|Paul Lewis Siddoway|
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Student is inspired by professor who reminds him of Steve Martin
I had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Jim Davis the other day. I like what I’m studying and it’s not very often that I talk to someone who makes me wish I was in their program, but Dr. Davis did. For a guy with white hair he has so much enthusiasm for what he’s doing, it’s rather infectious. He kind of reminded me of Steve Martin in that way, although there was significantly less banjo playing.
So far this summer, he’s been on six international trips, and he’s about to head out to Chile next week. Whether he’s giving keynote addresses or attending business strategy meetings, he said he regularly hits the other five inhabited continents.
He says it came about because he’s fluent in German, and he started consulting companies in Germany, then Europe and elsewhere, on corporate strategy planning, mergers and acquisitions, strategic positioning, new product lines, cost analysis or general performance improvements. Since then, he has always been on the move.
He does admit that he will have to cut back when school starts, but he says that experience is vital to his teaching. As part of his lessons, he says he constantly brings in the experiences he’s had in the past couple of weeks with companies like Bayer, the pharmaceutical company, and helps his students see the real world applications.
That kind of practicality is what I like to see in my professors.
He told me that nothing he does is mutually exclusive; it’s all interconnected.
“To me, everything has a double bottom line,” Dr. Davis said. “When a student comes in, you aught to want to help the student, but when I help a student, I’m helping the Huntsman School. And if I recommend a company to hire a student, that also opens an avenue for research.”
It makes me wish I wasn't graduating in December; it also makes me wish I had time to switch my minor at least.
Oh well. There's still my masters.
Paul Lewis Siddoway