January 25, 2024 • By The UCI Paul Merage School of Business
In this Q&A, we have the pleasure of delving into the professional journey and perspectives of Professor Hope Schau, a distinguished member of the faculty at the Paul Merage School of Business, University of California, Irvine. With a rich academic background that includes a PhD, MA in Comparative Culture, and an MBA in Marketing from UC Irvine, Professor Schau brings a unique blend of expertise and experience to the table. Her journey from the Eller College of Management to her pivotal role at the Filene Research Institute's Center of Excellence has deeply influenced her understanding of consumer behavior, technological mediation, and innovative market practices. As she steps into her role as the Gilly Family Endowed Chair in Marketing and the Faculty Director of the Center for Health Care Management and Policy, Professor Schau shares her insights on the evolving landscape of business education, especially in the healthcare sector, and offers valuable advice for aspiring business leaders. Join us as we explore the depth of her experiences and the forward-thinking approach that defines her contribution to the Merage School and the broader field of business education.
Professional Journey: "Can you share with us a bit about your professional journey and the experiences that have shaped your career? How have these experiences prepared you for your role at the Merage School?"
My journey has been a rich tapestry of academic and research experiences, beginning with my PhD and MA in Comparative Culture, and an MBA with a focus on marketing—all from the University of California, Irvine. Each step, from my time at the Eller College of Management to leading the Filene Research Institute's Center of Excellence, has been instrumental in refining my understanding of consumer behavior and technological mediation in business. These roles have honed my expertise in the interplay between innovation, market practices, and brand engagement, which I believe are vital for shaping business leaders at the Merage School.
Decision to Join Merage School: "What motivated you to join the Merage School? Were there specific aspects of the school's culture, academic environment, or vision that resonated with you?"
The Merage School's commitment to fostering a culture of innovation and its forward-thinking approach to business education and inclusive excellence deeply resonated with me. The school's vision aligns with my research interests, particularly in how markets are shaped by technological advances and consumer practices. Additionally, the opportunity to serve as the inaugural Gilly Family Endowed Chair of Marketing and the Faculty Director of the Center for Health Care Management and Policy presented a unique platform to influence and contribute to the field of healthcare management, which is a critical area of business education.
Perspectives on Business Education: "Based on your experience, how do you view the evolving landscape of business education in the healthcare field?”
The landscape of business education in healthcare is rapidly evolving, mirroring the dynamic nature of the healthcare industry itself. There's an increasing need for business professionals who not only understand the traditional principles of business but are also adept at navigating the complexities of healthcare systems, policy, and innovation. Business education must, therefore, be adaptive, incorporating cutting-edge research and practical insights to prepare graduates for the multifaceted challenges they will face.
Advice for the Merage School Alumni Community: "What advice would you give to our alumni community aspiring to succeed in the business world? Are there specific strategies or mindsets that you believe are crucial for success?"
Success in the business world often hinges on the ability to anticipate change and adapt swiftly. I advise our alumni to cultivate a mindset of continuous learning and to embrace flexibility. Strategy and foresight, paired with the ability to engage in collaborative value creation, are paramount. Moreover, understanding the customer's journey and leveraging technological advancements can yield innovative solutions, drive brand growth and promote better patient care and health outcomes. Keep your curiosity alive, and let it fuel your pursuit of excellence and leadership in business.