Making a Difference: CSIOP at 40

How CSIOP has impacted an academic's path.


As CSIOP turns 40, I’m happy to share some memories about how CSIOP has had a positive impact on my life. There are two instances where my involvement with CSIOP directly led to me getting interested in academia and ultimately to my first job. 

The first came about when I was a 3rd-year PhD student attending CSIOP’s student-mentor meeting at the CPA conference. Aaron Schat, one of the academic mentors, gave me some impactful advice in response to my worry that I couldn’t come up with new research ideas, noting that at my stage of the PhD process you are still getting exposed to the literature, and that eventually – once you have a firm foundation to build on – the ideas would just come to you. So I realized that not being able to come up with a research idea wasn’t unusual at that point – meaning I shouldn’t rule out academia as a career option!

The second came about from connections made during my time as the CSIOP student rep, where I got to know other volunteers on the CSIOP Exec. One of these was Stéphane Brutus, who was nice enough to put in a good word for me with an ex-grad school colleague of his at Singapore Management University – a colleague that I was meeting for an initial job interview at the Academy of Management. Having Stéphane put in a good word for me must have helped, because I was invited out to give a talk and then – success – I had my first job offer!

These are the two events that stick out the most to me, but they are hardly the only ways in which CSIOP has had a positive impact on my career. So as CSIOP turns 40, let’s all raise a glass and say here’s to 40 more!A much-expanded version of this story will appear in the May 2015 issue of the CSIOP Newsletter.

D. Lance Ferris is Associate Professor of Management and Organization at Penn State's Smeal College of Business. 


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    Joshua Bourdage

    Thanks for sharing Lance! I think that your article certainly highlights some of the struggles that many graduate students have shared as they've gone through the process. I also think this illustrates the importance of mentorship, and how this can come from many different sources. The CSIOP events (e.g. the student-mentor event) are still going strong, and the CPA/CSIOP conference is still incredibly valuable towards bringing people from across the country together!

    • Jun 08, 2015 at 03:30 PM
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