My name is Guzi Huang and I started my PhD journey at the Chair of Prof. Homburg after completing my master’s at the University of Mannheim in October 2021.
People who don’t know much about marketing might wonder why anyone would do a PhD for marketing at all. Once upon a time, I myself also held that opinion. It was Prof. Homburg’s research seminar during my master’s that sparked my interest in marketing research and made me realized that what interests me most about marketing is actually the theoretical foundations rather than the implementation of marketing projects.
Prof. Homburg was in fact the very reason why I chose University of Mannheim in the first place. Having a broad research spectrum, he supports interdisciplinary research and allows freedom of choice of our own dissertation topics. Driven by my interests for psychological theories, I decided to focus on the behavioral insights in the B2B buying context, where Prof. Homburg always uses his experience and expertise to ensure that my research project is going in the right strategic direction.
The chair team is another reason for doing my PhD here. At the chair of Prof. Homburg, I am able to work and grow together with the best cohorts one could ever imagine, all aiming to publish at top international journals and prepared to lend a helping hand at any time. Sharing the same goals, we support and inspire each other, and one never feels alone on the journey.
As someone new to the academic world, what also helps me a lot is our coaching system: Each new PhD student at our chair is assigned with a senior colleague who will walk us through the most difficult starting phase of our dissertation projects. Being a foreign PhD student, I once held my research discussions with Prof. Homburg and my coach Aline Lanzrath in English as I first started here, and it turned out that my worry about the language barrier was not necessary at all. After all, the fastest way to improve a language is to immerse yourself in the language environment and use it every day. As long as you are willing to learn, mastering German is just a matter of time.
To summarize my experience so far in one sentence – it is one of my best decisions to pursue a doctoral degree, and namely here, at the chair of Business-to-Business Marketing, Sales & Pricing.