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Student Placements

The Management Doctoral Program at Michigan State University has a strong track record of placing students at top research universities. Placement information for the last 10 years can be found below. In addition, at the bottom of the page are testimonials from some of our esteemed alumni.


Szu-Han (Joanna) Lin
University of Massachusetts


Fadel Matta
University of Georgia

Jonathan Miles
University of Cincinnati

Adam Steinbach
University of South Carolina


Daniel Chaffin
University of Nebraska – Kearney

Daniel Gamache
University of Georgia


Michael Howe
University of Alabama (now at Iowa State University)

Joel Koopman
University of Cincinnati (now at Texas A&M University)

Chang Wang
City University of Hong Kong


You Jin Kim
California State University – Dominguez Hills (now at Temple University)

Klodiana Lanaj
University of Florida

Chunyan Peng
Western Ontario University


Seungho Choi
Ewha Womans University

Robert Davison
Texas Tech University (now at University of Kansas)

Elizabeth Karam
Texas Tech University

Kalin Kolev
California State University – Fullerton (now at Marquette University)

Dustin Sleesman
University of Delaware


Nikos Dimotakis
Georgia State University


Matthias Spitzmuller
National University of Singapore (now at Queen’s University)


Mathias Arrfelt
Arizona State University

Christopher Barnes
Westpoint Academy (now at University of Washington)

Bernadine Dykes
University of Delaware (now at Shenandoah University)

Jennifer Nahrgang
Arizona State University

David Wagner
Singapore Management University (now at University of Oregon)

Kelly Wilson
Purdue University


Michael Mannor
University of Notre Dame


Federico Aime
Oklahoma State University

Alexander Barelka
United States Air Force

Scott Derue
University of Michigan


Jason A. Colquitt

William Harry Willson Distinguished Chair and Professor, Department of Management, Terry College of Business, University of Georgia

Jason Colquitt picture resized
Dr. Jason A. Colquitt

Training doctoral students is a top priority for the faculty in the Management department, which sets them apart from the faculties in many other leading business schools. My five years in Michigan State’s PhD program were among the most professionally rewarding and personally enjoyable years of my life.

The faculty excels at the mentoring of doctoral students and the planning and execution of doctoral seminars. Moreover, students learn from one another because the strength of the program creates talented cohorts that can serve as powerful role models for success. As a result, students learn more in MSU’s program than in virtually any other place.

Michigan State’s program does more than just impart knowledge and skill, however. The culture of the department and the mentoring styles of the faculty make students excited about becoming scholars. Every year spent in that program made me more and more excited about becoming a professor and a scientist. It’s impossible to overstate the importance of that sense of intrinsic enthusiasm, as one factor that unites the most accomplished scholars in our field is that they love what they do. MSU’s faculty members clearly love what they do — and that passion gets transferred to their students. There’s simply no better place to earn a PhD.

Dr. Colquitt’s research interests are organizational justice, trust, team effectiveness, and personality influences on task and learning performance.

He is the former Editor of the Academy of Management Journal, and he has served (or currently serves) on the following Editorial Boards:

  • Academy of Management Journal
  • Journal of Applied Psychology
  • Personnel Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
  • Journal of Management

Scott DeRue

Scott DeRue Picture
Dr. DeRue’s research focuses on management and leadership. He is the dean at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Stephen M. Ross School of Business at University of Michigan

Michigan State was the perfect place for me to learn, grow, and begin my career as an academic. As I reflect back on my years as a doctoral student, I am reminded of just how profound and developmental the experience was for me personally and professionally.

The faculty are not only among the world’s best and most productive researchers, but they are also deeply committed to doctoral education. Before I even arrived on campus, I knew the faculty at Michigan State wanted and even expected me to excel and that they were going to do everything in their power to support and enable me to achieve my dreams. This commitment lives on even today, as I continue to draw on Michigan State faculty for advice and support.

The students — your fellow doctoral students — are amazing. In my first year, I shared an office with Stephen Humphrey and he embodied for me the definition of a wonderful colleague. Stephen was a senior-level student, I was new to the field and had many questions. Stephen helped me to learn the art and science of research and academic writing, and I will forever be grateful. Similarly, I recall earning a low score on a paper in my strategy seminar. A senior student, Frederico Aime, offered perspective and guidance that I still remember to this day. Most importantly, the students at Michigan State created a culture focused on learning from each other, celebrating each other’s successes, and supporting each other during the challenging times. Many of my fellow students remain both friends and colleagues.

The alumni — those who came before you — are deeply committed to the Michigan State history, tradition, and community. You will share a common bond and connection with some of the world’s best academics, and you will find the alumni network to be even more supportive that you can imagine. I find myself routinely calling on my fellow Michigan State alumni for advice, counsel, and support — and I will forever be grateful to be part of the Michigan State community.

Ben Schneider was correct: “The people make the place.” And Michigan State has the people who make it one of the best places in the world for doctoral education.

