Lisa Pawlik began teaching at the Ross School of Business in 2005 and now instructs both BBAs and MBAs in managerial writing and presentation skills. In addition to coordinating the core BBA presentation course, she has advised in the MBA MAP program and the Tauber Institute’s summer program. Lisa holds a BS from Kettering University (formerly General Motors Institute) in Flint, Michigan and an MBA from The University of Michigan. Her business experience includes more than 20 years at General Motors in operations, planning and program management. Her position prior to coming to Ross was as the executive leader of Competitor Intelligence, identifying and formulating responses to strategic opportunities and threats in the automotive industry. She’s thrilled to be able to help prepare tomorrow’s business leaders for the next step in their careers.
Q: Why did you join the faculty at the University of Michigan?
A: After a 20-plus year career in the corporate world, in a variety of positions at General Motors, I was ready for a change and took a buy-out to explore other opportunities. Teaching at a university is a second career that I had always thought about, but it was a big leap to leave a company I'd started with right out of high school and had a very rewarding career with. I was fortunate enough to attain a teaching position with my alma mater (U-M MBA ‘90), after reconnecting with one of my professors. Leadership experience in operations, planning, supply chain, and as a program management executive in the automotive industry, prepared me well to teach at Ross and to advise action-based learning teams.
Q: What do you consider to be the highlight of your career thus far?
A: As a second career, hitting the 10-year anniversary of teaching at Ross was a big milestone for me. Other highlights include advising Tauber Spotlight! award winners (3 teams in the top 3 in the last 5 years), publishing my first research paper with Business Communication colleagues, and helping to revamp the MBA Communication courses. Most rewarding is when previous students share how I was able to help them reach their career goals.
Q: What's your next goal?
A: My future goals focus on expanding connections and contributions in the Communication field. Participating in international conferences, performing additional research and presenting findings, and taking on consulting opportunities are all activities I am pursuing. I'd also like to bring more innovative teaching methods into our Business Communication courses, especially using technology and more integrated cross-discipline learning.
Q: In what ways do your students surprise you?
A: Students continue to surprise me with their energy, creativity and drive to make a difference. The perseverance and innovative thinking the students demonstrate to come up with solutions, especially when working on ambiguous problems on Ross' action-based learning teams, is incredible. I'm also often taken aback back by students' commitment to make a broader impact on the world, dedicating time to pursue service opportunities, or even to align career focus with altruistic endeavors.
Q: What would students or peers be surprised to learn about you?
A: Probably that I am a grandmother of 3! Also, starting this fall, I will be able to count 3 of my 4 children as Wolverines!
Q: What are you passionate about, personally and professionally?
A: Those who know me would say first and foremost is my passion for my family. A common thread in both my personal and professional lives is my interest in people and wanting to make a positive difference in their lives. My greatest satisfaction comes from helping others succeed at their goals; this could be guiding one of my children as they decide on a career choice, helping a new colleague with course preparation, or coaching my students to gain the presentation confidence they need to win a competition or manage a difficult situation on the job.