How one student's PhD expanded to an MBA

I began my academic career similar to many 18-year-olds: excited, yet confused as to which area I wanted to major in. Fortunately, I was advised in high school to attend a local community college which maintained a rigorous curriculum and placed strongly as a feeder school to universities within the state of Michigan and throughout the Midwest. After two years, I eventually transferred to a large state institution earning a bachelor’s and a master’s in business related fields. During this time (2008) the economy was facing its worst recession in recent memory, shrinking the job market dramatically for new graduates, particularly within Michigan given its connection to the auto industry. As a result, I accepted several administrative and teaching positions at local colleges and universities in the following years.

Personally, the downturn of the economy turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as working for these institutions led me to pursue a PhD, and to eventually delve into the financial world of higher education. I was fortunate enough to have fantastic advisors my first few years as a doctoral student, urging me to explore different areas of the university, such as the business and law schools. After an internship in the Office of University Marketing & Advancement Communications assisting on the $1 billion For the Bold campaign, I opted to expand my academic repertoire by adding an MBA to the PhD, concentrating in finance.

In my mind, the MBA coupled with the PhD is a bulletproof combination, as it allows for the deep exploration of some of the theoretical underpinnings of business topics, with the real-world applicability of an MBA; working with teams, networking, examining cases and exploring current business issues. I have no doubt the combination will not only lead to initial success and opportunity, but also to numerous opportunities in the future.

Most people assume I must be studying or locked within the library for hours on end given all the work required of a PhD and an MBA, but in actuality it’s all about balance. Monday through Friday is “strictly business” (pun intended). However, on the weekends I enjoy working with my hands building and restoring vintage motorcycles, cooking new foods, traveling around the East Coast, and partaking in a new passion of mine, judo.

As part of the Class of 2020, full-time PhD/MBA student Anthony Siradakis grew up in Bay City, MI, earning a Bachelor’s in Public Relations and Master’s in Human Resources Administration prior to enrolling at William & Mary in 2015. He joined the Raymond A. Mason School of Business in August of 2018 while concurrently enrolled in a doctoral program with a focus in Higher Education Administration.