Hailin (Helen) Zhao
Ph.D. student in M&O
What is the most important factor that made you choose to study here over other institutions?
Faculty members here for sure! When I was applying for Ph.D. programs, I've already finished a research master degree. I was surprised that many authors I cited in my thesis are here in Iowa! We have chief/associate editors of top tier journals, research award recipients, fellows of research associations, etc. I also knew that the department was ranked as the 3rd in the world for faculty scholarly impact in management research. I was very excited that I could learn with them. Having been here for over a year, I find that our faculty members are all incredibly nice and helpful! What else you will expect from a Ph.D. program? ;-)
Is studying for a Ph.D. as intense as most people might think?
Ph.D. is a very intellectually challenging program. I did spend more than 20 hours to prepare for a 2.5-hour doctoral seminar—I don't mean to scare potential applicants away, but I guess this is the process a doctoral student has to go through in order to achieve future academic success.
What do you do to relieve the stress of grad school?
My son was born in UIHC this summer (2013) and he just has the magic to relieve all my stress at school.
What do you enjoy most about the Iowa City community?
Iowa City has a lot of nice parks! My husband and I take our son for a stroller walk almost everyday.
Because most Tippie Ph.D. programs are small, is this of benefit to you?
I like small classes. Each of us has been actively involved in faculty members' research, teaching, and service since day 1. It will be impossible if the class size is too large.
What kind of support is available to Ph.D. students?
We have a Ph.D. director who really cares about doctoral students and keeps improving our study experience (most programs I've seen do not have a Ph.D. director); starting from year 1, each of us has an one-to-one academic advisor who gave us advice on research, teaching, career development, etc; we have mentored research program in year 1 and 2 which allow us to learn what a research project with a publication potential looks like; we also have a wide range of student services which are out there to support our life: I myself used academic writing support, childc care subsidy, international research fund, maternal and child health subsidy, summer fellowship etc.
What is your research focus (or specific topic)?
I haven't decided my doctoral dissertation topic yet, but I'm interested in employees' temporal experience, social network, interpersonal influence at work.
What are you most looking forward to after graduation?
I've been imagining that I receive a lot of job offers after graduation for long... (stop dreaming, get back to work!)