need to have: We need to be resilient, I think, in academia. And I mean that in a couple of different ways. Academia is very different. Actually, a PhD is different than say, your undergrad or a master’s course, or if you're coming in from industry and you've been gone for a while like I was. It is a shock to your system in learning how to learn differently. Learning how to understand data and information and recognize you don't quite understand it yet. And being patient with yourself to know that someday it will click. Resilient in the sense that in a world of publications, we find far more rejections than we do acceptance. And so the idea is that because that rejection is the norm, welcoming that rejection in and recognizing that it's an effort to get better. But then having the resilience and motivation to stand up and keep moving. A “no” is never a “no” in academia. It's just a “not right now.”
And so, and then I would say, lastly, patience with yourself. So patience is incredibly important. You will never know everything. And when you come to academia, there's so much you realize you don't know. And for me personally, I felt as though I was drinking from a firehose when I first started the program and I found myself feeling burned out and frustrated. And I realized it because...it was because I was expecting to know more than I should know at the level I was. I had to be patient with myself. I had to be patient with the process. I had to be patient with my advisors. And recognizing that I need to experience the process, that it's not just a means to an end of a degree, but that it is a full experience that should be absorbed, that you should take your time with it.
Dean Kesner: Very nice. Thank you. Aziza, I'm going to turn to one of our questions that was submitted here for you. And then the question is about when you start publishing. And I think they're asking, do you start working on actual publications in your PhD program? Are there requirements that need to be met before you can start researching and publishing? Do you wait until you start your job? You're right at that transition between doctoral student and newly hired faculty member. Have you already been working on publication? So Aziza, can you help us with that?
Aziza Jones: Absolutely. Really, really great question. Thank you, Dean Kesner. So the…One way to think about this is that there's a lot of variance because it depends in part on the school, about when they're really pushing you to start your own research projects. And it depends in part on your advisor because the first couple years are taking coursework. But what is usually advised is that at the beginning you start thinking about research ideas. You start mentally generating these topics and a potential research idea and project. And a lot of your classes are geared towards that. Many of them are going to require that you have at the end of the semester, that you're turning in essentially a proposal for a research paper.
And then ideally from there then you'll start to turn that into a publication. You'll continue to work on it, eventually submitting it for potentially a conference and then eventually to a journal for publication. And so some people come in and are able to start already within that process of getting their papers under review within the doctoral program. That's awesome if you can, but it's also okay if it takes you a little bit more time to get the word work said.
And so, for example, for me, I have two papers that I had submitted for the first rounds of interviews so far. But I have a couple other products that I'm working on that just aren't at that stage yet. And so it used to be, like years ago, that it was really kind of unheard of for students to publish within the PhD program. And now it's becoming a little bit more normalized.
But still it's a long process when you submit these papers that takes years for them to actually get published. And so typically, people who might get something published might be those who were really already working with someone prior towards a PhD, beginning the PhD program. Or who perhaps like...You'll learn this but there's gradation in journals in terms of the amount of work that they're asking you to do before you can get it published. So if you're shooting for these journals that have a lengthy review process, then again, it's going to take you longer. It's very likely that you may not have that paper published before you graduate, but the goal is that they're published by the time you make tenure. That’s really one thing…
Dean Kesner: Well, we're rapidly running out of time, but I want to turn to Bernie for this other question that came in on the Q and A because I think it's important. Bernie, the question was, Do you, but in general, do faculty members feel comfortable doing research surrounding race when there are few editors-in-chief that are BIPOC or that are, you know, perhaps Black or Hispanic or Latinx, right? So the question is, do people feel comfortable doing research that has elements of race and ethnicity associated with it? Bernie?
Bernie Banks: I would say the answer is absolutely. And it's because regardless of what you're examining, the editors and others who review that work are not so much concerned with your personal identity. They're concerned with, How does your research stack up against the research of others who have examined a given phenomenon? And so the person that's reading your paper might share none of your personal characteristics, but they might have a deep understanding of your intellectual interests. And so it is not necessary that you have similarity in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, name your thing, in order for your research to be examined in a rigorous way by scholars around the world.
