Meet PCSB: Assistant Professor of Finance Jon Jackson

Jon Jackson
Jon Jackson

Name: Jonathan (Jon) Jackson

Title: Assistant Professor of Finance – although my courses are in operations management

Job description: My job description as a faculty member has three main components: teaching, research, and service. In a typical semester, I will teach three classes. They may all be the same “course” (e.g., FIN 310) or three different courses. In addition, I will be available outside of class time to help students with the class (e.g., homework, preparing for the exam, re-explaining course concepts) or things outside of the class (e.g., grad school applications, job interviews, letters of recommendation, etc.). Research can take many forms, but they all have the same focus, which is to help increase or better our understanding of a particular topic. I have an interest in creating models or mathematical programs that help businesses make cost-effective decisions from an operations management perspective. Last, but certainly not least, service can pertain to students (advising on courses to take or majors to choose), to the curriculum (how to better position our graduates to succeed in the workforce), or to the College itself.

Years at PC: I just started in Fall 2015!

Education: I took an unusual path in my education. My B.S. is in material science and engineering with a minor in mechanical engineering from Washington State University. Then I switched gears and got my Ph.D. in operations management from Washington State University. At first glance, these two disciplines look like apples and oranges, but I like to think of it as just a simple change in application. In engineering, you use math, statistics, critical thinking, and problem solving to come up with solutions to engineering-based problems. In operations management, you use those same exact tools, but apply them to business-based problems!

Areas of expertise: Inventory management, quantity discounts, supply chain management, revenue management, capacity constrained systems, and sports analytics (I’ve come up with a program to help you draft the best fantasy football team!).

Classes I’ve taught: At Washington State University as a graduate student I taught our Business Statistics course (x2) as well as our Introduction to Operations Management course (x7). I’ve also been heavily involved in online MBA courses for statistics and operations management.

What drew me to PC: Size (not too big, not too small, just right), philosophy for faculty members (teaching is important and emphasized, not an afterthought), great location (Ocean State!), beautiful campus, and wonderful faculty members. Also, the high-performing Division I sports (soccer, basketball, hockey) didn’t hurt!

Greatest professional accomplishment: I was fortunate enough to win two teaching awards while a graduate student. One was within the College of Business at Washington State University and the other was university-wide.

Something every business student should know: Knowing how to get the right answer is always important, but knowing how to apply the answer to make better business decisions is most important.

First job out of college: I worked as an intern for Exotic Metals, an aerospace manufacturing company out of Kent, Wash. They supply aluminum and titanium parts to Boeing and Airbus.

Interests outside of work: I’m a huge sports fan! I’m excited to take in as many PC sports as I can in the upcoming years, but I’m not sure I can convert from a Seattle Seahawks fan to a New England Patriots fan! Additionally, I love doing things outdoors: hiking, biking, kayaking, etc.

Surprising fact about me: I’ve been scuba diving over 100 times on both coasts of the U.S., Hawaii, Mexico, Belize, and the Bahamas. Adventures while scuba diving include: a non-caged shark dive in Belize (It since has been shut down… I’m sure you can figure out why.) and being stuck on an uninhabited island for a night.