Ph.D. Student Discusses How Prior Experiences with Diversity Led to Current Research

By Jessica Hirsch


Inhyun HanDarden Ph.D. student Inhyun Han hopes to utilize her past study of socio-political issues and current research to help inform the general public and promote a more open-minded, inclusive climate in organizations.

Han was born in Seoul, South Korea, and she spent most of her life in the surrounding areas. Ten years ago, Han came to the U.S. as part of a working holiday exchange program, and she worked in a restaurant in Panama City, Florida.

“It was only a six month experience, but it motivated me to move to the United States,” Han said. “When I lived in Florida, I had a limited scope of experience. Charlottesville is a more pro-diversity town where people like to share stories about their exposure to other cultures.”

Han is currently a doctoral candidate in the Leadership & Organizational Behavior area under Associate Professor of Business Administration Melissa Thomas-Hunt.

“I’m working on how to peacefully integrate diverse people in the organizational context.” Han said.  “I like that Darden has a high level of diversity initiatives and the climate is very open to discussing sensitive issues.”

Han’s area of research was largely inspired by her personal experiences while working at the Korea Labor Institute, a government research association located in Korea.

“The power of experience is really strong,” Han said. “When I lived in Korea, I experienced a very homogenous culture, and I realized how difficult it can be to make big changes in society. I personally saw that organizations had a more positive, productive outcomes when they tried to accept different people’s stories and opinions. People with different viewpoints can have a more accurate perspective on the problem at hand, and sometimes the majority stream of thinking is not right.”

In particular, Han was drawn to study diversity in organizations from her research on the Korean workforce and labor laws. Specifically, Han’s interests focus on minorities within organizations, specifically how minorities can actively engage in networking and speak up. One of the biggest challenges she finds is when uncertainty acts as a threat to opportunity.

“Korea still has a very male-dominated network and there is a high discrepancy in the labor rate between women and men.” Han said. “There has to be a collaborative effort between policy, management, and social science to influence people’s mindsets on critical issues, but it’s hard to change social expectations about gender.”

In addition, Han’s educational background exposed her to a variety of perspectives and social issues which led her to pursue the field of management in her graduate studies. In her undergraduate career, Han received a B.A. in English Literature and minored in Political Science and Diplomacy at Hanyang University, a private research university in Seoul, Korea.

“My education showed me how socio-political mechanisms are important to enhance the quality of life for everyone,” Han said. “In my English classes, we often read about human emotions in English poetry and from authors like Shakespeare. My focus was always understanding human nature and the underlying behavioral cycles. Management seemed like an intersection of both interests so I could study and interpret employee reactions in an organizational context.”

After completion of the Darden Ph.D. program, Han hopes to share her passion both with students and a more general audience.

“It’s important to find a rewarding reason to pursue your job,” Han said. “When I get my degree, I can help people understand the descriptive reality. I plan to research and teach, but where I work will depend on what is best for my career and the well-being of my family.”

Although Han is busy with the Ph.D. program and spending time with her family, she also enjoys reading home improvement magazines and watching cooking shows.


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Questions and Answers with President Sullivan on Globalization from UVA Today

The piece below, written by Jane Kelly, Media Relations Associate, University Communications/Vice Provost for Global Affairs, was published on November 17 in UVA Today and titled “Why Globalize Education? Sullivan Says the Benefits Are Far Reaching”.  Please note the mention of Jerry Peng (MBA ’03) as an example of how globalization contributes to Virginia.


By Jane Kelly

University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan accepted a prestigious award for the University’s efforts to globalize its curriculum and research at a ceremony Tuesday in Washington.

UVA received the 2015 Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization, by the Association of International Educators.

The Simon Award is given annually to universities that demonstrate “significant, well-planned, well-executed and well-documented progress toward comprehensive internationalization – especially those using innovative and creative approaches.” UVA was one of five schools to earn the honor.

Internationalization is a key component of the Cornerstone Plan, UVA’s blueprint for the future. Sullivan recently took the time to answer a few questions about the University’s efforts and their impact.

Q. Why is it important that UVA internationalize its efforts?

A. We live in a global century. To have a premier higher education system in the United States and around the world, colleges and universities must be globally engaged with one other and with external partners through partnerships, student-exchange agreements, research and more. We are accomplishing this through our Cornerstone Plan; the plan’s priorities include internationalization across Grounds and engagement with global issues and with international partners.