Dean Kesner: Thank you. And I would say that there's probably going to be increasing demand for research devoted to diversity, equity and inclusion, especially in business environments and business climates. I can see that demand for that kind of research escalating over the next few years for sure, and I think it would be great to have more people who want to enter that realm of research. So thank you for that.
Well, believe it or not, it goes fast. We're at the end of the next session, so we're ready for our third session in about five minutes. We're going to turn over our panelists. I want to thank the panelists for an amazing job. Thank you so much for joining us and for your insightful answers. For everybody else we are going to be talking about next steps. So if you're ready to enter a doctoral program or to apply to a doctoral program, rather, then we’ve got next steps for you. And we're going to get to some of those questions such as GMAT test-taking, and working...Can you work simultaneously? We'll get to all of those in our next session. So we're going to take a five-minute bio break. Please come back. Thank you.
Session Three: The Path to a PhD
Description of the video:
Dean Kesner: Great, Welcome back everyone. I'm so glad that you're back for our third and final session. In this very last session that we have, we're going to be talking about next steps. Let's say this seems like it could be interesting to you. You've learned that you do research and teaching, that you do get to influence what you do research on, and oftentimes, the courses that you teach. You get to follow your passions, you have flexibility of schedule, you don't take a vow of poverty. Business school professors are nicely compensated. So you've learned lots so far. Let's now think about what would be the next steps if you are interested in pursuing this. And of course, we started by saying there's tremendous need for more diversity in our doctoral programs and ultimately more diversity in our faculty ranks. So we're so glad you're interested in this next path. Again, I want to invite your questions on the Q and A. We are going to get to many of those questions in this actual session because many of them are relevant for this session. We have five panelists and I'd like to introduce them briefly, their bios, your extended bios, are at the URL in the chat. First off is Celeste Diaz Ferraro. She's a doctoral student at Penn State University Smeal College. Her area is management. Izuchukwy Mbaraonye is a doctoral student at the University of Nebraska College of Business. His area is management. Michael Kimbrough is associate professor and area chair in accounting information assurance at the University of Maryland Smith School. Obviously his area is accounting. And Luis Rios is assistant professor at Purdue University's Krannert School. His area is strategic management. Our fifth panelist is Marie Zara. She is not a current doctoral student, not a current faculty member but director of advancement for The PhD Project. She works for KPMG U.S. Foundation. So welcome to all of you. Thank you so much. And actually, Marie, I am going to start with you because we need a lesson on The PhD Project. So we need to understand a little bit about what is this? How does it work? So what is The PhD Project, and how does it work? And what about those PhD project conferences? Can you help us?
Marie Zara: That's great. Thank you so much Dean Kesner. Thank you for including me. And I'm so excited to be here with all of my friends. You have heard from just about...every one of the panelists has been a member of The PhD Project. So I want to tell... first of all, you need to ask the attendees, are you ready after hearing all that? I hope so. So The PhD Project was founded in 1994. We are a diversity initiative. And our goal is not really just to create professors, although that's what we do, but it's to create a more diverse talent pipeline for the corporate world. So as Dean Kesner mentioned. I work for the KPMG Foundation, but I devote all of my time to The PhD Project. And that's because KPMG, along with a few other organizations, AACSB, GMAC, and Citigroup, came together 26 years ago to develop systemic initiative that would create more diversity so that all of the firms weren't just going out and stealing, competing against each other. So we started doing this in 1994. We focus on, we encourage Black African-Americans, Latinx, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans to pursue business PhDs so that there are more role models and mentors for underrepresented business students. And the conferences that you asked about... we have six conferences a year. The first one which would be of most interest to you all is our annual conference that takes place every November usually in Chicago, and we will get back to Chicago, but it's been virtual. And what we do at that conference, it is by invitation only, you can go to our website to apply. And we will cover all expenses for three days for you to learn everything you need to know about getting a PhD. So we have, you know, professors, they get up and talk about what the journey is like much, much of the things that you've heard tonight. And then we have a university fair where you can talk directly to the schools about their programs and which might be the best fit for you. So I would encourage you to apply for the conference. You might want to do some research and certainly talk to some of the schools and the panelists that you met tonight. But if you're really thinking about getting a PhD, I would encourage you to apply for the conference. As I mentioned, it's free for prospective students, it's three days long, and it will provide you with everything you really need to know about getting the PhD. Once you begin a doctoral program, if you decide to go that route, we have five other conferences every year, and those are for current doctoral students, they are by discipline, they are discipline-specific. And we also invite our faculty and alumni to attend these events as well. But The PhD Project, again, we'll cover all of your expenses to attend this conference every year. So if you're pursuing, for example, an accounting PhD, you would get invited to it, this accounting conference every year where you would come together with all of the other doctoral