PART TWO: Dr. Oleg Petrenko, Oklahoma State PhD in Management Alum, talks about his PhD experience
From Alexis Hightower
Topics: Research Prep and Course Structure - Dr. Oleg Petrenko, Associate Professor of Management - Walton College of Business at University of Arkansas, touches on the preparation he received for research and how he enjoyed the course structure of the PhD in Management Program at Oklahoma State Interested in getting a PhD in Management? Visit our website! https://go.okstate.edu/graduate-academics/programs/doctoral/business-administration-option-in-manage...
My name is Oleg Petrenko and I'm an associate professor of strategy at the University of Arkansas. I got my undergraduate from University of Central Oklahoma, I did my MBA there as well. My graduate degree, I got a PhD in management from Oklahoma State University.
Well one main thing about research that I learned, is that most of the learning happens as you do research. The classes are great and the classes are very helpful but reality is, you don't really learn research until you actually start doing it. With the faculty, I was fortunate to be part of several projects really the first year in the program. It started as you know some manual tasks that started as something fairly simple. As I kind of mastered those tasks, the complexity increased. So being involved in several projects at the same time, with several faculty, been extremely helpful. That's really where the learning happens, is when you sit next to them, when you bring them what you wrote or bring them what you did, and they give you feedback. It was very informal and that really was helpful to me that the structure was there but at the same time, anytime I had questions, I didn't have to set up really formal meetings. I could just again knock on the door walk in and say hey this is what I'm dealing with and can you help me? I never had a really negative response from faculty there. They were always helpful. So that process of learning by doing, is really unique experience to me that really improved the rate of learning. Because the classes, you learn a lot but until you actually started doing research, you don't really start that very intensive learning process.
The coursework was structured in a way it was not overloaded and that was nice. That the pace was about right and the load was correct. One of the unique things about Oklahoma State and the department is that, you get exposure to different areas. For me being a strategy person, I study mostly executives, top management teams but at Oklahoma State, I also got exposed to organizational behavior a lot. Which really helps me because a lot of theories that we use in strategy on the level of the management team executives, they are rooted in the psychology and organizational behavior. So that was extremely helpful and in some departments you don't get that type of exposure. A lot of times you get very specialized support and I felt at Oklahoma State, it was more kind of broad overview that is extremely helpful when you come in the program, you don't really know what you want to research, what you want to do. So that being exposed to a lot of different areas and a lot of different ideas, have been really helpful as far as me understanding what are my interests, what is really interesting to me research wise.