Taylor’s Alumni in Focus - Dr. Samuel Adeyinka-Ojo Found His PhD from Taylor’s Opened The Door to An Academic Career at Curtin University

It’s a long way from Nigeria to becoming the Head of Department at a campus of a top-ranked Australian university, but studying for his PhD at Taylor’s University opened up a new opportunity

(L-R) Dr. Sam Adeyinka-Ojo, with his Faculty of Business colleagues along with Prof Perry Hobson and Prof Vik Nair (far right) at Curtin University, Sarawak campus, Malaysia
Dr. Samuel Adeyinka-Ojo (who is simply better known as Sam) was the first ever African to graduate from Taylor’s University (TU) with a PhD in 2015. Sam from Nigeria, which is Africa’s most populous country (with a population of about 180 million). After completing his Bachelor (Hons) Accounting from University of Uyo in 2000, and his MBA from Ladoke Akintola University Ogbomosho in 2004, he worked for several years in Nigeria. Sam saved up enough money to venture overseas, and initially studied for a Graduate Certificate in Business from Monash University in Melbourne (Australia). While his initial academic and professional background and interests were in accounting and auditing, he then moved into marketing and international business management. His Masters’ thesis was on branding, but when he enrolled at TU for his PhD 2012, he focused his thesis on ‘Developing a destination branding framework for rural tourism: A relationship-based approach’. As he said, “During my candidature, TU provided me with several opportunities to explore, discover and excel”. Working with Professor Vik Nair, who was heading up the Long-Term Research Grant Scheme (LRGS) project on sustainable tourism at TU, Sam also benefitted from working on this project for three years while as a PhD student. As he said, “I not only visited 10 out of 13 states in Malaysia for research purposes, but also attended local and international conferences in Langkawi, Malacca, Penang, Johor Bahru, Perak, Pahang, as well as Bario in Sarawak plus Singapore, Cambodia and Taiwan. During this time, I presented 13 conference papers, published three book reviews in referred journals, as well as a book chapter and well as five journal articles”. Dr Sam also won the best innovation paper award at the 12th Asia Pacific Forum for Graduate Students’ Research in Tourism in KL in 2013. During his time at TU, he was also able to be a tutor, a research assistant and administrative assistant to the Associate Dean Industry & Enterprise. As he said, “my experience with work integrated learning (WIL) at TU contributed to getting an interview at Curtin University”. After graduating with his PhD in 2015, he joined Curtin University’s Sarawak campus in 2016, where he started teaching courses in hospitality, tourism, events and marketing, but has since been appointed as the Head of Department for Marketing at the campus. Looking back on his time studying for his PhD, Dr Sam said that “what helped me most were the passion and support I received from my supervisors, Dr Catheryn Khoo-Lattimore and Prof Vik Nair, as well as Ms Kiew Suet Yin, the manager in the TU Graduate School, also Prof Perry Hobson and Mr Haresh Gill and Dr Neethia the Executive Dean Faculty of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Management. I was also motivated because Taylor’s is a local university with global outlook in terms of international faculty members and students” adding that, “as an alumnus, its also been great to see Taylor’s University getting the local and global recognition it deserves by being ranked at #29 in the QS World Subject Rankings for Hospitality and Leisure”. Last year, Prof Perry Hobson (PVC for Global Engagement) and Prof Vik Nair went to visit Curtin University campus in Miri in Sarawak to give a series of Guest Lectures. To find out more about the Faculty of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Management click here and to find out more about PhD and other postgraduate programmes at Taylor’s University click here - (Global Matters 2017)