students, minority doctoral students in accounting. You would get to interact and network with faculty in your area. And then we pair these conferences with a major academic conference for that industry. So for example, in accounting, the American Accounting Association is a huge academic conference for professors, faculty, and so we actually have you go there as well. So one of the great advantages of being a part of The PhD Project is that from the minute you start your doctoral program, you are connected with the leading academics in your field. You have this great network of support around you doctoral students at all different stages that can help you, as well as faculty members. And then we do help our faculty members in their careers. So we have additional programs that are for faculty members who are thinking about maybe becoming a dean or an associate dean, department chair. So we run the whole course of an academic career. And I think I covered the main elements, but I'd be sure that my PhD Project members on the panel will chime in with anything I might have missed with their answers.
Dean Kesner: Thank you, Marie, that was a great job. And I just want to remind our listeners that you obviously don't have to participate in The PhD Project to have your stipend and to have your tuition covered. That's part of a normal business school program--your tuition is covered, your stipend is covered. But there are tremendous advantages of being part of The PhD Project because there's a built-in network and you get the reinforcement of some of the really important lessons about research and teaching and all of the things that keep... set you on the right path to be successful in the career. So thank you for that. That was amazing and I appreciate it. Michael, I’m going to turn to you next. We've had several questions on how people should apply to a PhD program, how do applications work? There are questions about...do you have to turn in a GMAT or GRE tests? Should you interview? Is there an interview process? Should you visit? Do you have to submit your GPA from your master's work? And we also had one question which I know you'll want to answer as well, do you have to have a master’s? Can you go straight from an undergraduate into a PhD program. So Michael, can you help us to answer all of those questions?
Michael Kimbrough: Great. I'll take a shot at it. So first of all, thank you for having me. I think this is a great forum. I'm glad to be a part of it. So first of all, I'll answer the last question first. So, no, you don't need a master's to enter a PhD program. I entered the PhD program with only my bachelor's. More generally, I guess I would make the point that getting a PhD is not like getting other kinds of graduate degrees like master’s or MBAs, for instance, where you might be looking at a rankings like U.S. News & World Report or something and just picking the highest ranked school, targeting the highest ranked school on that list that you think you can get into. It's much more of a nuanced process, identifying the right doctoral program for you. So that's why you want to take advantage of initiatives like this to build a network of people that you can talk to about the differences among doctoral programs. But what you're most looking for is a place where you can prosper, where you can do research where you can be mentored, and where you can get the full endorsement of advisors when you enter the job market. So relationships are very important and those can really only be gauged to, I guess another part of your question, they can only really be gauged by interacting with the faculty at the schools that you're interested in. As far as the application process goes, yes, the typical application does ask for evidence of past academic work, evidence of the GMAT. I would say the GMAT is used primarily just to assess that first part of the doctoral program that's already been discussed, which is, you know, are you going to have difficulty getting through the first two years? I would say it's more of a binary indicator of, you know, can you get through to those first two years? It's not, it doesn't really speak to your creativity. It doesn't speak to your internal motivation. So it's really of limited use, but it is used for that as a diagnostic on that dimension. I guess key parts of the application that I think people need to focus on is the personal statement and the interview. So the personal statement I think is where a lot of distinctions are drawn by the admissions committee because they're looking for, because I think there are a lot of people with sufficient intelligence to succeed in these programs, but I think what makes the difference is your motivation, your internal motivation, the degree of intellectual curiosity you have, how realistic your expectations are about what you're facing, and so the personal statement is kind of the first personalized window they have into whether you have a realistic notion of what you're getting into and whether you have those qualities that are going to be needed to succeed in the doctoral program. And then, if they're interested in you, they will call you for an interview. And then a lot of what you can expect in that interview is them probing, asking you questions about your past experience to get a sense of those qualities. Some of it may be if you've had past research experiences, what have you gained from those? If you are coming more from industry, they're going to try to get a sense of what your experiences of industry have been like that have led you to be interested in a doctoral program. It was mentioned in an earlier panel that one of the panelists said that it was questions that she was encountering an industry that really motivated her. So people would want to know that because that would really be evidence that you have the drive, the intellectual curiosity to succeed. So it's a multifaceted process on both sides, I would say, on your side, you need to ask people, ask people in this network, ask us after this panel. If you have an idea what you want to research, there are probably sets of schools that you should really focus your efforts on. But you don't want to be wide-sweeping and broad-ranging. You really want to be somewhat targeted in the schools that make your shortlist because of the reasons I mentioned earlier.
