When Janice Carrillo began her master's studies at Georgia Tech College of Management in 1990, she had no idea she'd one day be teaching business classes herself.
She'd originally planned to earn only an MSM (now known as the MBA) to help her advance her engineering career. Taking years to acquire a PhD was not on her mental agenda.
"But after a year, I realized I really enjoyed the academic side of solving big-picture managerial issues, so I decided to pursue my doctorate," says Carrillo, who completed her master's before earning her PhD in 1997.
Focusing her doctoral studies on operations management, she says she had an excellent experience in the PhD program.
"I got strong fundamentals as well as a good flavor of what it takes to do research and publish," says Carrillo, who won a prestigious fellowship from Intel and the Best Paper Award at the Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology during her Georgia Tech years.
After graduation, she taught at Washington University in St. Louis before joining the faculty at the University of Florida's Warrington College of Business in Gainesville, Florida, where she serves as associate professor of operations management.
Carrillo teaches operations management and supply chain management courses while focusing her research on management of technology, including new product development strategies and process improvement. She has published articles in such prestigious journals as Management Science, Production and Operations Management, and IEEE Transactions.
"My interest in technology management was fueled by my experience as an electrical engineer on aerospace projects at McDonnell Douglas," says Carrillo, who worked for the company in the two years between graduating from the University of California-Irvine and enrolling at Georgia Tech.
She and her husband, Michael, both decided to return to school at the same time. While she was earning her master's and doctoral degrees, he earned master's degrees in management, physics, and electrical engineering from Georgia Tech. He now works as a senior consulting sales manager for Oracle.
Carrillo has maintained contact with Georgia Tech College of Management through periodic research collaborations with Cheryl Gaimon, Regents' professor of operations management. Gaimon served as Carrillo's advisor during her years in the doctoral program.
"I can't say enough about Cheryl," Carrillo says. "She was a great advisor and very helpful in getting my academic career started. Over the years, she has had some prospective PhD prospective students call me, and I'm always happy to talk with them about my positive experiences in the program."
She says the opportunity to teach Management Science to undergraduates at Georgia Tech gave her a leg up in her first job search, because doctoral students at some business schools don't get the opportunity to be instructors. "It was a great experience, preparing me to walk confidently into the classroom at my first academic job."