Guillermo Casasnovas


DPhil Programme in Management Studies






Started in 2012

By Guillermo Casasnovas



(if you want to hear Norah Jones’ version of Summertime while reading this, please click here)

We can now find tasty and cheap strawberries in the supermarket, which is the best sign summer has arrived in Oxford. The long days – we have daylight until 10pm – and good weather – averaging 21 C –also suggest that the academic year is coming to a close. Among the not so positive are the noisy teenagers arriving to improve their English for a few weeks, but that is the small price you pay for living in a place like Oxford; plus, I did the same when I was their age! Summer at the business school also means MBA students are frantic with their final examinations, looking for jobs, or planting the seeds of their new start-ups. But what do us doctoral students do at this time of the year?

Some of us use these coming months to do fieldwork. In my case, I have been interviewing organisations in the social finance sector here in the UK, most of them in London but also some in Oxford. Other colleagues are doing their data collection in more exotic places: Ezequiel is going to Brazil to study the outsourcing of R&D activities; Alysia is heading to my hometown Barcelona to learn about how the emergence of 3-D printing is challenging current supply chain structures; and Deborah is travelling to New York to do research on the evolution of accounting in the United States.

Summer is also when many academic conferences take place, so many of us are travelling to these events to present our papers. For example, I will fly to Rotterdam in the Netherlands for the EGOS Colloquium and others will go to the massive Academy of Management Meeting, which this year is being held in Philadelphia. These conferences are a great chance to share our research ideas and meet people from around the world interested in similar topics. For those close to the end of their DPhil, it is also the perfect venue to have job market interviews and leverage the networks they have been building in the previous years.

Finally, some of us also do visiting stages at other universities. My colleague Farzana just came back from a 2-month visit at UC Berkeley, and I will go to Stanford in September for a few months. These visits are great opportunities to learn from world-class professors, to see how research communities work in other places, and to enhance our academic networks.

So, a lot is going on for us during summertime, but do not worry we will also find time to relax and enjoy the good weather. And to eat some of those delicious strawberries, of course!

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