News & Press: InSider

10 Questions with Frederik von Briel

Wednesday, October 15, 2014  

We continue our article series by interviewing Ph.D. candidate Frederik von Briel from City University of Hong Kong. He was invited to participate by Arturo Castellanos, a fellow PhD student whose own interview was published August 1st.


Q: What is your most rewarding service activity? And why?

A: It is rewarding when I see manuscripts that I have reviewed appear at conferences and in journals, particularly when I could help the authors to improve their manuscript. 

Q: Currently, what is your favorite class to teach? And why?

A: So far my favorite class has been “Introduction to eCommerce”. In this class I let students apply the concepts they learn in class by asking them to compare two existing eCommerce companies, which at first sight look similar. When the students take a closer look and apply the concepts from class, both companies turn out to be quite different. It is rewarding to watch how students figure this out over the course of the semester and to hear their feedback about how they can use the concepts in other contexts.

Q: What is your favorite saying or quote?

A: Unknown: "The learning zone is outside the comfort zone.”

Q: What's one trend that you are excited about?

A: I am excited that IS is receiving more and more attention from the perspective of being an integral part of organizations.

Q: What is one habit that makes you more productive at work?

A: Creating time slots during which I have no interruptions.

Q: If you were to do it all over again, what would you have done differently?

A: I would try to spend more time with the people I love.

Q: Who has influenced your career?

A: My family, who encouraged me in my decision to quit my job to do a Ph.D., and my mentor and friend Christoph Schneider, who provides me with valuable advice and actively supports me. Also Robert Davison, who sparked my interest in qualitative research and is always accessible if I need his advice.

Q: What is your favorite memory at an AIS event (ICIS/AMCIS) or affiliated conference (ECIS/PACIS/etc.)?

A: Only a few months after joining the Ph.D. program I attended my first ICIS as a volunteer. One of my duties was to ensure that the presentation equipment in a particular room was working during the sessions. Luckily, the equipment was working and there was not a single issue with it. However, the room quickly reached its capacity, and I ended up having to stand outside and send people away to minimize interruptions. People responded with understanding, but they often had no alternative plans. As a result many of them, often senior scholars who would normally have been hard to approach during the conference, started interesting conversations with me, and I got to know many friendly and open minded colleagues. Overall, this was a great experience and confirmed my choice of pursuing an academic career.

Q: What is something very few people know about you?

A: I started early to earn my own money and tried various different jobs, ranging from factory work to being a sales assistant to doing search engine optimization before I finished my studies and started my professional career. All these experiences helped me to become clear about what I want to do in life and to appreciate the opportunities I have.

Q: Who would you like to see answer these questions next?

A: I would like to see Markus Weinmann answer these questions next and to hear his thoughts on the potential of neuro IS.

Prepared by the AIS Membership Subcommittee

Ryan Wright, University of Massachusetts
Geoffrey Dick, Georgia Southern University
Arturo Castellanos, Florida International University

For questions about this series or suggestions of who you would like to see interviewed, please contact Ryan Wright (


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