Doctoral Program Alumni Reflection

Reflection from David Welsh, Ph.D. 2014

I had a fantastic experience in the doctoral program in Management and Organizations at the University of Arizona. My journey towards a Ph.D. began after completing an undergraduate degree in management and then continuing on to law school. During law school, I recognized that I was interested in areas such as ethics. Pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Arizona allowed me to develop my own stream of research in this area and to have opportunities to teach business ethics to students.

Throughout the Ph.D. program, I had amazing advisors who mentored me and helped me to develop my ideas. The faculty in the Management and Organizations Department are great to work with and the environment is very collaborative. I was able to publish research with several different faculty members and graduate students while pursuing my Ph.D. For me, the doctoral program at the University of Arizona opened the door to an outstanding career as a university professor and choosing to pursue a Ph.D. has proved to be one of the best decisions that I’ve made.

David Welsh
Assistant Professor 
University of Washington

Reflection from Jessica Siegel Christian, Ph.D. 2012

The Management and Organizations Ph.D. Program at the University of Arizona prepared me to be a successful and independent academic researcher. The program was structured such that I was always supported with guidance and feedback from my advisors, but was also encouraged early on to develop my own ideas and lead my own projects. I would say that a strength of the program is the close working relationship that students develop with their advisors, partly due to the faculty-student ratio. My advisors were always there to help me shape my ideas, develop my writing skills, and help me improve my methodological and statistical skills. By the time I started planning my dissertation, I felt prepared to lead the project and was confident in my skills. Another strength of the M&O Program is the strong emphasis placed on developing Ph.D. students’ research skills. I never felt pressure to complete busywork or that I was “jumping through hoops”—everything that I did felt like it was for my own development. For example, the Masters Project that students complete in their first two years was a great first step in learning how to design a study, analyze the data, write an academic paper, and present my work to my colleagues. I always felt like I was collaborating with the faculty members, and not just working for them. Finally, the M&O Program does an excellent job securing resources for the Ph.D. students. For instance, the lab space is excellent, there were often funding sources available for conference travel and research, and there were summer teaching opportunities that helped to prepare me to be a successful instructor. All in all, the M&O department at the University of Arizona was an exciting, intellectually stimulating, and productive environment for completing my Ph.D.

Jessica Siegel Christian
Clinical Assistant Professor
University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School

Reflection from Michael Christian, Ph.D. 2010

I had an interesting journey that brought me to the University of Arizona’s Department of Management and Organizations. I was working towards my Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology at Tulane University, when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, which ultimately lead me to have to make the decision to transfer programs. I applied to the U of A among several other business schools, and after having a visit to the campus in Tucson, decided that the hurricane might just be a blessing in disguise! The faculty were supportive, there was a lot of one-on-one mentoring with the doctoral students, and the weather was fantastic.

Now, having the opportunity to look back on my decision to work towards my Ph.D. at the Eller College, I realize that I made the right choice. The Management and Organizations department was an extremely positive, stimulating, and challenging place to work, and I feel that I developed the skills and knowledge to become a productive researcher and an enthusiastic educator. On top of this, I made friends with graduate students, staff, and professors alike in the process. The environment in the M&O department is very collaborative and open, the opportunities for research funding are fantastic (a number of fellowships and other awards are available), the opportunities for lab research and collaboration with external companies are numerous, and the faculty-student ratio can’t be beaten. I continue to collaborate with many of the faculty and students here, and will do so for years to come.

Michael Christian
Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior
Kenan-Flagler Business School
University of North Carolina

Reflection from Edgar Kausel, Ph.D. 2010

Despite having several options, I decided to enter the Management and Organizations PhD program at the University of Arizona because of the quality of its faculty—one of the top programs integrating judgment/choice and organizational behavior research.  The program exceeded all my expectations.  Yes, the faculty were top-notch scholars, but also great to work with.  The students were exceptionally talented and hard-working, which created a culture of research and exchange of ideas, but they also were very open and kind to answer any questions.  Being an international student, for me this was a key issue to enjoy the journey.  Further, the faculty-student ratio allowed me to work with different faculty, which in turn helped me developing my own line of research.

Needless to say, I still keep in touch with most of the faculty, alumni, staff, and even new students.  For example, my dissertation advisor visited me here last summer. I’m working in at least 3 papers with former students and faculty.  And we have a great time every year in the AoM, SIOP and SJDM conferences.

I was recently promoted to Associate Professor, basically because of my research output.  I’d say that  70% of what I’ve published so far started at some point when I was a doctoral student there.  And for that alone, I’ll always be grateful to the program.

Edgar Kausel
Associate Professor
University of Chile