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PhD Student and Alumni Profiles
Andy YapPhD alumnus, Management
Andy Yap studies the impact of power and status on organizational behavior. Although he credits faculty mentors as the main drivers of his success in the PhD program, Yap says several factors brought him to Columbia in the first place.
“First, the research environment is terrific. I get to exchange ideas with world-class researchers who often challenge and encourage me to cultivate new ways of thinking. The School takes pride in being at the forefront of cutting-edge business research.
“Second, the School has a remarkable record of placing students in top-notch institutions when they graduate. This speaks well about the kind of training Columbia provides."
"And third, it’s New York City! I don’t think I need to elaborate on this.”
Liad WeissPhD alumnus, Marketing
Liad Weiss’s winding path toward a PhD started in Israel. He started a master’s degree there after completing his undergraduate studies, also keeping a part-time job as an IT security consultant. Through his master’s program, Weiss got involved in research and loved it. From there, earning a PhD was the obvious next step.
“Once I realized that research was what I wanted to do, I made up my mind to aim for the best possible training I could get. I applied to Columbia after learning that it is one of the best places to study for a behavioral PhD in marketing,” Weiss says.
“The School has an amazing group of professors in the Marketing Division, which is very in tune with students’ needs in developing independent research projects. The division gives outstanding support in training, classes, research discussions, and constructive feedback. And finally, the School’s location is definitely a deal-maker.”
Omar BesbesPhD ’08, assistant professor of Decision, Risk, and Operations
After a few years working in industry, Omar Besbes embarked on a career in academia and research. After earning his PhD at Columbia Business School, he joined the Wharton School before coming back to his alma mater. Today, he is an assistant professor in the Decision, Risk, and Operations Division at the School.
“When exploring PhD programs, the main attractions that drew me to Columbia and DRO Division at the Business School in particular were the cutting-edge research that faculty and PhD students engaged in, the breadth of topics their research covered, and the flexibility in defining one’s agenda,” Besbes says. “As a student, I took classes in a variety of departments within and outside the School, which allowed me to significantly broaden my horizons.
“This freedom, along with the openness of the faculty in helping PhD candidates explore new ideas, and the collaborative culture among students, has made for an extremely enriching experience from both an academic and personal perspective.”
Sharon KatzPhD ’06, assistant professor of Accounting
Now an assistant professor of accounting at Columbia Business School, Sharon Katz pursued a PhD after a career on Wall Street. He found that his real-world connections merged and grew at the School through his academic and research interests.
“Joining Columbia enabled me to continue my interactions with Wall-Street colleagues effortlessly, which has been key to connecting my research to real-world issues,” Katz says.
“Columbia gave me the opportunity to focus on topics that interest me like equity and debt valuation, tax avoidance, and earnings quality. I also appreciated the ability to interact with the top researchers in the field.”
Andy Yap"The research environment is terrific. I get to exchange ideas with world-class researchers."
Liad Weiss"The School has an amazing group of professors in the Marketing Division."
Omar Besbes"The main attractions that drew me to Columbia and DRO Division at the Business School in particular were the cutting-edge research that faculty and PhD students engaged in"
Sharon Katz“Joining Columbia enabled me to continue my interactions with Wall-Street colleagues effortlessly."