Marianna Rolbina, PhD Fellow, Cass Business School, talks about her experience at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Chicago

Published Monday, 8th October, 2018 in University news

The Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management (AOM) is the largest annual conference in the field of Management, with over 10,000 participants. I attended it for the first time this year, and it has been quite a unique experience.

Firstly, it has been a great opportunity for me to meet many scholars whose research I have been reading since the start of my PhD. It would be difficult for me to meet them elsewhere, as they are based in other schools, often on the other continent.I got to discuss my research with some of them and got very useful feedback on how to improve operationalisation of some of the variables I use and whom I may want to contact to ask for some expert opinion on my work. I strongly believe these discussions will help me when going through the final stages of preparing my papers for publication.

On social events organised by different divisions, I also had the opportunity to catch up with my former PhD colleagues and other acquaintances who are currently based abroad: in France, Spain, USA. It was a very positive emotional experience.Moreover, through discussions with them I gained a better understanding of the current job opportunities in different countries. This was particularly helpful for me, as I am currently finishing my PhD and going on a job market, so additional insights were useful.

I was also a volunteer ambassador for the Strategy division, which was a great way for me to expand my network by meeting fellow PhDs from Strategy departments of other universities as well as faculty members. This work also has given me some insight into the effort that goes into organising academic conferences. So, I am now better prepared to organise such events in the future.

Apart from socialising, I got to attend a number of consortia and paper sessions. To be honest, choosing which ones to attend was a challenge: I felt like a child in a candy store! In the end, despite belonging to Strategy and Organisation and Management Theory divisions, I also attended events organised by Organisational Behaviour and Entrepreneurship divisions whose topics were close to my research focus, as well as a part of the conference run by the Teaching and Learning division. It was a unique opportunity to get insights into different research streams, as usually conferences are organised around a single topic or discipline.

However, AOM allows learning about the latest developments in your own field as well as in neighbouring ones. I believe it is a great way to promote interdisciplinary approach to management problems. For me, attending these sessions provided a fresh perspective on some of the questions I investigate in my own research and a new inspiration.Overall, attending AOM has been a great way for me to gain a number of insights in a very short time as well as to promote my own research, and I am glad I was fortunate enough to take part in it.