Experiential / Reality-based Learning / September 21, 2021

Chen Kicks Off Undergraduate Research Series

Chen Kicks Off Undergraduate Research Series

Maryland Smith students are encouraged to be fearless in expanding their knowledge and experience in business. For some students, this includes playing a role in the world of research.

Kicking off a discussion series on undergraduate research opportunities at Smith, Gilad Chen, associate dean for research and Robert H. Smith Chair in Organizational Behavior, outlined the importance and utility of research for undergraduate students. The hour-long conversation was the first of several planned for this academic year, all of which will be led by Victor Mullins, associate dean of undergraduate studies.

“Research can be used as a tool for understanding the world and people around us,” Chen said. “Having experience in research can also act as a career enabler in knowledge-intensive jobs, such as market research internships and consulting.”

Having recently conducted research on the interplay of individuals and team effectiveness in professional football teams in Europe, Chen offered the audience of undergraduate students a broader way of thinking of human capital.

“We wanted to understand the impact of hiring better (and more expansive) individual talent on a team’s performance,” Chen said. “We found that lower-performing teams benefit more from investing in hiring more expansive (and better) new individual talent than higher-performing teams. This sort of knowledge can help companies with hiring and restructuring decisions.”

Chen emphasized that research allows us to learn about a subject incrementally over time and may involve follow-up research to verify results. “The workforce changes all the time and we have to keep up with what is going on in the world of work.”

Inside the Smith School, research is an opportunity to learn from other faculty members outside the classroom and further explore a business topic of interest. Chen further encouraged students to use the Maryland Smith website as a resource to find out what kind of research Smith faculty members are involved in.

“I hope that this opens your eyes to another opportunity the Smith School offers,” Chen said.

Additional discussions in the research series:


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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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