Testimonials for “Diamonds in the Rough” Series

Laura Rees
Assistant Professor, Organizational Behavior
Bloch School of Management | University of Missouri – Kansas City

Put simply, I loved the Diamonds in the Rough session I attended at Academy. I had been a member of another division for several years but felt little personal connection with it and had found trying to become involved and connected to the division fairly overwhelming, particularly as a young doctoral student. A colleague told me about MOC and the Diamonds in the Rough session and, while I wasn’t sure that my research fit perfectly into the division’s mission, I decided to apply. I am so glad that I did! From the first few minutes of the session, I could tell it would be one of the most helpful experiences of my Academy conference life to-date. I found the group very welcoming, very interested in hearing what I was working on and what made me passionate, and very willing to provide candid and constructive feedback about my work. The small-group sessions at DIR, where a few students are paired with a more senior faculty member, were truly invaluable—I got targeted, specific feedback about framing, conducting, and discussing both my work (e.g., how to maximize its impact, generalizability, and appeal to a wide audience) and my career more broadly (e.g., forming and maintaining relationships, positioning me and my work within the broader academic community) that I’ll continue to refer back to for years to come. I enjoyed meeting everyone in the session, both students and faculty, and have made some lifelong colleagues and friends as a result. If you’re thinking of applying for the DIR, all I can say is do it! You won’t regret it and will benefit immensely. Prepare in advance (read all the provided materials, research a bit about the presenters and facilitators) and keep an eager, open mind through the session—it will be life-changing.


Alyson Meister
Assistant Professor
School of Management | Universidad de los Andes

I first attended ‘Diamonds in the Rough’ as a doctoral student, and found it invaluable. This is because I had the opportunity to hear from, and talk candidly with, my ‘academic role models’ about questions, fears, ideas, and challenges I had with respect to my life and career as a doctoral candidate. The format of listening to panel discussions, and then having small round-table conversations works well – you hear the personal experiences, perspectives and advice from senior scholars, and then you can discuss your own situation while learning about the challenges your peers are also facing. I attended this workshop again when I became an Assistant Professor, as I faced a completely new set of challenges in my new career: building a pipeline, approaching potential co-authors, and tenure fears among others. Not only did I receive really helpful tips and advice, one of the most important takeaways I discovered was that we are not alone as academics. We all face similar challenges, and are open to helping and supporting one another – so don’t be afraid to ask for help!

I would recommend this workshop for any junior scholar who is in the process of building a career. You will get the most out of the session if you think through your career and/or publishing goals (e.g., where do you want to be in 5 years? what projects are you working on to get you there?), your ideas for how you will achieve those goals, and some of the challenges you face. Come ready for an honest and open discussion.