Michael J. Mannor

Mike Mannor Picture Resize
Dr. Michael J. Mannor

My time in the management PhD program at Michigan State was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The Management department is among the best in the world in research productivity and yet largely defines itself through its ability to develop and launch new scholars into the field. This combination of productivity and developmental focus is rare and a major reason why every PhD alum you talk to will give the department glowing reviews. Further, you’ll find these PhD alums in many of the other top management departments in the world, from Cornell to Michigan to Arizona State, from London to Washington to Singapore, and everywhere in between. The work is challenging and the faculty has high expectations for every student. However, the placement record of the department, the quality of the research mentorship, and the professional network are second to none.

Another reason why the Management department at Michigan State is so special is because of the relationships developed between faculty and PhD students. From the first day a new student arrives in East Lansing, they are treated more like colleagues than students. Unlike other programs where students can be assigned into rigid mentor specific roles that force new students to focus their time with a specific faculty member, Michigan State has fostered more of a type of free-market system that encourages students to build relationships with multiple faculty. Further, due to the strength of both its strategy and OB groups, Michigan State is uniquely positioned to produce well-rounded scholars that can be specialists or boundary spanners. Over the course of my time at MSU, I worked with many different faculty members and now count them all as personal friends as well as mentors. Though the work was tough and relentless, I greatly enjoyed the happy hours, fantasy football (which I happened to dominate), and the 11:30 lunch train. This mix of work hard / play hard was the perfect combination for me. In a department of heavy hitters and rising stars, full of journal editors, academic association leaders (Academy of Management / SMS / APA / SIOP), and many of the most productive scholars in the field, there remained a good focus on balancing work and fun.

For all of these reasons, and many more, I highly recommend Michigan State.

Michael J. Mannor, Ph.D.
John F. O’Shaughnessy Associate Professor of Family Enterprise
University of Notre Dame
365 Mendoza College of Business
Notre Dame, IN  46556
Phone: 574-631-3298      Fax:  574-631-5255
Email:     Web:

Dr. Mannor’s research primarily focuses on how the personality and biases of top executives help and hurt organizations in their pursuit of sustainable competitive advantage.

Jennifer D. Nahrgang

W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University

Dr. Jennifer D. Nahrgang
Dr. Jennifer D. Nahrgang

After working in the corporate world for 5 years, Michigan State University was a new beginning for me both personally and professionally. I realize now the strong foundation that Michigan State provided for me to have a bright career as a professor. As a new professor, I feel fully prepared to face the challenges of research, teaching, and earning tenure due to my mentoring and education at Michigan State. Michigan State takes the preparation and mentoring of its doctoral students seriously and continues to produce leading scholars in the field on a consistent basis. The network of successful Michigan State alumni is second to none and one in which you can join as well!

Although earning a PhD was extremely intense and intellectually challenging, the culture of Michigan State also made it very fun as well. Over my 5 years at Michigan State, I developed life-long friendships with both faculty and students. Due to the collegial atmosphere, I always felt extremely supported by the faculty and fellow students at Michigan State as I worked through classes, research projects, and the dissertation process. I am certain you will have as many Spartans cheering for your success as I had (and still have) cheering for me.

There is no doubt that I made a great decision when I chose to earn my PhD at Michigan State and I certainly have no regrets. Go Green! Go White!

Dr. Nahrhang’s current research interests focus on leadership processes and their development over time, leadership in teams, and team processes and performance.

Dr. Jennifer D. Nahrgang
W.P. Carey School of Business
Arizona State University
PO Box 874006
Tempe, AZ 85287-4006

Anne M. O’Leary-Kelly

William R. & Cacilia Howard Chair in Management, Sam M. Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas

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Dr. Anne M. O’Leary-Kelly

I cannot imagine a better start to my academic career.

The final task in writing a doctoral dissertation is to compose an Acknowledgements section. This is the place where the new PhD expresses “thank you’s” to folks who facilitated the long journey that he or she just completed. In reflecting on my experience in the doctoral program in the Department of Management at MSU, I looked back to see what I had written in my Acknowledgements section when I completed my PhD over 15 years ago. Appropriately, my parting words were “It’s time to move on. I am ready. I am sorry.”

Even after 15 years, I feel these words are apt descriptors of my experience at MSU. I knew it was “time to move on” because my faculty mentors never let me forget that the ultimate goal was to keep focused and complete the degree. I was “ready” in that the department had given me the knowledge and tools to ensure a successful career if I gave it my best effort. I was “sorry” because I had enjoyed so much the experience of knowing and working with my friends and mentors at MSU. These were among the most intensive work years of my life, and they also were among the most intellectually exciting and engaging. I cannot imagine a better start to my academic career.

Dr. O’Leary’s current research interests are aggressive behavior in the work place (violence, sexual harassment); individual attachments to work organizations (psychological contracts, organizational and professional identification)

She has held previous academic positions in the Department of Management at Texas A&M University and in the Department of Management and Marketing at the University of Dayton. Publications have appeared in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Management Inquiry, Journal of Management, Journal of Organizational Behavior, and Human Resource Development Quarterly.

Her most recent research honors include:

  • Recipient of the 2003 Excellence in Research award for the Sam M. Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas.
  • Co-recipient of the 2002 Award for the Most Innovative Session awarded by the Organizational Behavior Division of the Academy of Management.



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