University of Washington, Foster School of Business
“Esther Uduehi has made a massive contribution to the field by co-founding the Tenure Project. This national program intends to aid the promotion, through self means and allyship, of Black, Native, and Latinx junior faculty to obtain tenure in business schools. Foster hosted the inaugural conference in August 2022. Esther helmed this initiative which brought together more than 100 junior faculty (often teaching undergraduates) from various schools from across the country to build community.” – Christina Fong, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs
Esther Uduehi, 33, is Assistant Professor of Marketing and International Business at University of Washington Foster School of Business, and co-founder of The Tenure Project.
She studies how societal dynamics and diversity impact the way consumers interact with the marketplace, including intersectionality, cultural appropriation, and racial identification. She has presented her work at premier marketing conferences such as the Association of Consumer Research and the Society of Consumer Psychology.
She is winner of the Association for Consumer Research Best Working Paper Award, the Eli Jones Research Award, the Ilana Shanks Emerging Research Award Honorable Mention, The Wharton School George James Fellowship, and the American Marketing Association Valuing Diversity Scholarship.
At current institution since what year? 2021
Education: PhD from Wharton School in Marketing, MSc from Oxford University in Nature, Science, and Environmental Policy, B.A. from Indiana University in Mathematics and Chemistry
List of Undergraduate courses you teach: Marketing Concepts (Undergraduate Core Class)
TELL US ABOUT LIFE AS A BUSINESS SCHOOL PROFESSOR
I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when … I learned I could study identity and diversity in business school contexts!
What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? Seeing consumers as having not just multiple identities, but overlapping identities can lead to more inclusive, relevant marketing outcomes.
If I weren’t a business school professor, I’d be … a writer on a television show or interior designer. Maybe both.
What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? I like to use real-world examples and activities to illuminate marketing concepts, and most importantly, every class needs to include laughter or I have failed.
One word that describes my first time teaching: Masks
Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: People have many definitions of what business (and marketing) means and that’s ok.
Professor I most admire and why: I admire my best friend, a physician, who embodies all the qualities I hope to bring to my students: she has empathy for her students, is a great listener, and constantly asks questions that make people think deeply about the subject matter.
TEACHING BUSINESS SCHOOL STUDENTS
What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? The energy they bring to topics in the classroom and when they connect ideas we learned in previous class to current ones. I love when students ask questions and try to think about how the topics we are covering apply to real-world situations.
What is most challenging? When a student is struggling and I can’t figure out a solution that will help them.
In one word, describe your favorite type of student: inquisitive
In one word, describe your least favorite type of student: entitled
When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as: fair
LIFE OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
What are your hobbies? Visiting new places, reading Architectural Digest, and experiencing live comedy.
How will you spend your summer? Working on research, seeing friends, and traveling.
Favorite place(s) to vacation: I LOVE to travel, so a few places that I would to explore or reexplore are South Africa, Japan, San Pedro de Atacama, Buenos Aires, Malta, Sicily, Mexico City. I simply can’t narrow my list down.
Favorite book(s): I’m currently reading The Sellout by Paul Beatty and Severance by Ling Ma
What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? Anything featuring the work of Michaela Coel, Sharon Horgan, or Sally Wainwright. They capture both the humor and drama of life in ways that make me watch their shows several times just to be in the universes they have created.
What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? Depends on the situation, but I love artists that understand the relationship between lyrics, melody, and rhythm. But, I also love a good pop song!
THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS
If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this: courses focused on understanding how historical context has impacted business and business decisions. Students deserve a curriculum that allows for connecting business with history so that they can hopefully improve our society.
In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at … demonstrating their societal value.
I’m grateful for … my husband, family, friends, colleagues, and the ability to think and discuss topics that matter most to me!
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