Q. To your mind, what are the key ways to accomplish internationalization?

A. We are moving forward on several fronts. Research is a critical area, and in recent years we unveiled a grant opportunity, called “Global Programs of Distinction,” to support research aimed at solving the world’s biggest challenges.

The first recipients of the grant are conducting a multi-national climate change mapping and modeling project that will help determine the best options to balance Earth’s allocation of forest, food and biofuel land parcels. This work highlights UVA’s research excellence and its global impact.

Our “Global on Grounds” committee has been doing a broad examination of how an international perspective informs University programs and activities, beginning with tours of Grounds for prospective students all the way through to career services and the alumni experience. It draws input from faculty, students and staff from around UVA to make our University a truly global entity.

Q. How do international students and faculty contribute to this effort?

A. In 2014-15, the UVA community included students, faculty and scholars from 148 countries. We have more than 2,400 international students. They bring the world to UVA, and they enrich our classroom discussions with their diverse cultural knowledge and perspectives. Some professors and schools even form study groups with the specific aim of leveraging the broad geographic and cultural representation among their students.

UVA is also home to 166 student organizations with a global dimension. All these factors make UVA a globally oriented community.

Q. As a research university, UVA has connections to scholars around the world. How has this work impacted UVA and the globe?

A. Those relationships are delivering great results that give UVA research a global dimension. For example, UVA faculty members and their partners are working in India to make water cleaner, and they are working with Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion to make energy production cleaner and more efficient. We and our partners in South Africa and Brazil are striving to improve global health.

Those are just a few examples that have far-reaching results.

Q. Our alumni are increasingly working in points around the world. What kinds of opportunities does this global network provide?

A. Our alumni are an incredible resource. Just this past summer, Neal Rudge, a 1986 graduate of the College, provided an internship for fourth-year media studies major Cameron Harris at a consumer products licensing business in Bangkok, as part of our new Global Internship program. We are grateful to Neal and all of the alumni who give back to UVA in important ways and help us grow our global network. This engagement also sets a great example for our new graduates who are entering the global economy.

Q. How is UVA’s globalization effort contributing to Virginia?

A. In the summer of 2014, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the largest Chinese economic development investment and job creation project in the history of the commonwealth. The Shandong Tranlin Paper Company, a world-leading pulp and paper company, is basing the project in Chesterfield County near Richmond. The $2 billion deal is creating 2,000 new jobs for Virginians.

The chair and CEO of Tranlin is Jerry Peng, a 2003 graduate of the Darden School of Business. He has remained engaged with UVA and Virginia ever since. This new project could bring farmers more than $50 million each year, and fuel Virginia’s economy.

Q. Why is having a global education so important for students?

A. In today’s global economy, nations and economies are connected and mutually dependent; think of the effect of the Greek debt crisis on the broader global economy. We do our students a disservice if we fail to prepare them for this 21st-century reality.

This means we must infuse global perspectives in our curriculum, as with our new global studies major, and in extra-curricular activities such as the new Global Internships Program. In a global university, global perspectives are integrated into every facet of core-mission activities of teaching, research and service.

The Simon Award is an important acknowledgement of our efforts to make UVA truly global. This work is continuing, and I’m grateful to our faculty, staff and students who are contributing to the effort.

– See more at: 

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Darden Ph.D. Student Shares Past Experiences and Appreciation of Teaching

By Jessica HirschMoreno

Darden Ph.D. student Alvaro Moreno (Class of 2018) plans to incorporate his diverse professional background and research into his future teaching endeavors.

Originally from Cali, Colombia, Moreno has extensive professional experience in a variety of industries, including education, journalism, and policy research.  In his prior roles, Moreno taught economics at INALDE Business School at Universidad de la Sabana, and at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Colombia. He also served as an Economics Editor for the financial magazine Dinero, covering economics, finance, education and the environment, and performed research for various think tanks, both in Colombia and the United States.

“These experiences have already had an effect on my life,” Moreno said. “When I worked for Dinero, I realized that I really enjoyed writing and publishing. I like to send my ideas out, see how they are received, and get feedback.”

Moreno researches the relationship between entrepreneurship and income inequality in the Entrepreneurship program of study under E. Thayer Bigelow Associate Professor of Business Administration Gregory B. Fairchild. Moreno focuses on the causal factors involved and tries to find the net effect of entrepreneurship on income inequality.

“My concentration in business narrowed to entrepreneurship,” Moreno said.  “The professors here give you the freedom to discover your interests and figure out what you want to pursue. Darden appealed to me because not many PhD programs have an emphasis on entrepreneurship, and also because I really like the case method.”

