SETTLING IN ON A NEW CAMPUS
Though many, if not most, have classroom experience as teaching assistants, fellows, or in some other capacity, the majority of new hires at the leading U.S. B-schools this fall are stepping in front of students as professors for the first time. Like Alixandra Barasch, Youfei Xiao is among these newly minted Ph.D.s. An assistant professor of accounting at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Xiao is teaching Introduction to Financial Accounting in Duke’s one-year Master of Management program while carrying on her research in securities analysts’ strategic behavior and corporate governance.
She says when she was fielding offers from B-schools this spring she very quickly realized that Duke would be the right place for her.
“Obviously it’s a very renowned business school as far as research and teaching,” says Xiao, who received her Ph.D. in business administration from Stanford. “It’s very exciting, I really love both aspect of it, the teaching where I get to stand up there and share what I’m really passionate about with some really bright students and get them really excited about accounting, and the research, just starting out and sending out papers for publication and hopefully get recognized for my research accomplishments.”
FROM Ph.D. TO PROFESSOR: ‘A WHIRLWIND JOURNEY’
Xiao explains how the process Ph.D.s undergo to secure academic positions begins between August and September the year before they finish school, with a recruiting conference in December, interviews in January, and final offers and acceptances in March.
“We had email announcements about who is hiring and Duke was one of the institutions that was hiring,” Xiao says. “And at that point the schools do a review and we have a recruiting conference in December in Miami, and that’s where schools do their first round of interviews, typically. At that point, schools narrow it down to a smaller set of candidates and they invite those candidates out for campus visits, and the highlight is when you present your research to the faculty of the school that you’re interviewing with. And then it culminates, obviously, with offers and acceptance of offers.”
Xiao graduated in mid-June and started teaching in July. This fall she’s teaching three sessions of 60 students each, twice a week, for two hours and 15 minutes at a time. In the spring she’ll resume a research-first role before returning to the classroom in the summer.
“So it’s been a busy time, and obviously with moving and settling in, it’s been a whirlwind journey.”