Transitioning to Academia: DBA alumni share their career transition experience
DBA Graduate / Prof.Bertrand GUILLOTIN
Assistant Professor & Academic Director,
Fox School of Business, Temple University
Current job title(s)?
• Associate Professor & Academic Director, IB Program (approx. 300 BBA students)
• Department of Management - Fox School of Business, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA
• High-level of engagement from BBA to DBA. Mentoring Executive DBA students since 2019, one of them has presented her papers at EGOS and AIB.
Why did you make a career transition to academia?
My passion for learning and sharing my knowledge.
I started by teaching part-time in the evening (in 2002). While very challenging with a demanding full-time job and family, I noticed the repeated nudge of my colleagues and mentors to challenge myself even further based on my skills; i.e., to go beyond my Director-level position at Duke University. They were right. After running several marathons in my 40s, I decided to switch to another type of marathon: the academic marathon (DBA) and never looked back.
How did the DBA from Grenoble Ecole de Management help you?
The support provided to students (even before the formal application), the long track-record, academic rigor, and accreditations of GEM made the difference for me. Of course, it was also important to be able to attend research seminars in the US instead of France since I was managing two jobs and my had a 7-yr old boy at home at the time.
Lastly, my supervisor (Dr. V. Mangematin, now Dean at KEDGE) pushed me early toward publications. He was absolutely right! We published articles in the Financial Times, Les Echos, Thunderbird International Business Review, and at academic conferences (EGOS, EFMD Higher-Education Research Conference) before my final defense. The rest is history.
Looking back, I had no idea that I could do any, much less all of this. My advice to any DBA applicant: focus on the journey and the outcomes, not on the challenges. My DBA program at GEM was truly transformative. It still is transforming me, but now, my purpose is more about helping other DBA students.