Student Spotlight: Saman Modiri ’22
Hometown: Tehran, Iran
Degree: Ph.D. in Quantitative Marketing
A math teacher. A product and marketing manager. Co-founder and CEO of a social media application startup. An undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and an MBA. That’s quite a resume for anyone, but Saman Modiri isn’t about to stop there.
While pursuing an MBA at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran, Modiri discovered his love of marketing, particularly in the area of quantitative research, and decided to pursue that interest with a Ph.D. It was important to him to find a university environment that provided him both well-structured coursework and the flexibility to do the kind of research he was interested in pursuing. He found what he was looking for at Syracuse University's Martin J. Whitman School of Management.
Currently completing the second year of a Ph.D. program, Modiri is taken with “the enthusiasm for research here.” He appreciates all of the faculty who have worked with him, but gives special credit to Scott Fay, professor of marketing, who has been a true mentor to him. “Professor Fay has been such a support to me with his questions and his openness to new research,” Modiri said. “He gives me motivation. He wants to see me achieve my goals.” He also credits the alumni network of former Whitman School Ph.D. students, who have shared their experiences and been a great resource for him.
While he still has a ways to go to complete his degree, he is already looking to the future. Modiri hopes “to do research in the field of my choice, as well as teach what I’ve learned and share it with others.”
He hopes to stay in the United States, as he considers it a much more active job market, but he is open to other good opportunities, wherever they might be.
“My ultimate goal is to have a career where I can generate good research that has a high impact,” he said. While there have been a few Ph.D. students from Iran at the Whitman School, he believes he is the first to pursue marketing.
“I think coming from another culture gave me the opportunity to learn not only what I’m learning for my Ph.D. but also learn from and share with the community, colleagues and friends,” he said. “The diversity at the Whitman School and Syracuse University has helped me a lot with this type of learning and sharing. It has definitely made my studies more meaningful.”