Donovan Gordon

  • Class

    Class of 2026
  • Program

    Ph.D. ( School of Business Administration )
  • Hometown

    Olive Branch, MS (South)
  • Involvement

    Greek Life, Student Government
  • Social Media

  • About

    Donovan Gordon, MBA is currently in his second year of pursuing a doctoral degree in Marketing at The University of Mississippi. Within the academic community, Donovan actively participates in various organizations, holding significant roles. He serves as the Vice President of The Ph.D. Project’s Marketing Doctoral Student Association and is an integral part of the Southern Regional Educational Board Scholars, Deans Elite Scholars, and the American Marketing Association’s DocSig, where he assumes the role of Vice Chair for Special Projects and Partnerships. Before joining The University of Mississippi, Donovan achieved his Master’s degree in Business Administration with a minor in Marketing from Mississippi State University. Prior to that, he completed his undergraduate studies in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, with a minor in Spanish, also at Mississippi State University. Donovan’s primary research interests revolve around sales, sales management, as well as marketing strategy.

Area of Study

Marketing with a focus in Sales/Sales Management and Marketing Strategy.

What made you choose the University of Mississippi’s doctoral program?

My journey to the University of Mississippi's doctoral program in marketing was both unique and introspective. Initially, I completed my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from Mississippi State University in just three years. During this time, I was conditionally accepted into UMMC's Medical School through the Rural Physicians Program. However, in my fourth year, while pursuing an MBA, I underwent a period of profound self-reflection. Halfway through the MBA program, I realized that medicine, and science more broadly, were not the paths I was truly passionate about for a lifelong career.

This realization came from a combination of discussions with my professors and reflecting on my past experiences. It became increasingly clear that my strengths and interests lay elsewhere. I recognized that marketing, with its blend of creativity and innovation, was a field where I could truly excel and utilize my talents effectively. This epiphany led me to pivot my career path towards marketing.

The University of Mississippi’s doctoral program in marketing stood out as the ideal choice for this new direction. It offered a platform where I could blend my analytical skills, honed during my science and MBA studies, with my creative and innovative mindset. This program represented not just a continuation of my academic journey, but a significant step towards a career where I could be both passionate and impactful.

How or why did you choose your area of focus?

I chose Sales/Sales Management and Marketing Strategy as my research areas, driven by a strong aspiration to develop impactful, actionable strategies with practical implications for key stakeholders. This decision was significantly influenced by my previous internship experiences in strategy and sales roles, which provided a deep understanding of the real-world dynamics in these fields. These roles not only offered me invaluable insights into the challenges and opportunities within sales and marketing but also highlighted the importance of effective strategies in driving business success. This practical exposure, coupled with my ambition to influence real-world business scenarios positively, naturally led me to pursue these specific areas of research, aligning my academic pursuits with my career aspirations and professional experiences.

What has been one of your most memorable moments at UM?

Some of my most cherished and memorable experiences at the University of Mississippi have been the vibrant and exhilarating atmosphere of college football game days. The unique blend of excitement and camaraderie that comes alive within The Grove and at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium is something truly special. Sharing these moments with friends and family has created a tapestry of unforgettable memories. The energy in the air on game days, the sea of red and blue, the passionate cheers, and the sense of unity and pride among the fans – all these elements come together to create an experience that's emblematic of the spirit of UM. It's more than just watching a football game; it's about being part of a community and tradition that defines the Ole Miss experience. These moments have deeply enriched my time at the university, leaving me with memories that I will always treasure.

Do you have any advice for people considering the Ph.D. program?

If you're contemplating a Ph.D. program, my primary advice is to thoroughly understand your exit opportunities. A Ph.D. opens up a myriad of paths, each with its own set of rewards and challenges, so it's crucial to have a clear vision of your career trajectory post-Ph.D. Moreover, remember that success in a Ph.D. program is less about innate intelligence and more about perseverance and dedication. It's the consistent hard work, the resilience in the face of challenges, and the commitment to your research that will truly define your journey. So, embark on this path with a clear understanding of your goals and the determination to work tirelessly towards them.

What are your plans after completing the program?

Upon completing the program, my aim is to bridge the gap between academic research and practical application in the business world. I intend to focus on creating actionable and insightful strategies that can be leveraged by industry professionals, stakeholders, and managers to enhance business functions and efficiency. While the specifics of my path are still taking shape, my ultimate goal is to make a profound impact by translating complex research into practical solutions that drive real-world progress in various business sectors.

What are your favorite hobbies?

My hobbies are quite diverse, and they keep me active and engaged in various ways. I'm an avid runner, finding joy and relaxation in the rhythm of my strides. Working out is also a big part of my routine, as it helps me stay fit and energized. When it's time to unwind, I love hanging out with friends, sharing experiences, and creating memories. Social media content creation is another passion of mine, where I get to express my creativity and connect with a wider audience. Lastly, traveling holds a special place in my list of hobbies. Exploring new places, cultures, and cuisines always brings me a sense of adventure and broadens my perspective.

What are some dream travel destinations?

My dream travel destinations include the picturesque Santorini in Greece, known for its stunning vistas and iconic architecture; the culturally rich and vibrant Madrid in Spain, offering a deep dive into art and history; and the lively and scenic Trinidad and Tobago, a Caribbean gem with diverse cultural experiences and natural beauty.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Oxford, MS?

My favorite thing to do in Oxford, MS, is to spend time at the Library Sports Bar, a great spot for relaxation and fun. It's a perfect place to unwind, enjoy good company, and catch up with friends. Additionally, I really enjoy attending events at The Lyric Oxford. The venue always has something exciting happening, whether it's live music, themed events, or other cultural shows. It's these experiences, shared with friends, that truly make Oxford special for me.

What’s your favorite place to eat in Oxford, MS?

My favorite place to eat in Oxford, MS, is definitely Boure. The restaurant's inviting atmosphere, combined with its delicious cuisine, makes it a standout dining experience for me. The menu offers a wonderful blend of comfort and sophistication, perfectly capturing the essence of Southern hospitality with a modern twist. It's always a pleasure to dine there, whether for a casual meal or a special occasion.