Cassandra Davis, marketing Ph.D. candidate at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, is passionate about inspiring future generations of minority academics. Aligned with the Ph.D. project, a non-profit organization with the goal of increasing diversity in business leadership, Cassandra describes herself “as a person who is both African-American and a low-income, first-generation college student.” Cassandra proudly displays leadership for under-represented students as an “educator, mentor, role model and ally.” Once she completes her degree, Cassandra aspires to be a professor at a research university where she can continue to be a driving force in recruiting and retaining more minority students.
Cassandra brings an interesting perspective to her studies and teaching responsibilities in the marketing department. As a former territory sales representative in the tobacco industry, Cassandra learned “first-hand how public policy and shifting cultural and ethical boundaries affect marketing.” She has used her background as a foundation for her research, with a goal of impacting her community, government institutions, and public policy.
“I am motivated by the fact that the research I engage in is personally and socially relevant.”
Cassandra also shows her commitment to social issues in her personal life. Recently she read a book on minimalism and started the process of downsizing her possessions. In her leisure time she enjoys taking long walks, reading and traveling. She is especially fond of the time she spent in Lyon, France, studying and exploring the region, soaking up the language and beauty.
Cassandra advises potential doctoral candidates to “start with the end in mind.”
They should “make sure they can envision their future after receiving their diploma” and ask themselves:
“What kind of job do you want to have (university position or industry)? If an academic career is your goal, what kind of institution do you see yourself joining? What kind of research do you want to pursue? What location do you want to live in? It is my belief that answering questions about your future will help you decide if a Ph.D. is right for you and help you figure out which Ph.D. programs meet your needs.”