After completion of the Ph.D. program, Moreno plans to be a professor and teach MBA students business concepts.

“I appreciate how much you can learn being a professor,” Moreno said. “I enjoy the opportunity to participate in rich discussions with peers.”

Prior to coming to Darden, Moreno visited the U.S. on many occasions, and he lived in Miami while he was a fellow for the Center for Hemispheric Policy at the University of Miami.

“Charlottesville is closer to the idea I had about living in the U.S., but I wasn’t expecting it to be such a vibrant city,” Moreno said. “When I lived in Miami, I was missing the American culture and setting.”

Outside of the Ph.D. program, Moreno spends time with his family and enjoys staying active by bicycling, running, and hiking in the Shenandoah.
“I was raised in a medium size city, and I love nature,” Moreno said. “If I have any time in the morning, I will bike or run whenever possible. Here you can find beautiful, safe parks less than 30 minutes away.”

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IAE’s Global Immersion Program Visits Darden and Hears from iLab Company

By Jessica Hirsch

This October, the Darden School welcomed a group of 19 students, one faculty member and one administrator from IAE, the Management and Business School of Universidad Austral located in Buenos Aires, Argentina for a week-long Global Immersion Program (GIP) taking place both in Charlottesville, Virginia and Washington, D.C.  After the Darden component of the program, the GIP students also visited companies in New York and spent two days taking classes at Harvard Business School.

While at Darden, students received instruction from several professors including Jon Megibow, Marc Modica, Rob Cross, Alan Beckenstein, and Lili Powell. In addition to case- based class sessions, students participated in visits to key sites such as the Darden Innovation Laboratory or iLab, as well as the Cato Institute and the U.S. Capitol building in D.C.

Although IAE is located in Argentina, visiting students hailed from four South American countries: Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay and Paraguay.

“The GIP was excellently structured, and it added value to our MBA Program because it opened our minds to new concepts and goals,” INALDE student and GIP program participant Gabriel Diaz said. “The professors were terrific in teaching new forms of negotiation and showing us which aspects to consider in different business models. This was the best international week I’ve experienced.”

As part of the program’s network focus, Philippe Sommer, director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and the iLab at UVA, explained the role of the Batten Institute and how the iLab Incubator provides incoming entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills necessary to propel their ideas forward.

In conjunction with his explanation, Sarah Rumbaugh (MBA ‘15), co-founder of RelishMBA,  gave a presentation about  her company and how the iLab has provided her assistance in developing her startup with fellow co-founder Zachary Mayo (MBA ‘15).

RelishMBA is an online recruiting platform for MBA students, corporate recruiters, and career services offices at top business schools. The organization utilizes company recruiting branding pages, access to student profiles through filtered search, data-driven matching, and relationship management tools to help students and recruiters streamline their recruiting and find more opportunities.

Rumbaugh detailed her own process of starting a business and gave a brief presentation pitch of her product, ending with a session for questions and discussion with students in the GIP program.

“It was a breath of fresh air to discuss entrepreneurship and its relation to business school with the international perspective the IAE GIP students brought to the dialogue,” Rumbaugh said. “The GIP program enabled a discussion on entrepreneurship’s impact on business school in an international context. The students’ insights were incredibly valuable to my company, RelishMBA, as we position for international growth.”

Through the diverse array of experiences, students learned a great deal of information on a variety of concepts in business, particularly networking.

“The topics I’ve studied in this program will be important for my future growth,” student Melissa Pantoja said.  “I am taking extraordinary tools back to Columbia which I’m sure will be very useful.”

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Darden Ph.D. Student Discusses His Move from Industry to Academia

By Jessica Hirsch

Sergiy-Demytriyev_smallCurrent doctoral student Sergiy Dmytriyev (Class of 2018) hopes to incorporate his international work experience in his future scholarship to make an important impact in academia.

Prior to joining the Ph.D. program at Darden, Sergiy worked for several large U.S. based companies in Europe. He started his career at Procter & Gamble in Ukraine, where he conducted research to better understand consumer behavior. Afterwards, he worked as a management consultant for Bain & Company in Russia, where he completed over 20 projects on strategy development, cost cutting, and organization design. Then, he took a position as Business Development Lead for Eastern Europe at Monsanto, a leading company in biotechnology and agriculture headquartered in Creve Coeur, Missouri.

