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Three Smeal Ph.D. grads to begin academic careers at Top 50 programs

May 25, 2016

Reputation, research, and range of subject matter initially drew Anywhere Sikochi, Tiffany Johnson and Walter D’Lima to the Penn State Smeal College of Business Ph.D. Program. Those factors helped the trio secure positions at three of the nation’s Top 50 programs in their fields. 

Once again this year, Smeal enjoyed a 100 percent placement rate in the Ph.D. program. All 11 Smeal graduates will work at research institutions. 

Anywhere Sikochi
Anywhere Sikochi
Sikochi, who will graduate in August with a doctoral degree in accounting, will start his academic career at Harvard University, a Top 20 program.
 

A conversation provided the impetus for Sikochi, who earned dual bachelor’s degrees in Russian language and literature and economics from Middlebury College and an MBA with concentrations in general management and finance/investment banking from the University of Virginia, to explore Smeal. 

“It was a conversation I had with Joseph Weber, a very successful alumnus of the Smeal Ph.D. program in accounting,” he said. “He is currently a professor at MIT.” 

Tiffany Johnson
Tiffany Johnson
Johnson, who will earn her doctoral degree in management and organization, will head to Atlanta to start her career at Georgia Tech. She said that interactions with faculty were a highlight of the program for her.
 

“I enjoyed being able to learn from faculty members in classes and through research collaborations,” she said. “How else can one begin to learn the business of academia but by rolling up their sleeves and doing it? I think the faculty truly believe that and it has been fun and (appropriately) challenging to learn from them. Then, being able to do that in a collegial and supportive environment has been icing on the cake. I’m very grateful.” 

Walter D'Lima
Walter D'Lima
D’Lima, who will graduate with a degree in real estate, is headed for the Midwest and South Bend, Indiana, for his position at Notre Dame.
 

He holds a B.S. and M.S. in statistics, both from the University of Mumbai. He has another M.S. in statistics and an M.S. in applied financial mathematics, both from the University of Connecticut. 

“After the recent financial crisis, my objective was to learn in a program that would enable me to become a scholar in real estate. The program at Smeal offers a unique blend of real estate, finance, and economics; hence it was a natural choice. Additionally, Smeal’s faculty are eminent scholars and learning from them has been a great experience,” D’Lima said.

About the Penn State Smeal Ph.D. Program
The Smeal College of Business Ph.D. program, aimed at students who want to pursue a career in academic research, offers specialization opportunities in accounting, finance, management and organization, marketing, real estate, and supply chain and information systems. Learn more at www.smeal.psu.edu/phd.

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