The Haslam family is so supportive. I couldn’t ask for a better environment.
Change has been a constant throughout the life of assistant professor of management Codou Samba. But after living, working and/or studying in five countries and three continents, she hopes to call Knoxville home, as she once did.
Growing up, Samba lived in France, Senegal, Cote D’Ivoire, the United States and Tunisia, as her family followed her father in his work at the African Development Bank. She attended UT for her undergraduate education and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering in 2004.
A far cry from her current intellectual pursuits, Samba’s engineering degree led her into a career with Rohm and Hass Company, now part of Dow Chemical. She worked in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Texas as part of the Rohm & Haas Engineering Development Program. While in Texas, she began working on her MBA in the evenings and thinking about changing career paths.
Last year, Samba earned her doctorate in business administration from University of Houston and returned to UT to join the faculty of the Haslam College of Business.
“UT and Knoxville have changed, but a lot has remained the same,” Samba says.
In the midst of her doctoral program, she also became the mother of two boys, the eldest beginning kindergarten just as she took the position at Haslam. She is grateful that, for once in her life, she is conquering this next stage in a place she is familiar with. She is also very grateful for the comradery at Haslam.
“The Haslam family is so supportive. I couldn’t ask for a better environment,” Samba says. “Everyone wants to see me succeed, and that is priceless.”
Samba would love to remain in Knoxville for the foreseeable future and is striving towards tenure at UT. In her primary research stream, she uses a socio-cognitive approach in investigating the organizational outcomes of strategic decision making. Her current projects involve studying the use and effectiveness of intuition in strategic decision making.
“I decided to work at a university because I love the energy you feel when you walk around a large campus,” says Flora. “It’s inspiring to be surrounded by students, faculty and staff who are doing amazing things.”
“As I began my career, I found there was a difference in the level of preparation and exposures of students from other schools compared to those I gained at UT."
“At Haslam, I was surrounded by professors that constantly pushed me to dream bigger, but also equipped me with the skills needed to achieve those dreams."