How long have you worked at the Uni? What does your role involve?
Now in my third year at the University as a Professor of Marketing, I am taking on the role of Head of Division for the Marketing, Business and Society division, one of our four divisions within the School of Management.
Building on my PhD in Psychology from Harvard, I have spent the last 20 years exploring the psychology of the consumer. My programme of research, The New Psychology of Marketing, examines among other things how emotions affect consumer decision making. So, for example, seeking to understand why some television commercials are so annoying.
What would you most like to achieve while at the University?
I am really passionate about faculty and faculty development. One of the things I really love about being at the School of Management here at Bath is that it’s an environment that really encourages people to thrive. It’s a very supportive environment.
I really hope that I can make an impact and contribute to the bigger whole as we seek to make the School of Management and the University of Bath even better than it is. Continuously looking to develop onwards and upwards can present challenges, and one of the challenges I see sometimes can be to make sure that we do that as a collective, and we identify ways to bring everyone in to that challenge.
What piece of advice would you like to give to a student?
You are surrounded by an amazing group of fellow students in an in incredible place (and the faculty aren’t bad either!) and it presents so many opportunities. Embrace those opportunities and make the most of the potential for an incredibly rich experience as a student. Try to remember your marks are just one piece of that rich experience.
Who was your most influential teacher/educator, and why?
Daniel Gilbert, my advisor at Harvard had an incredible breadth of understanding, not only of all things academic, but the ability to apply it real life. Having dropped out of high school at 15, he lived on a bus while he and his friends travelled the US. He later graduated from a community college and went on to publish science fiction novels. It is hard to imagine how he then went on to receive a PhD from Princeton, become Harvard’s Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology and star in MetLife Superbowl ads.
More recently, from a leadership perspective, I am so inspired and impressed by our Dean in the School of Management, Veronica Hope Hailey. I don’t think I have ever worked with someone who has been quite so engaged and focused on the success of the faculty, School and University. The fact that she is able to sustain an inclusive culture while maintaining a tireless commitment to excellence is truly remarkable.
What was your first job?
Waiting tables at a motel diner called “The Brown Derby” in Montana.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A cosmetologist. It sounds a bit like a scientist but it’s not! That’s a cosmologist. I aspired to be a glorified beautician.
What’s the one thing you know now that you wish you’d known when you were younger?
I’ve always known the value of hard work, but it wasn’t until I gained a better sense of my options that I found something I was passionate about to direct that hard work towards. As a child, the only women I saw working cut my hair. As an undergraduate I worked as a research assistant for a female professor that inspired me to be an academic.
Everybody has to learn how to do things. Nobody was born knowing how to be a CEO or a professor. We just need to find out which resources to leverage to develop the necessary knowledge and skills. Among those resources is the wealth of knowledge of other people. I am incredibly grateful for the amazing mentors that have helped me.
Tell us your favourite joke.
When I leave for work, I tell my kids I have to take a bath to go to shower - to which they reply: “No, Mommy! You have to take a shower to go to Bath!” As a mother of 5, I’m afraid I don’t have enough headspace to retain any better ones.