February 21, 2017 Meet Deb Cohen (MLHR '83, PhD '87)

Deb Cohen

After 15 years as a college professor followed by 16 years as an association executive, Deb Cohen embarked on her own venture, Deb Cohen, LLC, and established herself as an accomplished consultant, speaker and author. She is proud of earning not one, but two degrees from Fisher — and shares how being a Buckeye has made a difference in her career. 

What did graduating from Ohio State mean to you?

Credibility. A graduate degree from Ohio State has been a boost to my career. There are so many ways that people can earn degrees today but when you tell folks you have a PhD from Ohio State they seem to show more respect. I am proud of my accomplishment of receiving two degrees from Ohio State and value the education I received. 

Do you have a favorite business faculty member or mentor who helped shape who you are today?

Almost too many to mention! Marcia Miceli, Steve Mangum, Rob Heneman and David Greenberger, to name a few, are faculty from whom I took courses but, more importantly, with whom I spent time talking and seeking advice. Faculty were always happy to assist and provide insights beyond just talking about the courses you took from them. 

What is your favorite business school-related memory from Ohio State/Fisher? 

After my PhD hooding ceremony, my family and I walked over to Cohen Drive, which is the little side street not too far from the stadium between West Lane Avenue and Norwich. We took pictures of me pointing to the street sign of “Cohen Dr.” in my hood and gown. My brother also has a PhD from Ohio State, but in engineering. So, we both had our picture taken under the sign. 

Tell us about some of your recent accomplishments. 

After 15 years as a college professor, followed by 16 years as an association executive, I embarked on my own venture, Deb Cohen, LLC (www.DebCohenLLC.com). In addition, I wrote my third book in the human resources and management field, a sole-authored book published in late 2016 titled, Developing Proficiency in HR: 7 Self-directed Learning Activities for HR Professionals. I now spend my time speaking and consulting. I've written over 50 articles and book chapters and have spoken across the United States and in many international locations. 

What advice would you give to a current student or recent Fisher graduate? 

Use your network and always, no matter how far you get in your career, continue to build your network. Having an alma mater like Ohio State is certainly a big positive, but expand your network to include as many related business professionals as possible. Today, one of the most effective ways to do this is through LinkedIn. Begin building your network as a student and always remember that the personal touch of writing notes and using names will get the best results.