PhD Program Student Mentoring

University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business PhD Mentoring

It's no secret that completing a PhD program is an arduous task. But at the end of the road lie important rewards: New research, a person ready to assume a faculty role at a major research institution, and-perhaps most significantly-the generation of new knowledge that will shape the field.

From the moment doctoral candidates first begin at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, the faculty are prepared to guide them through this journey with inspiration, support, and a spirit of collaboration.

"We strongly emphasize apprenticeship here not to avoid the traditional model of teacher lecturing to student, but to augment and enrich the educational model by providing context, meaning, and application," says Dennis Galletta, Professor of Business Administration and Director of the Katz Doctoral Program. "It is rewarding to see the classroom learning here activated by research projects with enthusiastic and cooperative faculty members."

Some students arrive with an idea of which professors they plan to approach. Others may not know. To help foster a good match, the program pairs students with faculty whose research interests seem most similar to theirs. From that point, students can see whether their personal styles will mesh, and they have opportunities to change their mentors if they find a better fit through a course or other interaction.

Later in your program, an advisor for your thesis project is chosen on the basis of expertise and mutual interest in the specific area you choose to study. "Your eventual thesis advisor becomes a valuable partner in generating new knowledge," says Galletta. "A doctoral dissertation project is almost always a demanding and complicated endeavor. I have seen advisors and dissertation committee members spend countless hours providing highly detailed advice at many steps along the way."

Katz offers study in several disciplines, including accounting, finance, information systems, marketing, organizational behavior/human resources, operations research, and strategic management. Though a mentor comes from the student's own field, the dissertation committee is interdisciplinary, and the small size of the PhD program allows students to collaborate and interact freely with faculty outside their core area.

"The apprenticeship model is most appropriate for a doctoral program because the most powerful way to learn how to perform research is to it with a caring and expert guiding hand," says Galletta. "Many students emerge with lifelong colleagues," he says, "and ready partners for future projects."

PhD Program Mentoring Examples

Area of Study Katz Faculty and PhD Student
Strategic Management Dr. John Prescott and Sean Tsuhsiang Hsu
Strategic Management Dr. Sue Cohen and Jean Woroniecki
Accounting Dr. John Harry Evans, Kyonghee Kim, and Jason Schloetzer
Accounting Dr. John Harry Evans and Eric Chan
Marketing Dr. Jeff Inman and Didem Kurt
Marketing Dr. Cait Lamberton and Hristina Dzhogleva
Finance Dr. Kenneth Lehn and Jesse Ellis
Finance Dr. Dave Denis and Jared Smith
Operations Research Dr. Prakash Mirchandani and Mihai Banciu
Operations Research Dr. Jerry May and Shannon Harris
Organizational Behavior Dr. Carrie Leana and John Williams
Information Systems Dr. Chris Kemerer and Brian Kimball Dunn