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Stanford GSB | Mr. Healthcare AI
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2019 Best 40 Under 40 Professors: O. Cem Ozturk, Georgia Institute of Technology (Scheller)

O. Cem Ozturk

Assistant Professor of Marketing

Georgia Institute of Technology – Scheller College of Business

Since 2013, O. Cem Ozturk has been nominated for nine awards for his outstanding quality of teaching and he’s won seven. The list includes Teaching Effectiveness Awards in 2013, 2014, and 2017, being twice awarded the Full-time MBA Elective Professor of the Year in 2014 and 2018, and winning the Evening MBA Elective Professor of the Year Award. All of the awards have come since the 37-year-old began teaching in marketing at the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business in 2012.

“There are not enough positive things I can say about Professor Ozturk,” one nominator said. “I took his Marketing Research class to challenge myself, as this is a topic I continually struggle to grasp. The first day I walked into the class nervous about the material and I if I could actually grasp what was going to be taught. Professor Ozturk has an innate and quite frankly rare ability to take complex analytical problems and break them into manageable and digestible sections. His class was perfect because he not only taught the principles and overall theory but spends much of the semester ensuring students also understand the practical application and how to execute in a real-world setting. I understand that professors have to research and make ‘notable contributions’ to their field and I don’t know a lot of that with Cem. What I know, is that he provides the most wonderful learning environment and allows even students like me, with so much trepidation towards a subject, the confidence to tackle it. Every University needs a Professor Ozturk.”

Ozturk’s research in marketing channels, competitive product strategies and retail competition has appeared or are forthcoming in journals including Marketing Science, European Journal of Operational Research, and IIE Transactions. His recent paper titled “Price Reactions to Rivals’ Local Channel Exits” was featured in Capital Ideas Magazine of Chicago Booth and he has participated in presentations and conferences in San Francisco, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Baltimore. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from Galatasaray University and Master’s Degree in the same from Koç University before receiving his Ph.D. in Business from Emory University.

Current Age: 37

At current institution since what year? 2012

Education: Ph.D. in Marketing from Emory University – Goizueta Business School

List of current MBA courses you currently teach: Marketing Research

TELL US ABOUT YOUR LIFE AS A PROFESSOR:

I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… I was working on my Master’s thesis at Koç University and learning how to do research from my incredibly patient and supportive thesis advisors Selcuk Karabati and Baris Tan.

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it?

In the past couple of years, I have studied one of the most hotly debated marketing/public policy issues of our time: the 2009 automobile industry bailout. One of my recent papers with Pradeep K. Chintagunta (Chicago Booth) and Sriram Venkataraman (UNC Kenan-Flagler) empirically examines the effect of Chrysler’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing on consumer demand for its competitors in the U.S. automotive industry. On the one hand, the demand for the products of the competitors could increase as they may benefit from the distress of the bankrupt firm (competitive effect). On the other hand, competitors of a bankrupt firm could experience lower sales, if the bankruptcy increases consumer uncertainty about the competitors’ own viability (contagion effect). We find that unit sales for an average competitor of Chrysler reduce by 28% following Chrysler’s bankruptcy filing. This finding suggests that the contagion effect on sales outweighs the competitive effect in our context. We also show that this negative spillover effect is driven by a heightened consumer uncertainty about the viability of the bankrupt firm’s competitors. For example, we find that the sales of competitors’ vehicles that compete within the same segments as the bankrupt firm’s vehicles, or those that provide lower value for money, are affected more negatively by Chrysler’s bankruptcy filing. Additionally, we observe more web search activity involving the “bankruptcy” search term for Chrysler’s competitors after the filing.

If I weren’t a business school professor… I’d probably be a data scientist in a company.

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor?

“Being patient, enthusiastic, and approachable,” “listening to student concerns,” and “explaining complex concepts simply and effectively” (based on the feedback I’ve received from my students over the years).

One word that describes my first-time teaching: Butterflies.

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: “You need to get better at managing your responsibilities and handling uncertainty in the publication process.”

