Pei Wu - Running Out of Time

By Liesl Folks, PhD, MBA and Nancy Schiller, MS

female grad student looking stressed.


A graduate student is assigned to work in the lab with a male PhD student from a different cultural background who seems to lack respect for her and her career path and may be actively working against her.

The case can be used to help develop career skills that may be useful to achieving long-term success, such as:

  • Communicating your impacts
  • Managing conflict / Respectful confrontation
  • Cultivating resilience in the face of adversity
  • Working smarter, not harder


Upon completion of this case, students will be able to:

  • Recognize a situation in which they may be being sabotaged;
  • Recognize the role that cultural differences may play in workplace gender conflict;
  • Utilize role-plays to prepare for challenging conversations / strategic negotiations with key stakeholders.