Dr. Ashleigh Rosette keeps the handwritten notes and e-mails stuffed into a drawer at home, and there are now many of them. Typically, they start by recounting how much the writer enjoyed taking Dr. Rosette’s class. Often, they go on to reveal that the author is now considering—or pursuing—a career in management because of Dr. Rosette’s influence. She saves each note as a silent reminder of the reason she became an educator.
In addition to fulfilling her responsibilities as a doctoral candidate and now a professor, Dr. Rosette has carved out time to mentor and teach high school students, through programs like LEAD, about the benefits of a career in business. It is these young people whose personal messages fill her drawer.
When a faculty member in her MBA school first raised the idea of becoming a professor, “I said no, I’ve never considered a career in academia.” But after several years of “working seventy- hour weeks with little control over daily activities” in public accounting, she reconsidered. “Now,” says Dr. Rosette, “I may still work seventy hours a week, but I control what I do each day.”
Poised to leave the business world and enter a doctoral program, Dr. Rosette paused to consider her husband’s circumstances. An attorney, he had just passed the bar exam in their home state of Texas a year earlier. Moving to Northwestern University in Chicago would require him not only to find a new job, but also to take the bar exam of another state. The couple talked it over, and “his support was unconditional.”
The decision made, Dr. Rosette gained acceptance, and on the very day she submitted her resignation to her accounting firm, her husband received a job offer in Chicago.
Dr. Rosette values most, as a professor, “the flexible schedule of an educator and the freedom to pursue research topics such as discrimination and structural inequities. These topics are not at the forefront of management research, but are important and need to be considered.”
“In teaching,” she adds, “my goal is to challenge every person who steps through that door.”
The dream continues…
Dr. Rosette is now a Senior Associate Dean, Professor of Management and Organizations, and Center of Leadership and Ethics Scholar; Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. She has numerous teaching and research honors, with six publications to date on a range of topics, many diversity- related, and eighteen presentations including several with fellow PhD Project participant Patricia Hewlin. She is Faculty Advisor to The PhD Project Management Doctoral Student Association, co-chaired the 2005 Management Faculty of Color Annual Conference, taught business study- bound high school students in LEAD, and was a Fellow in the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in Social Sciences.