Dean Kesner: Thank you! That's really insightful, and you added to our list of skills that are important. Intellectual curiosity is a really important sort of personality characteristic that you oftentimes find in academics. And the other thing that I want to emphasize, you mentioned it, fit is so important here, being a fit for the culture that you're joining. Make sure it's right for you, and they in turn. And so it's oftentimes a really good idea now to go exploring, sit in on a doctoral seminar at the school where you might be if you're still in school, read a couple of journal articles in an area or topic that's of interest to you to see if that's the kind of work that you would enjoy doing. Talk to faculty members while you're still in school. Talk to doctoral students at the school where you are to understand what they're going through. All of those can be good ways, to your point, Michael, to make sure that the fit is a good one. So thank you for that. That's very helpful.
Luis, I'm going to turn to you next. There was a question submitted which I think is a really good one. It says, it was mentioned that the university has considered their PhD students as investments. Therefore, is there an expectation that students will remain at the university as faculty once they complete their PhD or do newly minted PhD students typically obtain their first position elsewhere? Luis, can you help us understand how that process works?
Luis Rios: Absolutely. That's a great question, and it's actually the other way around. There are very, very few, and I think maybe one or two institutions that will actually hire their own people. There's a lot of reasons for that, but primarily, the tradition is that it is so hard to assess quality in research, especially when somebody's young and just coming out of a program, that it does a disservice to the student to be hired by their own group. Because there's like the echo chamber effect. So they all kind of see things, the problems the same way. So there could be a bias that the adviser might think that the research is more important or better quality than it actually is. And there's also just like, plain old nepotism, right? So one of the things that we see in our field is that it is extremely rare for a fresh rookie PhD to be hired by the place that they came out of. Okay. That's good. Because so what that means is that when they leave the nest, they get to also be exposed to different ways of thinking. That research expands beyond what they learn, right? Because this is all about being an apprenticeship. So it's a win-win-win, right? So how does that become an investment then, so why would Purdue or any one of these institutions invest so much money paying stipends, paying, you know, spending time with them, if they're literally grooming somebody to go work somewhere else. It actually is not that, once you think about it, it's not that difficult. The fact of the matter is that over the five or six years that the student is at the institution, they're working with their advisors, they're creating projects, they are creating new knowledge. And that's what we care about. The new perspective. That's why when we select students, we are really not interested in their ability to answer questions. We're interested in their curiosity to ask questions because that's what brings in the new fresh blood that stimulates, you know, I'm younger, but over time as we get ossified in our roles and our jobs, you know, there's like a tendency to just like always be like chasing the same all threads of knowledge and then PhDs really refresh that. And so institutions that do a good job in screening and matching will be the ones that allow that new perspective. Those people who've been out in the world who have new ideas, new perspectives from all, whether it's...that's why diversity matters, right? Because they're bringing in new problems to solve. And then you match a problem with a method to solve it. And that's what the institution teaches them. How can we now address that?