“In the business world, jobs are limited by certain areas of responsibilities,” Sergiy said. “I decided to join academia because in the academic world, scholars can devote their research efforts to any area they are passionate about. I realized that I needed more time to think and reflect on the things which I became interested in, and I believed that academia could provide me with the opportunity.”

Originally from Ukraine, Sergiy has obtained a diverse, international education spanning several countries. Sergiy obtained an MBA from IESE Business School located in Barcelona, Spain, a top-three MBA program in Europe, and a Master of Arts in Economics from Michigan State University as a recipient of the U.S. Department of State, Muskie Graduate Fellowship program.  During his undergraduate study at the Vinnytsia National Technical University in Vinnytsia, Ukraine, he also completed a student exchange program at Lund University in Lund, Sweden.

“After the collapse of the USSR, the U.S. supported the exchange of students from former Soviet Republics to American institutions of higher education,” Sergiy said.  “There was a rigorous application process, and the U.S. Department of State placed me at Michigan State University. I met my wife, who also studied under the same program, during a summer internship in Washington D.C.”

Sergiy is currently researching Stakeholder Theory in the Business Ethics program of study under Professor R. Edward Freeman, Darden’s Elis and Signe Olsson Professor of Business Administration.

“When I decided to move into academia, I chose Darden because it is one of the main –if not the biggest– centers of business ethics worldwide,” Sergiy said. “My research focuses on exploring what success really means in business and the idea of business as it goes beyond the narrowly economic view of the firm. Companies are a part of society, and they need to create value for all of their stakeholders.”

In his own writing, Sergiy hopes to incorporate diverse perspectives about both the economy and society as a whole. He plans to pursue these ideas further under Professor Freeman’s guidance and hopes to share them with a broader community in the future.

“I think of myself as a scholar-in-training,” Sergiy said. “I’m amazed at the opportunities that students and professors have every day to learn and discuss new ideas and concepts. I greatly value Darden’s close-knit community and the ability to stay on top of contemporary themes in academia.”

Outside of the doctoral program, Sergiy enjoys spending time with his family, who also live here in Charlottesville.

“My family is a big part of my life,” Sergiy said. “When I’m not working on the Ph.D. program, I am spending time with my wife and three children. Charlottesville is a great place to raise a family.”

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Darden Student Returns from Summer Internship with the Boston Consulting Group in SE Asia

By Jessica Hirsch

This past summer, Vivek Mehta (Class of 2016) interned with the Boston Consulting Group out of their Singapore office. His main client was based in Indonesia, so Mehta spent a large portion of his internship traveling and working in Jakarta.

“I love the whole vibe of Southeast Asia,” Mehta said. “The countries are close geographically, but the culture is very diverse. As soon as you enter a new country, it’s a different place with new practices, food, and experiences.”

Vivek-MehtaMehta had lived in Singapore prior to studying at Darden, but he had never worked in Indonesia.

“I really learned to be aware of cultural differences while working with various kinds of people,” Mehta said. “I was in Indonesia during Ramadan this summer. Although I had some experience with Muslim culture from living in India, this experience allowed me to learn a great deal about certain customs.”

His client’s business dealt with various aspects of the paper production industry. As part of his project, Mehta considered the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of each function of the company. Although Mehta did most of his work from the company’s main headquarters in Jakarta, he also enjoyed the opportunity to talk to employees at one of the client’s paper mill facilities.

“Working in Jakarta, I realized the opportunity for growth in the region,” Mehta said. “This experience opened my mind to the scope of international business in Asia and how certain factors apply specifically to developing markets. I had to understand the background of my client to get to the root cause of issues to consider which factors impact productivity.”

Mehta’s team in Indonesia was mainly comprised of locals who were familiar with the language and culture, but the Singapore office had staff from many countries. In both locations, Mehta enjoyed the chance to interact with people from various nationalities and backgrounds.

“Southeast Asia is a growing hub for business, and it’s full of young people making their mark,” Mehta said. “I often met with colleagues and friends for lunch or dinner outside of work to build connections and explore the cities.”

Mehta advised that students thinking of interning abroad should research the culture and conditions of the cities they will be visiting to understand the diversity of different places and industries.

“I always looked forward to consulting,” Mehta said. “My expectations for this internship were that I would have the opportunity meet a variety of people, work with interesting challenges, and have fun. BCG was a dream company for me, and my team was very helpful. It was a great experience overall.”

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Question and Answer with Visiting Scholar Dr. Leire San-Jose

Dr. Leire San-Jose was a visiting scholar at Darden for three months this summer. She came to Darden from her post as Assistant Professor of Finance at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao, Spain.

