Aug 22 • 2 min read

Being a PhD student isn’t easy. Between researching, writing and teaching, the pursuit of a PhD may feel like a complete departure from the undergraduate or master’s degree experience.  

While working toward a PhD can be incredibly rigorous, it’s often a rewarding experience for aspiring researchers—especially for those with the guidance of supportive faculty and alumni.  

The Fox School spoke with two Fox PhD alumni and 2022 Doctoral Alumni Award honorees to learn about their advice for prospective and current PhD students.  

“Never tell yourself a single story” 

Shmuel Hauser, PhD ’86, is the senior vice president of ONO Academic College and a professor of finance at Ben-Gurion University in Israel. Over his career, Hauser has made significant contributions to both academia and practice and was awarded a PhD Alumni Leadership Award from the Fox School of Business in 2022.  

During his time at the Fox School, Hauser learned that “[looking] from different angles was something that, beyond textbooks or research, was very helpful.” 

For this reason, Hauser advises PhD students, “Never tell yourself a single story.” 

He continues, “Listen and be open about the new things and think about them in ways that can help you.”  

“Relationships last a lifetime” 

Hauser’s sentiment about the importance of PhD students being open-minded rings true with Michael Tsiros, PhD ’97, a fellow alumnus and 2022 PhD Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. 

Tsiros is the Patrick J. Cesarano Professor and chair of the Department of Marketing at the University of Miami. He is also the current director of the Canes Behavioral Lab and previously served as vice dean of faculty.  

Tsiros advises PhD students to focus on building relationships while pursuing their PhDs by being open-minded and helpful toward others.   

“These relationships last a lifetime,” he explains. “Either because they are members of the same profession or sometimes you may end up at the same university. Regardless, it’s good to build these relationships with fellow researchers because they get you through tough times.” 

Tsiros has found this outlook is often a good strategy for life in general: “Be helpful, be open-minded and work hard. You have to push yourself always.” 

Pushing yourself and working with others, Tsiros says, will help keep you accountable while pursuing your PhD.  

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