Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thank You Sir May I Please Have Another?!

Today I attended something that blew my mind. No, no it wasn’t just Finance or Accounting class – but those usually blow my mind too.

I attended a meeting where current students, battling through the challenges and opportunities of the core, eagerly absorbed how to obtain 20 more years of hard labor.

Today, faculty from across the Kelley school of Business, in my opinion the best two year MBA program, held a lunch-time information session about obtaining a PhD from the Kelley School of Business. They described the general professional track, what research and teaching looked like during the program, and how you move through your years as an assistant professor to tenured professor to full professor. Much of this involves getting published in research and conducting endless amounts of research.

They professed about the wonderful benefits – getting to be on the forefront of new field discoveries, working with brilliant students from around the world, the joy of teaching knowledge; and most surprisingly (listen in past teachers), the pay is quite impressive (who knew!?)

Rockney Walters (marketing), Jamie Pratt (Accounting), Matt Semadeni (Management), Kyle Cattani (Operations), and Kurt Bretthauer (Chair of the Doctoral Program) led the class through personal anecdotes of the many joys and few pitfalls of becoming a professor. (The only notable pitfall was the fact that years could be dedicated to research and publishing an article, and yet it might be rejected by an A-level peer-reviewed journal).

What impressed me most about this session though is that there was barely an open seat in the room. I lost count, but plenty more than 40 1st & 2nd years turned out to hear about a possible future in teaching – many of my classmates whom I never knew shared my love for education.

At the end of the day, a doctoral program is not for me. I’m an aspiring family man, and I’m afraid the time needed to dedicate to research would detract from the lives of too many others in my world. But I was just so impressed that a huge number of my classmates, already daunted with the coursework of the MBA core curriculum, were already thinking about passing that knowledge on to future generations.

They are to be admired - and you are too.

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