Dean Kesner: Great. Thank you. Yeah, very interesting. So I think you're right. I mean, most times you're going to be going to another school. Not staying at your institution. It is very rare to stay at your own institution. And that's one of the reasons we have to band together as Big Ten schools to support each other and to encourage sharing of students across from doctoral programs into faculty ranks. So thank you for that.
Celeste, I'm going to come to you next. What do you wish you knew back when you started applying to PhD programs that you know now? What is the missing ingredient you wish you knew then that you know now, Celeste?
Celeste Diaz Ferraro: There are probably two big things that I wish I had understood back then. I came into this after having a significant amount of time in practice, and so the advice that I got when I was, I said, how do I pick a program? How do I decide who I, where do I fit? The advice that I got was go to the library, get a bunch of journal articles, and read the abstracts and see which ones really appeal to you. And I did, and I picked all the ones that appealed to me, not understanding that what is important in at least very much so in the field of management is the theory that you're creating, not just the phenomenon, the context in which you are studying an idea. And so I picked all of these articles where sustainability, fantastic social entrepreneurship. I love this. And so I didn't have a good understanding of the different roles of theory and phenomenon going into the program. And so it was...I struggled quite a bit because as a practitioner, I spent a lot of time or railing against well, we already know this stuff. Everyone out in the real world knows this already. And I have come to appreciate theory much more. The other piece that I think is really important to understand is, and maybe this was my own naivete, but not all business schools and faculty are alike. I did my MBA at Georgetown and, you know, very engaged faculty. They're publicly engaged. They're writing in academic journals, but they're also writing policy. They're testifying before Congress, et cetera. And I just assumed all faculty everywhere, isn't this what a professor does? You teach and you do research, and you engage the public. This is what a professor does. And I didn't understand that different universities in different departments will have different cultures and priorities. And some are very focused on academic journals. Some really do expect their faculty to not only be published in academic journals, but also be publicly engaged in other areas. Teaching and service is much more important. And so it's important to understand, the culture and priorities, to the greatest extent you can, when you're trying to decide what might be a good fit for me, what is, what do I care about? And what kind of faculty member do I want to be? Where am I going to be able to develop that?
Dean Kesner: Yeah, that's a really good point because we're also getting questions like can I do consulting? And the answer is, well, it depends. It depends on the school you're joining and, the value that they place on those external activities of service-related activity. So thank you for that. We're just about out of time. Izu, I want to ask you a question that's very specific to your background. You started in accounting and somehow in your PhD program, you switched to management. So I'm just curious, you didn't really pursue the same background that you had. Why did you make that switch? And what was it that was influential on making your choice of a discipline to study as part of your PhD program.
Izuchukwy Mbaraonye: Thank you, Dr. Kesner. So before I began my program, it was like a one-year process, right. I was trying to get very familiar with the process, so I began by asking accounting PhD students and just tried to understand your life, what did they do every day? Then after that, I tried to reach out to them again to understand the kind of questions they had. And that was when I decided to not try accounting. Accounting was fun when I was an auditor, but the kind of questions they asked were not that interesting to me. So I was more interested in management. I felt like in management, I had more flexibility, what I could do. And then, I spoke to some professors and they kind of reinforced that decision too. I had a professor when I was in school and he studied franchising. And that was very interesting to me because he was able to integrate franchising with anthropology, sociology, economics, like everything possible. I was just so fascinated and I think I decided to do management over accounting. So there were more research questions I was interested in, that was a contributing factor. Of course, I am an accountant and it’s not that I'm not interested in accounting, just that personally, I found the management questions more interesting.
Dean Kesner: Right. So in other words, you don't have to pursue just the field of study that you might have come from or that you had work experience in. You can make a switch in your PhD program to go in a very different direction and study from an academic standpoint, that disciplinary area, right?
Izuchukwy Mbaraonye: Yes. I think the best part of a PhD program in business especially, is that we take similar classes, right? So I’m taking seminars with people in accounting, marketing, and finance. And we basically study the same methods, we study the same general concepts. So the difference is just in the questions. So I think you can study a complementary background in general as long as you’re interested in what you want to do, it doesn't matter.
