PhD in Management, Marketing
I hadn’t actually thought of doing a PhD until I took one of my MBA courses (about five years prior to starting the program!) at Laurier as a visiting graduate student. My professor at the time, Nicole Coviello (now my daily mentor) asked me if I had ever thought of doing a PhD. I took some time researching the opportunity and the PhD path, and after a few years, decided to take the plunge. Laurier was the only place I really considered. Having previously completed my undergrad at Laurier in 2006, I was already familiar with the sound education and supportive culture that the school provides. Already living in the Region of Waterloo (which I love!) of course helped.
My background in strategic marketing and organizational consulting, including with one of Canada’s leading financial and consulting institutions devoted to entrepreneurs and SMEs, seemed to converge well with the program. My research interests also aligned with the research interests of some of the faculty members at Laurier. More specifically, my research interests intersect marketing strategy and entrepreneurship, with a focus on innovation and high-tech firms. Being able to join an institution with fellow scholars interested in this area and an institution that is involved with a thriving tech community was a huge plus.
I examine how small and young tech firms “stay up” – in other words, what helps/hinders commercialization (and growth) for our local tech firms. One of the several projects I am working on is investigating how these firms’ market-focused capabilities (e.g., product development/management capabilities, marketing capabilities, and selling capabilities) influence performance in different contexts and environmental conditions, over time. A key part of this project is unpacking how different types of “talent” relate to these capabilities and assessing the performance impact of employee/capability misalignment. I also have a keen interest in female entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial decision-making.
I envision my post-PhD life being spent in some combination of academia and consulting. Having lived in Waterloo Region for about 14 years, I am a big advocate of our local innovation ecosystem. My goal is to take some of the research that I am doing and continue to help our small and young tech firms. I want to help our community continue to thrive – the managers/founders of these firms, the many partners within the innovation ecosystem, and even teaching students that will one day be joining (and starting up!) these firms.