doctorate in success
David Tan 09PhD and Jade Dekinder 02C, 07PhD

Highly ranked undergraduate and master’s programs offer no guarantee of a successful doctoral program.Institutional culture, the faculty’s willingness to mentor rising scholars, available academic concentrations, financial support, and opportunities for collaborative research all play critical roles.

Still … Goizueta loves a challenge.

When Goizueta established its doctoral program and began accepting candidates in the early 2000s, the entire school, led by a large number of engaged faculty, went all in. That dedication was evident to prospective students, and it has fostered a loyalty that persists well past graduation.

“The faculty who did the recruiting were remarkable,” recalls Jade Dekinder 02C 07PhD, a member of the inaugural class and now an assistant professor of marketing at McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas. “Compared to other programs, there was a distinct difference in the professors who telephoned, urging you to accept
Goizueta’s offer. That lent some credibility to the program and really gave us an idea of the type of program they were going to run and the level of engagement.”

Of course, the faculty were not the only ones with a considerable stake in the program’s success. The students, too, wanted Goizueta’s fledgling program to excel and understood their own success—or lack thereof—would impact future students.

“We knew that what we were doing wasn’t just about ourselves,” says David Tan 09PhD, assistant professor of strategy at Georgetown University. “We were laying the foundation for generations of doctoral students coming after us. Graduates from older, more established programs have since become chaired professors and leading scholars in their fields. We wanted to help create that experience and expectation at Goizueta.”

And that’s what’s happening. Two Goizueta alumni—Gerald Kane 06PhD and Kapil Tuli 06PhD—have already earned tenure, while many later Goizueta PhD graduates are working their way up the ladder as junior faculty. Even early graduates landed interviews (and jobs) at competitive schools with longstanding doctoral programs. That, says Tan, signals how quickly Goizueta’s program has earned an excellent reputation.

Not only have Goizueta’s first doctoral graduates helped build the program at Emory, they have also incorporated the lessons learned in their own professional work. Dekinder, who appreciated the close collaboration and attention she received from Goizueta professors, notes that she makes sure to have frequent meetings with students and values open dialogue. “Students enjoy very easy access to me and my office,” she says, “and I invite a lot of questions