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Changing Academic Life
50 min2020 JAN 27
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on being strategic, the fast track to tenure, and finding his path

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Pejman Mirza-Babaei is an Associate Dean Industry Partnerships, and an Associate Professor of User Experience Research, in the Faculty of Business and Information Technology at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Pejman’s story spans Iran, the UK and Canada as he discusses his path from Masters to working in industry to doing a PhD closely tied with a start-up, and then his experiences moving into a tenure track position immediately post PhD, well in fact before his PhD, and later taking a break to work back in industry before working out that academia is what he wants to. What’s particularly interesting in his story is how strategic he has been in exploring his options and making decisions, leading to him getting tenure in very quick time. And what else is interesting is how he is always seeking feedback and open to learn. There is a Part 2 of this conversation (coming next) where he talks about the uncertainty of life post-tenure and how he has navigated these new choices, as well as what he has learning moving into more faculty leadership roles.