Professor you most admire and why: I’ve been extremely fortunate to have many professors that I admire because they have encouraged and supported me to grow more than I could ever imagine. Especially, I am indebted to Sriram Venkataraman (UNC Kenan-Flagler) and Pradeep Chintagunta (Chicago Booth) for being incredible mentors and role models.

STUDENTS:

What do you enjoy most about teaching business students?

My students constantly challenge me to demonstrate the value of what I teach in real business life.

What is most challenging?

As I am teaching an “analytics-heavy” course, it is challenging to cater to the different needs of students with varying levels of quantitative training.

Using just one word, describe your favorite type of student: Growth-oriented.

Using just one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Grade-oriented.

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… Fair.

LIFE OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM:

What are your hobbies?

Spending time with my wife and my 2-year-old son, listening to music, and playing guitar (occasionally).

How will you spend your summer?

Doing research and visiting my family in Turkey.

Favorite place(s) to vacation: Beaches in Turkey (e.g., Cesme, Bodrum, Antalya).

Favorite book(s): Essays (Michel de Montaigne), Sophie’s World (Jostein Gaarder), Calikusu (Resat Nuri Guntekin), Su Cilgin Turkler (Turgut Ozakman).

What is your favorite movie and/or television show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much?

Seinfeld. It is unique (maybe because it was a show about nothing) and it is hilarious…

Favorite type of music and/or favorite artist:

I love many songs from a wide variety of genres. I typically listen to rock, alternative, and jazz. While working: Coffeehouse Music (which seems to be considered a musical genre by some).

THOUGHTS OF REFLECTIONS:

If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… A solid analytical focus blended with experiential learning. 

In your opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at doing what?

Using analytical skills and resources to solve important problems and strengthening their sustainable business practices.

Faculty and administrators say:

“There are not enough positive things I can say about Professor Ozturk. I took his Marketing Research class to challenge myself, as this is a topic I continually struggle to grasp. The first day I walked into the class nervous about the material and I if I could actually grasp what was going to be taught. Professor Ozturk has an innate and quite frankly rare ability to take complex analytical problems and break them into manageable and digestible sections. His class was perfect because he not only taught the principles and overall theory but spends much of the semester ensuring students also understand the practical application and how to execute in a real world setting. I understand that professors have to research and make “notable contributions” to their field and I don’t know a lot of that with Cem. What I know, is that he provides the most wonderful learning environment and allows even students like me, with so much trepidation towards a subject, the confidence to tackle it. Every University needs a Professor Ozturk!”

“I could spend this entire form listing off the adjectives and behaviors that make Dr. Ozturk a truly exceptional teacher – expert yet patient, serious about getting results yet funny, thorough and detailed with advanced methods yet unwaveringly encouraging. I took Cem’s Marketing Analytics course in the Spring of 2018. While Cem walked us through every step of analytical approaches, he did not spoon-feed us. He used the Socratic Method to engage our analytical minds and behavioral psychology to nudge us towards mastery of the material. At least one business student who started the course weak in analytics ended the semester with exponentially more confidence in her abilities to analyze data, and she credits Cem for making data analytics accessible and fun to learn. Another Evening MBA student who started the course already strong in data analytics told me about how she mimicked Cem’s style of teaching to develop a lunch-and-learn presentation for her colleagues at work. She is grateful to Dr. Ozturk for showing her a non-boring and non-intimidating way to teach her less-analytical colleagues the core aspects of marketing analytics. Considering how rapidly the need for data analysts is growing, learning how to teach others is just as important as learning the methods themselves, and Cem has developed a winning formula for various skill levels in his quest for teaching effectiveness. In addition to serving as president of the Evening MBA Program, I am an ambassador for Scheller’s Evening MBA Program, and I have been hosting prospective students since I started in the Fall of 2016. I have hosted about 20 students to sit in on various courses. The only course where most prospective students stayed for the entire three-hour class session was Cem’s Marketing Analytics class. I was able to use analytical methods that I learned from Cem to win interviews for marketing analytics roles at prestigious employers because the cutting-edge methods that Cem teaches catch the attention of and are sought-out by companies that lead the world in marketing analytics.”

DON’T MISS: MEET ALL OF POETS&QUANTS’ BEST 40 UNDER 40 PROFESSORS OF 2019