Dean Kesner: Right. Well, thank you. Thank you for that. Well, we are amazingly out of time. This went so fast. I want to thank our five panelists who've helped us in this third session. Thank you so much for your incredibly insightful and valuable thoughts. And thanks to our attendees for joining. We urge all of you to reach out and let us know how we can help you further explore business doctoral programs. All of the schools in the Big Ten want to help nurture your interests. This is a phenomenal profession, absolutely phenomenal. And we hope you'll give it serious consideration. Thank you all and have a great evening. Thanks, everyone.
Participating Institutions from the Big Ten Academic Alliance
- Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota
- Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University
- Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University
- Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois
- Kelley School of Business at Indiana University
- Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
- Krannert School of Management at Purdue University
- Nebraska College of Business at the University of Nebraska
- Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland
- Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan
- Rutgers Business School at Rutgers University
- Smeal College of Business at Penn State
- Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa
- Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin
Bernard Banks, Kellogg School of Business, Northwestern University
Dr. Bernard (Bernie) Banks is a noted expert on the subjects of leadership and organizational change. Currently, he is the Associate Dean for Leadership Development and Inclusion and a Clinical Professor of Management at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.
As an associate dean, Bernie possesses responsibility for leader development integration across the school's global portfolio of programs, as well as the generation, integration, and implementation of Diversity/Equity/Inclusion initiatives for the institution. Bernie retired from the US Army as a Brigadier General in 2016 after having successfully led West Point's Department of Behavioral Sciences & Leadership from 2012 to 2016. In addition to having studied leadership extensively, he has led multiple military units ranging in size from 10 to more than 3,000 people. In 1995, Bernie was selected from over 40,000 officers to receive the Army's top award for entry-level managers (General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award). In 2006, the Apache Helicopter unit he was leading in South Korea was designated as the top Apache Helicopter unit globally in the US Army's annual best aviation unit competition. A West Point graduate, Bernie is broadly educated. He holds graduate degrees from Northwestern, Columbia, and Harvard. Additionally, he earned his PhD in social-organizational psychology from Columbia University.
Brandy Edmondson, Carlson School, University of Minnesota
Brandy joined the Initiative from Spelman College, where she graduated in May 2016 with a BA in Economics. As an undergraduate, Brandy spent time as a research assistant, mentor, and peer tutor in economics.
Brandy’s primary goal is to create research that drives companies to pursue diversity in a way that appreciates minorities’ contributions, versus simply meeting quotas. Her interest in economics was largely inspired by her constant questioning of the world from a young age. She chose to join the PhD Excellence Initiative because she wanted to be a knowledge producer and a difference maker for disadvantaged communities. Additionally, Brandy held internships with The City of Atlanta, The Coca-Cola Company, General Electric, the Spelman Endowment Office, and Columbia Business School.
Terry Esper, Fisher School of Business, Ohio State University
Dr. Terry L. Esper is Associate Professor of Logistics in the Department of Marketing and Logistics at the Fisher College of Business of The Ohio State University. In 2018 he was honored with the Williams-Qualls-Spratlen (WQS) Multicultural Mentoring Award of Excellence by the American Marketing Association.
Esper has previously served as the Oren Harris Endowed Chair of Logistics and Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management (SCM) at the University of Arkansas Sam M. Walton College of Business, Executive Director of the Walton College SCM Research Center, and was a SCM professor at the University of Tennessee Haslam College of Business. He is a recognized expert in the area of last-mile logistics. He was honored for his contributions to others and for serving as a valuable mentor in the marketing community. In addition to his full-time academic activities, Esper also serves as an adjunct faculty content expert for the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business CIMBA Italy Program. He also maintains global academic engagement, having served on the faculty at the University of Verona (Italy), as a key faculty liaison with Universidad Santa Maria de Antigua (Panama) and ESSEC Business School (France), and as a faculty leader for study abroad programs to Panama. Prior to his academic career, Esper worked for Hallmark Cards as a Transportation Manager and for the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department in their Research and Statewide Planning Divisions.
Aziza Jones, Rutgers University & University of Wisconsin
Aziza Jones is a PhD candidate in the Marketing Department at Rutgers University. She received a BS in marketing, management, and entrepreneurship from the University of Wisconsin—Madison in 2013.
