Monique Domingo ’22, School of Business

Monique Domingo reflects on her time at UConn

Monique Domingo '22 (BUS) at the School of Business

Monique Domingo '22 (BUS) at the School of Business on April 13, 2022. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

While studying for her doctorate at the UConn School of Business, Monique Domingo sought to pay forward the support she herself had received throughout her academic journey by serving as a mentor to other students. She’ll be taking that Husky spirit and love of learning with her to Louisiana State University after graduation, where she hopes to guide and inspire the next generation of learners as an assistant professor of management.

What’s your program of study and why did you choose it?
My program of study is a Doctor of Philosophy in Business Management with a concentration in Organizational Behavior, or the study of individual and group attitudes and behaviors in organizations. I chose this program of study because I love to learn, and I believed that by leading in this path I could positively influence my community, academia, and the next generation of leaders in our workforce.

Organizational behavior, in particular, naturally drew my attention because I grew up observing my mom manage her childcare and preschool, and observing my dad manage teams as a director engineer in hospitality. I later developed a passion for the subject after having taken a course on organizational behavior at San Francisco State University as an undergraduate student and grew more curious to learn about women in leadership and teams after having worked as a lead teller and as an administrative assistant and sales representative. Collectively, these experiences inspired my current research focus on leadership as a system of effectiveness in teams and how different events, especially those characterized by high stress, disrupt that system.

Why did you choose UConn?
I chose UConn for three reasons. First, multiple UConn faculty in the Department of Management conducted rigorous and meaningful research in the areas that I was passionate about—leadership and teams. Second, the UConn faculty and students in the Department of Management were not only incredibly impressive scholars, but also genuinely good people who I could confidently envision as my advisor, mentor, or colleague. Third, students in the Department of Management also expressed satisfaction with their experiences collaborating with others and with having a wealth of opportunities for scholarly development. Ultimately, UConn was the right fit for me, and I am so grateful I decided to be part of the Husky pack.

What are your plans after graduation? How has UConn prepared you for the next chapter in life?
After graduation, I will move to Louisiana to start my new position as an assistant professor of management at Louisiana State University. Becoming a university professor has been a dream of mine since having learned about the opportunity from my undergraduate advisor at San Francisco State University. And, as a student at UConn, I received invaluable training that enabled me to achieve this dream. For instance, multiple faculty members in the Department of Management invited me onto promising projects, provided frequent and constructive feedback on my work, endorsed my capabilities publicly, and equipped me with valuable resources to ensure that I could reach my full potential.

With this experience, I now look forward to growing and developing even further as a leadership scholar at Louisiana State University, shaping and learning from the next generation of leaders in our workforce through research and instruction.

What activities were you involved with as a student?
As a student at UConn, I was involved in various activities on and off campus that inspired who I am today. On campus, I was a member of several fellowships that advocated for underrepresented student minorities, like myself, in academia, including the Crandall Cordero Fellowship, Maric Fellowship, and Giolas-Harriott Fellowship.

Off campus, I enjoyed paying it forward to UConn by serving as a PhD student panelist for UConn’s School of Business recruitment efforts at DocNet and The PhD Project. As a member of The PhD Project, I learned from and mentored PhD students across different universities and served on several committees to help propel future underrepresented PhD students forward (i.e., the service, membership, and sessions committees). Provided that I would not be where I am today without my mentors, I decided to continue my role as a mentor at the Academy of Management Annual Conference in its Adopt-A-Member program.

Notably, I was also a student at Underdog Mixed Martial Arts Academy. My experiences there enabled me to train my mind and sharpen my blade to persevere through the all too familiar, arduous PhD journey.

What’s one thing that will always make you think of UConn?
The one thing that will always make me think of UConn is the snow. As a native Californian, I had never lived in a climate where it snowed frequently and heavily for long periods of time. I was excited, yet nervous, at the thought on living in such a different environment. And it was just my luck that on my very first campus visit, there was a snowstorm. Just when I thought I was heading back to the California sun, my flights were canceled.

Now, the running joke in the Department of Management is that the real reason I chose UConn is because they snowed me in with no other choice but to stay in Connecticut. Frankly, I’m glad it snowed that day.

Any advice for incoming first-year students?
I humbly offer three pieces of advice for incoming first-year students. First, consider taking the time to understand what your different roles (or identities) are in life. For instance, I am not only a scholar, but I am also a daughter, a sister, a teacher, a martial artist, and a life-long student. In striving to achieve our goals, it can be easy to forget who we are outside of our career. Knowing that we have more to offer than just our jobs can help us to feel fulfilled in multiple aspects of our life.

Second, consider prioritizing your different roles in the order of which you deem them important. For example, I am a daughter and sister first, a life-long student second, a scholar third, a teacher fourth, and a martial artist fifth. This journey can be overwhelming with various responsibilities calling for your attention simultaneously. While the order of these priorities may shift overtime, knowing where to start first can help reorient our minds toward what truly matters.

Third, consider building a routine that consistently nourishes your different roles. In the PhD program, it is not uncommon to frequently fail, be rejected, or experience burnout. Following a routine that is designed to consistently nourish the things that bring you joy can help to reenergize ourselves toward achieving our goals during tough times. At least for me, these three factors were paramount to my success at UConn.