Saeideh Mirghorbani, 34, is Assistant Professor of Business Analytics and Operations at Binghamton University, where she’s worked since 2018. She currently teaches Operations Management; Spreadsheet Modeling and Decision Making.
She has a PhD in Management Science from The University of Alabama, and an MS in Production Management and BS in Industrial Management from Allameh Tabatabaei University in Tehran, Iran.
Dr. Mirghorbani’s research interests include applied operations for healthcare, Markov decision processes, as well as optimization, simulation and machine learning. She is a Charles E. Scheidt Faculty Fellow in Atrocity Prevention and named on the SUNY Binghamton Teaching Honor Roll in 2019 and 2020. She is als winner of several research grants and awards.
LIFE AS A BUSINESS SCHOOL PROFESSOR
I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… I was a college student. I have always enjoyed teaching, and I knew I would eventually be a teacher. So, when I started my Ph.D. studies, I focused on skills required to succeed on this path.
What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? I am currently working on two main topics, healthcare management, and social issues. In the first category, I focus on improving patients’ lives using operations research techniques. In the second category, I use data analytics to answer questions related to social issues such as the gender gap, education, and discrimination. I have realized many healthcare issues could potentially be fixed with the help of operations management. Also, the world of data reveals facts that have been hidden for ages!
If I weren’t a business school professor, I’d be a business owner!
What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? We as learners tend to forget materials soon if we don’t experience them in our lives or encounter them in our jobs. That is the reason I focus on simplifying complicated concepts through day-to-day examples. This way, an intangible idea turns to a tangible one and, of course, memorable. I have realized that students like this experience better than the traditional classroom and more often get involved in classroom activities.
One word that describes my first-time teaching: timid!
Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: Take it easy and enjoy the journey!
Professor I most admire and why: I feel indebted to my Ph.D. advisors. I would not be in the place I am without the supervision of Dr. Sharif Melouk and Dr. John Mittenthal. They are great researchers and wonderful human beings who not only guided my research, but also helped me overcome the obstacles of graduate school.
TEACHING BUSINESS SCHOOL STUDENTS
What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? It is enjoyable to observe how students’ business-related thought processes improve throughout the semester.
What is most challenging? The challenge happens when I must convey complicated topics and at the same time keep the students engaged.
In one word, describe your favorite type of student: Diligent and honest!
In one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Slackers!
When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… hopefully fair and sometimes generous.
LIFE OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
What are your hobbies? I do yoga and love art. I paint, knit, and crochet whenever I have time. Also, I enjoy listening to music.
How will you spend your summer? I have multiple research projects that are right now begging for more of my attention! I am planning to spend the summer working on them and go on a couple of fun trips with my family.
Favorite place(s) to vacation: I usually prefer new destinations when it comes to vacationing. So far, I have enjoyed the nature of N.Y. state and Pennsylvania as well as urban areas in Seattle and Washington DC. Also, I love the architecture in Montreal.
Favorite book(s): I like reading self-improvement books, and my favorite so far has been Option B by Sheryl Sandberg. I also read articles from the Guardian and the Business insider.
What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? In the crime and drama genre, Breaking Bad is my all-time favorite – The storyline is perfect, and the way it displays the gradual transition from good to bad is mesmerizing.
I am a big fan of Friends and Seinfeld in comedy and sitcoms.
What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? I listen to R&B, pop, and sometimes indie music. And my favorite artists are Alicia Keys, FINNEAS, and Damien Rice.
THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS
If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… Sustainability and humanity! I believe these two issues are the main challenges we currently face, and businesses have had significant roles in causing them. Business students need to be trained about issues such as global warming, forced and child labor, gender gap, and racism to be able to manage and improve not only their own businesses but also the entire society. We should train socially responsible managers in business schools!
In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at… being socially and environmentally responsible! They need to invest in issues such as gender gap, racism, forced and child labor, and global warming, and reduce and potentially eradicate business-related causes of these issues.
I’m grateful for… life and health and, of course, my family!