Faculty Inspire Dream of Being a Professor

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When Seungho Baek began the doctoral program in management science at Illinois Institute of Technology’s Stuart School of Business, he had his sights set on becoming a quantitative analyst or financial engineer in a financial company. His career plans shifted as he got to know the Stuart faculty.

“The Stuart Ph.D. program creates an environment where students can freely knock on professors’ office doors whenever they are available,” says Baek. “From their mentorship and guidance, I learned [that] people respect professors because they create knowledge and change the paradigm through their research. After learning this, I started to dream of being a professor.”

The value placed on research at the Stuart School is shown by the time faculty devote to advising students on research methods and writing articles, according to Baek, as well as by the support that students receive to present their papers at professional conferences and submit them to journals for publication.

“I wrote my thesis and conducted a couple of research projects under the supervision of Professor of Finance John Bilson,” Baek recalls. “He was swamped when he was on campus, but he squeezed me in to his busy schedule whenever I asked to discuss my research progress and get his research outcome comments.”

A member of the finance faculty at City University of New York since 2015, Baek has built an impressive record of research publications in top peer-reviewed journals, such as the Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Futures Markets, and Applied Economics.

“Since the Stuart program balances theory and practice, students can learn how to build a bridge to connect theory and practice, interacting with faculty and industry experts working in Chicago’s financial district,” Baek says. “This significantly helps students excel in their careers in academia and practice.”