After graduation, Aziza spent time as a project manager for a construction company, a paraprofessional educator, and a research assistant for a professor at Georgia State University. Her experience as a research assistant helped her discover her passion for consumer research, prompting her to apply to Rutgers University. After joining Rutgers in 2015, she began studying how social factors influence consumer behavior. Aziza’s dissertation investigates how consumers use products to influence how they are perceived by others, and how social identities impact consumer behavior. Projects outside of her dissertation also focus on social influence, examining concepts such as how racial identity influences interpersonal decision-making, or how interpersonal factors can influence generosity. In addition to progressing her research, she is currently the President of the PhD Project Marketing Doctoral Student Association for the 2020-2021 academic year. She will be starting as an assistant marketing professor at the University of Wisconsin—Madison in June 2021.
Michael Kimbrough, Smith School of Business, University of Maryland
Dr. Michael Kimbrough is an associate professor and area chair in accounting and information assurance at the University of Maryland Smith School of Business.
Michael D. Kimbrough joined the Robert H. Smith School at the University of Maryland in 2010 after spending eight years at Harvard Business School as a faculty member in the Accounting and Management Unit. Professor Kimbrough earned his BA in Economics from Washington University in St. Louis and his PhD in Accounting from Indiana University in Bloomington. Prior to returning to graduate school for his doctoral studies, he worked as a certified public accountant with Price Waterhouse, where he worked with a variety of manufacturing and high-technology clients. Professor Kimbrough's research focuses on corporate financial reporting, with particular emphases on firms' voluntary disclosure practices and on accounting for intangible investment.
Denise Lewin Loyd, Geis School of Business, University of Illinois
Dr. Denise Lewin Loyd is an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois.
Denise went to the University of Miami and studied civil and architectural engineering. She then decided to go straight into her master's degree in Construction Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After that she worked for a few years in construction management working on large and small projects and that's where she really got interested in group dynamics. She was fascinated about the dynamics around status, around issues like diversity, both with respect to demographic differences and also with respect to background differences, or expertise and knowledge. That led her to a PhD in organizational behavior at Kellogg, Northwestern in Evanston and after that she was excited to join the faculty at MIT, on the other side this time in organizational behavior and organization studies. She worked there for several years before making the transition to Gies. She has taught courses such as Introduction to Management and Leadership, Core Leadership classes for MBA students, and business ethics. She has also taught negotiations and led lots of workshops on diversity in teams.
Izuchukwy Mbaraonye, University of Nebraska
Izu Mbaraonye is a third-year PhD student in management at the University of Nebraska. His research interest centers on how firms and firm leaders interact with non-market stakeholders.
Izu is also interested in the role of entrepreneurs’ moral beliefs in their pursuit of entrepreneurial opportunities. His current research investigates the role of firms' knowledge search behavior as an antecedent of firms' political activities. He holds Master of Science in Accounting and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Texas at Dallas, as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma. Prior to starting his doctorate program, he worked as a tax consultant at Ernst & Young, LLP.
Dionne Nickerson, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University
Dr. Dionne A. Nickerson joined the Department of Marketing at the Indiana University Kelley School as an assistant professor. She received her PhD in Business Administration with a focus on Marketing from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.
Dionne research examines the impact of sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) on marketing strategy and firm outcomes. In her current research, she takes a multimethod approach to understand how, contingent on brand reputation, different types of CSR affect brand sales. She also explores the impact of the chief marketing officer on the relationship between CSR and firm financial performance. She received the 2018 Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Award in Marketing for her dissertation work. She, along with her co-authors, was recently awarded “Best Paper in Track” for the Sustainability, Social Responsibility, and Ethics track at the 2020 AMA Winter Conference. Professor Nickerson received an A.B. in engineering from Brown University and an MBA from Providence College. Before becoming an academic, she worked in technology consulting, advising clean technology start-ups funded through the EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program on marketing strategy, and taught English through the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF).
Shana Redd, Broad School of Business, Michigan State University
Shana Redd is a Professor of Practice in the Marketing Department and a fifth-year marketing PhD student in the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. Shana teaches undergraduate and masters-level courses, including new product development, marketing strategy, conjoint analysis, corporate innovation, and data visualization in Tableau.