Leire-San-Jose_v2Q:  How did you first hear about Darden and why did you decide to join us as a visiting scholar over the summer?

A: I was in Nottingham, UK for a CSR conference in 2007 when I heard first Edward Freeman speak. It was a very interesting narrative about the why companies exist. Then, I reviewed Freeman’s CV and I found out about Darden.

Years later, in 2010, we invited Professor Freeman to speak at the EBEN (European Business Ethics Network) Spain Conference held in Bilbao. Moreover, in our research group, ECRI Ethics in Finance & Social Value, we continued working with stakeholder theory and it has been very useful to understand the place in which these ideas developed.  It has been a pleasure to understand the atmosphere and the feelings and relationship that can be built at Darden Business School.

Q: What did you learn or work on at Darden that would’ve been hard or impossible elsewhere?

A: Professor Freeman and the team around him is very special. It was only here at Darden and close to Freeman, with his colleagues, students and house classes that I could fully understand the meaning of stakeholder theory. The relationships are first.  There are many things that are possible if you feel them and, for that, you need to live it.

Q: How will you apply your learning and research from over the summer to your larger research projects and goals?

A: We have developed a case study that I will use with my students in Spain because it is the best method to transfer the knowledge. Moreover, based on the stakeholder theory, we have developed a monetizing social value methodology, called SPOLY. The Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics has helped us in this process and we hope that we can continue to collaborate with them.

Q: You were previously a visiting scholar at the University of Huddersfield as well as at the Loyola University of Chicago. How did your time at Darden compare with those experiences?

A: Darden School is a clear case in which the students’ engagement is the core. The competitiveness-collaborative balance is difficult to maintain, but Darden does it very well and the ethical perspective around the school is clear.  I think that Darden is an example in those subjects.

Q: Could you share a little bit about your interest in ethics and why your current research focuses on ethical aspects of trade credit and payment policies?

A: My focus on ethics is relatively new because I started in pure cash management. After years working with the classical corporate finance theories, I noticed that there were some subjects that were not taken into consideration because of their focus on the efficiency of tools more than on the value for the people who use them. Intentions, promises or effects on others are important in a financial decision, as well. There is a collaboration perspective that should be taken into consideration, so that egocentrism can be substituted for team work to get better results.  It is important create value for companies, but also for society.

Q: Ed Freeman was your supervisor during your time at Darden. What did you learn from working with him directly?

A: Ed is a very close and natural person and it was very easy to work and speak with him. The Darden faculty members are great and the closeness and trust generated around Freeman allows students and colleagues to feel free; very important to advance knowledge. I understand the business concept based on the relationships and not on transactions. This new narrative is, from my point of view, the future of the business context.



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Darden’s Network in India Makes Great Impact

By Marc Johnson, Executive Director for Global Affairs, Darden School of Business

“What makes the Darden School different?”  After a week frequently answering this question in private meetings and Admissions events for 200 prospective MBA students in 3 cities across India, I was struck by how much the week had been a living demonstration of the answer to that question.  At 7,000+ miles away from the Darden campus in Charlottesville, New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai might not be the places you would expect to find what distinguishes Darden among global institutions of higher education.  But as I reflected on the time engaging with prospective students, alumni, corporate and academic partners and other friends across India in August, I think much of what is special about Darden can be found there.  Everywhere Kristen Egan, Assistant Director of Admissions, and I went, Darden alumni stood by to help welcome those of us coming through from Charlottesville, to share their insights on current events in India, to share their experiences at Darden with those prospective students and to gather socially.

The Darden network is global in its reach and in many ways unmatched in its intensity.  It is energizing to find alumni who are passionate for the school and willing to give back as I move around the globe for Darden.  As part of this trip was to lay groundwork for our Global MBA for Executives students’ residency in Mumbai and Delhi and our MBA students’ Global Business Experience in Bangalore and Delhi next January, many of our meetings were about arranging engagements to make those learning experiences as meaningful as possible.  Alumni offered to welcome our students into their firms ranging from a multinational information technology firm to a start-up that is bringing new food products to the Indian market.  I was struck that our alumni not only opened their own businesses and organizations for our students but their personal and professional networks, introducing us to everyone from top leaders in the Indian business world to high energy entrepreneurs to passionate social impact leaders.  The Darden alumni in India are not only passionate about the school, they are engaged in advancing educational opportunities and learning for Darden in this important global environment.

