Shijie Lu

Assistant Professor of Marketing, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Ph.D. in Marketing
Graduated 2015

Shijie Lu earned a B.S. in mathematics and a B.A. in economics from Peking University in his native China, but it was when he arrived at USC Marshall that he found his true calling. As an economics graduate student, he took a Ph.D.-level course in marketing and was riveted by what he was learning.

“It was fascinating material,” Lu recalls, “and I was impressed by the amount of attention and care Marshall faculty showed toward the Ph.D. students, both in and outside of the classroom.” He quickly submitted an application to the school’s Ph.D. program – what he calls “one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

The research environment, he notes, is “extraordinary. The marketing Ph.D. is a student-oriented program that not only pairs students with like-minded faculty mentors, but that also empowers them to develop publication competence as early as they can” – an emphasis, Lu points out, that explains why most Marshall graduates are so productive in terms of publication by the time they complete their degrees.

Lu’s own publication history is an excellent example: While in the program, he co-wrote an article with his faculty advisor, Professor of Marketing Sha Yang that appeared in the prestigious journal Marketing Science. Another article – written in collaboration with Anthony Dukes, associate professor of marketing – has been accepted for publication and is forthcoming.

For Lu, Marshall’s excellent academics were complemented by its commitment to work-life balance. “Living in L.A. offered a range of options for coping with the pressure of research, which is inevitable during a Ph.D. career,” he says.

Lu received his Ph.D. in May 2015 and accepted a faculty position at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School. “Marshall is well known for its success in placing graduates, and I also found the Trojan network extremely helpful,” he says. Today, in addition to teaching, Lu is continuing his research in the domain of Internet/digital marketing and has recently launched new projects related to movie piracy and online word-of-mouth.