Making an impact

After encountering one too many horrible bosses throughout his career, Daniel Goering (PhD17) knew there had to be a better way to help the bad bosses improve and the great ones be even better. With a missionary trip to Japan and a Fulbright award under his belt, he was prepared to put his research to the test and find a real solution. The next step was clear: pursue his PhD in management and entrepreneurship with a concentration in organizational behavior and human resources at his top choice school.

“Tippie has every reason to brag about being an elite academic institution, but its down-to-earth, practice-driven approach and altruistic culture—its integrity and innovation—help us apply otherwise abstract principles to pressing and relevant challenges we face today,” said Daniel.

Tippie has continued to wow Daniel for a few reasons:

#1: Unparalleled training

“PhD programs can be the worst. But that is the beauty of being at a top-tier program such as at Tippie. The resources are here and available to help get through the inevitably tough times inherent in a rigorous PhD program. Iowa is able to attract some of the best talent in the field. We all help each other—students helping other students, helping faculty, faculty helping students, helping other faculty—in many different ways. No doubt receiving the best training in the world in many regards is demanding, but the resources and support are here to help students and early faculty thrive.”

#2: Program flexibility

“The department is open to various PhD students' goals. It is not unidimensional. In other words, a father of four with a liberal arts degree coming from years in industry and admittedly a bit rusty with his academic skills (that's me) will have a different perspective and different goals than someone coming from a more traditional academic path. The program is supportive of each student's professional goals and will equip each student with the necessary methodological and content-related expertise to reach those.”

#3: Iowa nice

“As Urban Dictionary so astutely points out, Iowa is home to the ‘nicest people in the United States, probably in the world.’  All joking aside, Iowa (and specifically the PhD programs at Tippie) really are home to the kindest, smartest, and most fun people—faculty and students—anywhere. This first became evident in how willing faculty and other students freely helped me get up to speed quickly and grasp what to me were very technical and complicated research issues. In fact, the collegiality is so amazing here that I have made lasting relationships with faculty and students not only in my department but in every department at Tippie. It really is an amazing place, with an extremely supportive environment, which is absolutely necessary while pursuing a highly demanding, challenging program.”

#4: Community impact

“I think most people within academia are concerned that research can have a tendency of being disconnected or irrelevant. One of the best ways to address the gap is to have follow-through of our research to the classroom and the community. I love seeing students get involved with the community with this knowledge gained from research shared in the classroom. If our research doesn’t get translated to help improve society and uplift individuals, then really what’s the point? To me, that's what it's about. Really, I'm talking from the vantage point of having seen these things done so well here at Tippie."

"The Introduction to Management class has the students work as teams to go into the Iowa City community; leadership courses that urge the students to lead within the community; negotiation courses which have students make their rounds to actually practice their negotiation skills. The work JPEC does in encouraging student entrepreneurs to take a chance with their ideas and bridging the university with the business community is also phenomenal. It is such a great environment to actually see these things happening to help prepare me to find ways to integrate our research into organizations, the community, and with other stakeholders.”

“And that is what I am doing with my Fulbright award in Tokyo right now: collaborating with executives, entrepreneurs, HR managers, professors, and government leaders to find evidence-based solutions to the ‘well-being at work crisis’ in Japan. The skills I have gained through Tippie’s M&O program—especially the world-famous methods training—are invaluable in this pursuit to impact the global community.”