Seeing what alumni are doing in India was another insight into how Darden prepares entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders who step forward to change the world.  Darden alumni have had an impact in India in many ways.  This may be creating and growing new industries as VN Dalmia ’84 of Dalmia Continental did in launching the Leonardo Olive Oil brand and growing olive oil into a leading food item in the market or leading the growth of global brands to the market as when Ashok Bajpai ’90 helped grow Yum! Brands in India and is now heading global security firm G4S, or leading the development of the private equity industry to increase access to capital for promising ventures as Rajan Mehra ‘93 has as co-founder of Nirvana Venture Advisors.  A common thread in the alumni we met with was this passion and ability to create change.

Darden is fortunate to have alumni and partners around the world who are passionate about the school and helping us meet our mission.  For the prospective MBA students who came out to our events, they got a glimpse of how the transformational education experience at Darden could equip them to meet their passions with support from a highly energized global network.  We are fortunate to have alumni who are not only stepping forward to make a difference around the globe but passionate about Darden and willing to come out and spend an evening talking with prospective students not just about Darden but their insights on pursuing an MBA more broadly.


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International Food Festival 2015

Darden’s International Food Festival is one event that the whole community looks forward to each year. Students, faculty, and staff bring families and friends to join in feasting on foods from all around the world and watching students show off their cultures through song, dance, and traditional dress.

This year’s International Food Festival, organized by Darden’s International Business Society with support from the Center for Global Initiatives, took place on Sunday 4 October. The event featured food from 25 different countries around the world and over 520 people attended.


Team Members of “Brazilian Storm”


The crowd joins in for a dance!


A new prop at IFF this year!


Nigeria and Ghana Team Members


Such fun to try new foods!


Team Russia “Matryoshka”


Team India “Desi Tadka”

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Visiting Finnish Scholar Discusses Research and Darden’s Appeal

By Jessica Hirsch

Entrepreneurship researcher and grounded theorist Markko Hamalainen is working on his post-doctoral research at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.

marrko2Hamalainen was drawn to Darden by Professor Saras D. Sarasvathy, Isidore Horween Research Professor of Business Administration, whom he referenced often in his prior research.

“I wanted to connect with Professor Sarasvathy about her research on effectuation,” Hamalainen said. “Darden has a very inspiring atmosphere with many well-established scholars such as Professor Sarasvathy and Professor Freeman. There are so many interesting people in the other departments of UVA as well.”

Hamalainen received two years of research funding from his native country, Finland, and does not have restrictions or terms of acceptance, such as residency requirements or teaching obligations. However, Hamalainen is organizing a seminar on grounded theory methodology with two colleagues from other universities, which will include an open lecture and workshop taking place at Darden in February. Grounded theory methodology focuses on the process of creating new theories based on observations. Hamalainen studied this method directly from its co-originator Dr. Barney Glaser.

“For me, grounded theory methodology is a natural way of doing research,” Hamalainen said. “With my own entrepreneurial background, I had a starting point to observe the phenomenon of how entrepreneurs progress. I investigate the psychological factors that motivate entrepreneurs and give them the drive to start a new business or venture.”

His dissertation explored the concept of entrepreneurial recycling, the process by which entrepreneurs sequentially start projects in different areas of life and use the experiences and information from their earlier endeavors as stepping stones.

“I also call this Renaissance entrepreneurship,” Hamalainen said. “This is because entrepreneurs with passions in multiple fields are able to combine their interests in their work, similar to how Leonardo da Vinci was able to combine his passions in art and science.”

Hamalainen has personal experience with entrepreneurship. He sells Finnish sauna equipment to other countries around the world, such as Japan.

Upon moving to Charlottesville, Hamalainen has been able to take advantage of many of the opportunities and benefits of the area, including hiking in the Shenandoah National Park and practicing meditation in Darden’s interfaith space.

“I really enjoy Darden’s warm community in which students and faculty relate to each other,” Hamalainen said. “I also love the nature. When I came here, I rented a car and drove from New York to Charlottesville. When I entered Virginia, I started to feel that this is a place I could really live.”

As part of another of Hamalainen’s diverse interests, he would like to start a band with other Darden community members. The purpose of the group would be to meet regularly to learn and practice a variety of instruments, which would not only be fun, but also a way to tinker with one’s identity.

“One of the major obstacles that is preventing people from becoming entrepreneurs is that they don’t perceive themselves as such,” Hamalainen said. “I think that the same is true for playing music.”

If interested in this opportunity, email Hamalainen at or visit his webpage to explore his research further.


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