PhD student and #LBSsusty Fitbit winner Oriane GeorgeacBy Rachel Harper
Oriane is in the third year of a five-year PhD in Organisational Behaviour. She won our recent #LBSsusty FitBit competion and, as we dropped off her prize, we asked her a little about her research, future plans and the life of a PhD student at LBS.
Oriane - what is the focus of your PhD studies?
I am studying Organisational Behaviour with a particular focus on diversity in the workplace and how organisations talk about it. Diversity is now a big issue and organisations need to engage leaders, employees, as well as female and minority job candidates. Engaging all these audiences can be difficult as it means addressing very different needs, and the language that organisations use to promote diversity is crucial - it can either help them make their case, or put people off.
That sounds like an interesting topic - where are you hoping it will lead you?
I hope to become a diversity scholar, and to combine academic research with MBA teaching. I would also love the opportunity to work on the side with real organisations, to see how they can improve their approach to making the workplace a more diverse environment.
What does your typical day at LBS look like?
Typically, we have some meetings with faculty members to discuss research and spend time designing studies, analysing and interpreting results. Ultimately, I work towards publishing articles - as many as possible, but also as high-quality as possible, to build credibility.
I also spend some time integrating recent findings into the teaching materials for MBA classes. This is particularly important to me as it ensures that the MBA students get up-to-date research and that my research is going with them out into the 'real world'.
What has been your favourite LBS moment?
Our annual Trans-Altantic Doctoral Conference (TADC) where graduate students from the best Schools in US and Europe meet at LBS and share their latest research findings. Not only do you get to learn what your peers are doing and what the latest trends in research are, but it's a chance to forge long-lasting connections across the pond and to feel proud of the School.
You are a Westminster Recycling Champion – what does this involve?
As a group of volunteers, we are trying to promote recycling within the Westminster borough and to drive down the percentage of non-recycled waste. We promote recycling in lots of different ways - in local libraries and street fairs with goodies and games, we organise swap shops, and give speeches all around the City of Westminster.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
To do your best and not feel threatened by feedback. Lots can be learnt from the criticism of others once you realise it’s not personal– it’s not about you, it’s about the work, and the work is not you. It only reflects the best you could do at one point in time, and integrating others’ advice can help you grow way beyond your initial « best » point. So capitalise on the help that people are willing to give you, and don’t let your ego get in the way.
What’s on your ‘bucket list’?
Crossing the USA on Route 66 (in the spirit of novelist Jim Harrison, whose book The English Major I recommend).
What keeps you motivated?
Intrinsic interest in my research. There is high pressure to publish in academia and the best way to cope with it for me is to be truly interested in what I study. Also - the hope that my research can make a difference in the real world for real organisations, and provide insight that improves working lives.
Tell us something surprising about you
Academics aren't always all about books and research. I practiced karate for eight years and participated in the French national championships.