Tadhg Ryan

After almost eight months at the Pamplin College of Business, Virginia Tech, Tadhg Ryan Charleton (IRC Postgraduate Scholar, Maynooth University) updates us on his experiences as a Fulbright-Enterprise Ireland Student Awardee.

“Time has really flown since my last blog post at the end of September!

Having completed an extensive course on financial research methods before Christmas, I am now back focusing almost exclusively on research. In January, my host, Professor Devi Gnyawali, and I wrote two papers from a major research project we have undertaken together. The first was recently accepted to the Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2017 (Atlanta, August 4-8), the top global conference in my discipline, and we are expecting a response soon from the Journal of Management concerning the second. I have learned a lot working closely with Professor Gnyawali, who is responsible for so many of the top studies in my field.

With my PhD supervisor, Professor Robert Galavan, there is also an invited book chapter in progress. Though we have not met face-to-face since last August, Professor Galavan has been incredibly supportive and generous with his time throughout the visit. There have been many emails, texts and Skype calls winging their way across the Atlantic! The work we have done is beginning to bear dividends – we have made huge strides with the empirical design for my PhD and we are at an advanced stage with submissions to several key conferences in Ireland, Costa Rica and Australia.

Away from the desk, I am still trying to sieze every opportunity to meet new people and visit new places! Running is often my excuse – I have run four marathons and two ultra-marathons in Baltimore, Washington D.C., Cocoa Beach, Savannah, Charlottesville and New Orleans. Most were short trips but I was glad to take some extra time to see New Orleans while there. My mother came from Ireland and we spent 10 days exploring a wonderful city. New Orleans was originally owned by the French and maintains an old-style French feel. We experienced great music, food, and spectacular parks and architecture. But there was also time to remember all those who lost their lives as a result of Katrina and appreciate the amazing rebuilding projects that residents have undertaken since.

Without doubt, one of the highlights of the year was a Fulbright Enrichment Seminar in Philadelphia over St Patrick’s weekend. Themed ‘Civil Society and Community Action’, the event offered many brilliant panelists and opportunities to meet local activists. I don’t use the word inspiring lightly but I met some amazing people doing incredible things. This extended beyond those at the podium – I met delegates from more than 60 countries, many who had already effected significant social change at home. It made me stop and reflect on my own responsibilities and opportunities to give back to movements that have given me so much. It also reminded me of the value of interacting with great people. I returned to Virginia Tech with a huge amount of positive energy to maximize the last leg of my visit. Without doubt, it was a weekend I will remember for a long time!

Arriving in the U.S. seems like only yesterday so it is difficult to begin making plans to depart again in August. On all fronts, I have made more progress than I could have hoped. Before I leave, I will complete my PhD data collection, finish the conference submissions, and present our paper in Atlanta. I am also looking forward to a vacation with my friends in June and I will continue to try and break three hours for the marathon.

It is almost exactly a year since I found out I was becoming a Fulbrighter. To all of those who are now receiving similar news, congratulations!! I cannot begin to explain the adventure and growth that awaits!”