No doubt many of you are proud of your affiliation with the Robinson College of Business. I know I am. This is an exceptional institution for many reasons; including our dedicated staff, accomplished faculty, entrepreneurial students and successful alumni. As dean, I have a unique vantage point from which I view the college — a view that can become even clearer by incorporating other perspectives.
In this first in an occasional series, I’d like to do just that by taking a look at the college through the eyes of our students, faculty, staff and alumni. Recently I had the pleasure of having a conversation with Tim Bohling, a graduate of our Executive Doctorate in Business program. Tim is vice president of growth markets for IBM, and has held several key leadership posts with the company during his 15-year tenure. In his current post, Tim creates and executes marketing plans to help IBM create markets, capture markets and differentiate the IBM brand.
While Tim was earning his Executive Doctorate from Robinson, he commuted to Atlanta for the program residencies. And when I say commuted, I really should say journeyed or perhaps even trekked. During part of this period Tim was based in Singapore. Now that’s dedication!
One might wonder what drove someone already so successful in his career to earn a doctorate. When asked this question, Tim simply said “If you’re not growing, then you are dying.” On top of that, Tim said that the opportunity to study again with V. Kumar — as he had 20 years before at the University of Houston — combined with Robinson’s excellent reputation, helped him make the decision to commit to the program.
Tim also discussed the skills he honed at Robinson — skills that have helped him be even more effective at IBM. “My experience in the Executive Doctorate in Business program definitely helped me enhance some of my professional skills. For example, the systems thinking approach woven through the curriculum has improved my ability to focus on asking the right questions,” Tim said. “Additionally, my research skills have deepened considerably, allowing me to more effectively answer those critical questions.”
In fact, Dr. Bohling’s research has been published in several prestigious journals including Marketing Science, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Service Research, Industrial Marketing Management, and Journal of Interactive Marketing, among others. As this level of academic rigor demonstrates, Robinson attracts high quality students.
Attracting and educating great students is only part of our responsibility. It’s also imperative for Robinson to provide ongoing opportunities to engage our alumni in meaningful ways. When asked for ideas on how Robinson can continue to enhance the value of his degree, Tim suggested ongoing communication with our faculty and being included in Robinson events. Through ongoing dialogue and engagement, both Robinson and our alumni can benefit and grow.
Tim’s experience with Robinson makes me proud to be a part of such a fine institution. And there are myriad other stories that should make all of us proud of Robinson. I look forward to sharing these with you. Thank you for all that you do to make Robinson such an extraordinary place. I’ve always believed it is our people — our students, alumni, staff and faculty — who are our greatest source of pride.
September 24, 2012