WSU business school's Ph.D. program celebrates first management graduate

Tapan Seth is the first student to graduate from Wayne State University School of Business Administration’s doctoral program in the management track. The doctoral program began in 2008 with five students and has now graduated at least one Ph.D. student in each of its three tracks. The school now boasts eight total Ph.D. graduates: five in finance, two in marketing and, now, one in management.

Seth was in the Ph.D. program for five years and spent almost two years completing his dissertation, titled "Essays on the role of competitor-specific human capital on initial public offerings performance," which he successfully defended in July.

"I was fortunate enough to have my friends and colleagues around me while the committee was deliberating," Seth said. "The conversations kept me distracted enough to not speculate about what was going on behind those closed doors."

The committee did not keep Seth waiting too long. Amanuel Tekleab, associate professor of management, and Jaegul Lee, assistant professor of strategy and entrepreneurship, served as co-advisors and co-chairs on Seth’s dissertation committee. They and the other three committee members thought Seth, a 2013 recipient of the School of Business Administration doctoral program’s Excellence in Teaching and Excellence in Research awards, addressed the concerns of his proposal.

"I have been lucky to have two academic fathers in Drs. Tekleab and Lee, both of whom were committed to my development as an academic," Seth said. "Without their faith in my abilities and their guidance and support, none of this would be possible."

Tekleab has known Seth since he began the program and said it was a great experience serving as his advisor.

"He was well-rounded, well-prepared in terms of his research area, which made it very easy for me to guide him on his dissertation," Teklaeb said. "Most importantly, he listened and made sure that what we asked of him was completed on time and effectively."

Seth said it has not sunk in yet that he has completed this long and challenging phase of his life. As he prepares to join the faculty of Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh as an assistant professor in the Department of Management, he has some words of advice for those pursing doctoral degrees.

"It’s a marathon where you are primarily competing and playing a mental game with yourself," Seth said. "Just keep chipping away at it on your pace. While the journey is challenging, those rare moments when you see the light and solve a small piece of the puzzle make it all worth it."

For more information on doctoral programs in the Wayne State University School of Business Administration, visit or contact Ph.D. Program Director Professor Attila Yaprak at

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