Graduates of the Ph.D. program in Management have gone on to become academics and researchers at some of the world’s most prominent institutions. Read their stories:
Oscar Holmes IV, Ph.D.
Director of Access & Outreach for Business Education, Assistant Professor of Management, Camden School of Business
2013 Graduate of the Management Ph.D. program
What did you enjoy most about the Culverhouse Ph.D. experience?
I had a wonderful experience at UA and am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to go there. There were many things that I enjoyed about the Ph.D. program, but what I loved most was having the opportunity to work with and publish research with world-class faculty members who were not only invested in my career success but who also really cared about my well-being and provided a climate that allowed me to thrive. Additionally, I loved how close all of the Ph.D. students were. Even though I was in the Management Ph.D. program, I was able to develop great friendships and a support network with the Economics, Accounting, Marketing, and Finance Ph.D. students since our offices were all together on the same floor of Bidgood Hall. Many of us are still good friends today even though our careers have taken us to various places all over the U.S.!
How has the Culverhouse Ph.D. experience prepared you for your current position?
One of the best things that UA has done for me to prepare me for my current position was to allow me to work on high-quality, publishable research projects. All Ph.D. students work with faculty members, but not all faculty members provide the necessary opportunities to publish with their students. The academic job market is really competitive, so publications matter. Faculty members at UA, like my co-chair, Dr. James King, and Dr. Marilyn Whitman, took a proactive approach in helping me get published. Another big thing that helped me with my career was when Dr. Jonathon Halbesleben advised me to stay an additional year in the Ph.D. program so that I was able to further develop my research skills. As the Ph.D. is a very long process, it is normal for Ph.D. students to want to finish as quickly as possible (typically in 4 years). However, I took Dr. Halbesleben’s advice to stay a fifth year, and that advice proved to be one of the best things that I could have ever done for my career. Had I graduated in 4 years, it is highly unlikely that I could have secured a tenure-track job at a competitive school like Rutgers School of Business-Camden! So I can’t thank my UA faculty members enough for their mentorship and guidance in jump-starting my career.
Did the Management Department and your cohort meet or exceed your expectations?
Because of the wonderful work that The Ph.D. Project does that helps foster our success, I had the best cohort ever! I had a very interesting journey to UA, to say the least, so the management department far exceeded my expectations. From my dissertation committee members to the faculty who taught my Ph.D. seminar classes, I have had a wonderful experience with them and the most amazing time at UA, and I am so fortunate to count it as one of my alma maters.
Do you have any advice for individuals looking into a Ph.D. program?
I have a LOT of advice for prospective Ph.D. students, but I’ll try to keep it brief here. 1) Think deeply about what you want your career to look like and who you want to be prior to applying to Ph.D. programs, and then choose pathways that are most likely to afford you opportunities to realize those goals. 2) Try to get as much hands-on research experience as you can prior to applying (seek out research assistant opportunities). 3) Find programs that have at least 2 research-active faculty members with whom you think you would like to work in case one of the relationships doesn’t work out for whatever reason. 4) Reach out to faculty members and Ph.D. students in the programs that you’re interested in to get a more holistic understanding of the culture of the department, the typical career outcomes of the program’s graduates, and how best to prepare your application packet.