Shana also serves as a faculty advisor for the MBA program’s design-thinking business challenge. Shana’s research interests are focused on the empirical analysis of firm performance related to marketing strategy. Specifically, her research examines the internal and external drivers of successful marketing strategies in B2B and B2C environments, the effect of brand-level characteristics on firm performance, and the drivers of new product and service success across various stage-gate and launch activities in B2B and B2C environments. She is already a Spartan graduate twofold: she earned her bachelor’s in communications in 2007 and her MBA in business administration, with a concentration on marketing and leadership and change management, in 2011.
Luis Rios, Krannert School of Business, Purdue University
Dr. Luis Rios is an assistant professor of strategic management at Purdue’s Krannert School of Management.
Luis holds a bachelor’s in literature from Harvard University as well as an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School and a doctorate from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He specializes in business strategy. Prior to coming to Purdue, he was an assistant professor of management at the Wharton School.
Jose Uribe, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
Jose Uribe is an assistant professor in the Management and Organizations Department at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.
Jose's research focuses on the social dynamics affecting strategic outcomes for teams and organizations. He studies the performance implications of network structures, with special attention to those configurations that endow teams and organizations with a competitive advantage. He obtained his MBA and PhD from Columbia Business School, an MPP from Georgetown University, and a BA in Economics from McGill University.
Michele Williams, Tippie School of Business, University of Iowa
Dr. Michele Williams is an assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship and a John L. Miclot Faculty Fellow in Entrepreneurship at the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business.
Michele's areas of interest include Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Gender and Social Categorization and Trust and Collaboration. She has a BA in Psychology from Johns Hopkins University, a Master in Education from Columbia University and a PhD in Business Administration from the University of Michigan. In September 2020, Tippie created a new faculty fellow position to help the college meet key strategic goals around diversity, equity, and inclusion and named Michele Williams as the first person to take on the role. Williams has been interested in team relationships since she was a student herself. This interest quickly sprouted a fascination in research dealing with team dynamics. The deeper she looked into the field of entrepreneurship, the more she discovered several reoccurring patterns which ultimately inspired her to embark down a path of research. Today, Williams’ research focuses on key concepts in the areas of entrepreneurship.
Marie Zara, PhD Project affiliation; KPMG
Marie Zara is the director of advancement at The PhD Project, KPMG U.S. Foundation in Montvale, New Jersey.
Marie began working with the PhD Project in February 2005 after working for nine years as an account supervisor at Bernard Hodes Group. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the Pace University Lubin School of Business and a certificate in Fundraising and Grantmaking from New York University.
Moderator Idie Kesner, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University
Idalene (Idie) Kesner is the dean and the Frank P. Popoff Chair of Strategic Management at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.
Prior to July 2013, Idie served as the associate dean for faculty and research. From 2006 to 2009, Idie served as the chairperson for the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship. Prior to this, from 2003-2006, she served as the chairperson of the Full-Time MBA Program, and from 1996 to 2003 she was co-director of the school’s Consulting Academy. Idie also served as a faculty member at the Kenan-Flager School of Business at the University of North Carolina (from 1983 to 1995). She received her MBA and PhD from the Kelley School of Business. Her research and teaching is in the area of strategic management with particular emphasis on executive succession and corporate governance. Her publications have appeared in numerous academic and practitioner journals, and she has written numerous business cases. She has won more than 25 teaching awards, and she has taught in more than 100 executive programs in areas ranging from strategy to change management and crisis management. She has served as a consultant to various national and international firms in the areas of strategy and board related issues. Idie served in numerous service roles for the Business Policy & Strategy Division of the Academy of Management and the Strategic Management Society. She served on the corporate board for Sun Life Financial (2002 to 2014) and Clarica (1997 to 2002). Currently she serves on the boards of Berry Global, Olympic Steel, America Family Insurance, and Lincoln Industries. She also serves on the Kelley Executive Education Foundation board and the board of AACSB, the main accrediting body for business schools.