I am a project manager by occupation, and there are two things which come as naturally to me as breathing: planning and retrospective analysis. Both of these skills have been leaned on heavily throughout this course. I’ve been tested academically, and also personally, while dealing with some fairly large-scale health impacts. I’ve had to learn to work in pockets of time, rather than more strategic blocks, as is my preference. I do have several key takeaways that I would like to share.
1. Be realistic about your capacity and limitations, both academically and personally. It is much easier to make a primary and secondary plan of attack if you understand those potential points of failure. I’ve learned that I needed to take a more holistic approach, rather than a week to week one, as some activities took longer to work through. I have always been a quick reader, and my organizational skills have allowed me to complete things efficiently, however, this class has pushed that envelope, and it didn’t truly become evident until I was hospitalized, and then I didn’t have the ability to complete any work until I was discharged. The behavioral change that I will carry forward with me is to create a project plan with clear time boxes and deadlines that have a built in buffer in case life happens.
2. Identify your support system and communicate your needs to them. For me, this was a gap, because I’ve generally been self-reliant. This course has taught me that I can’t do this independently and I need to be mindful of who is part of my extended team. My course leaders, of course, have been a source of wisdom and reality, and my classmates as well. I found the level of interaction in this class leveled up from all of my previous courses, and the perspective was invaluable. I’ve had to expand that network to include friends who can give an assist with the day-to-day activities of daily living like school pickups, grocery runs, house help, and sanity checks. This is new for me, as I generally dislike asking for help, but I’ve learned that my friends will help if asked, especially if I am clear about what it is that I need. This has provided me with expanded time boxes to achieve goals.
While this might seem odd, focusing on personal things rather than academic things, I think it is the most important component, and one that is overlooked. While difficult, pursuing an advanced degree is something that is a matter of skill and will. Do you have (or can you learn) the skills that you need? Once you have them, are you willing to put in the time, effort, and energy to get it done? The things we’ve all learned in this course certainly fall into the skill category, and I’ve learned a considerable amount. I will need to continue to hone and practice those skills to be successful, but I feel strongly that I can do it. What I can’t learn, is how to control “life” – if I could, I suspect I could retire and live happily ever after on a beach somewhere – so I need to make sure that I have a plan and a team in place to enable me to handle those things that I can’t delegate or share around.
The drive through this comprehensive exam course, has been exciting, demanding, and fulfilling. This course is crucial for completing my Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree. During the past eight-week period, we have had the opportunity to learn essential research concepts, such as research: phenomenon, approach and design, problem and purpose statements; summary and synthesis of literature; literature review outline; data collection, measurements, and analysis; and most importantly, ethical standards in research execution. Understanding these fundamental concepts and techniques and their application is necessary to conduct ethical and cutting-edge investigations or produce high-quality management scholarship.
Carrying out a self-assessment has revealed that I have made tremendous progress in this course. This has also helped me identify areas for improvement and potential barriers as I go through my doctoral projects by tracking progress periodically based on our Faculty Mentor’s constructive feedback and comments from my classmates.
I find all the assignments and activities very challenging and stimulating and require critical thinking, problem-solving, reading, research, analysis, and the capability to apply research concepts to address business management problems.
Regarding the road ahead toward my doctoral project completion, whatever I have learned in this class has adequately prepared me to apply the above research concepts to perform analysis, emphasizing ethics, cultural rules, and biases in managing my innovative research effectively. Besides, this course has enhanced my critical thinking, analytical, conceptual, organizational, ethical, cultural, and time management skills required to become a great scholar. As well, it has improved my ability to collaborate and conduct research in a manner to avoid plagiarism. Though the course was undeniably challenging and extensive in content, it was insightful, informative, and educational. Despite the challenges, I have unquestionably enjoyed this class, especially the forum discussion, professional growth and responsibility, and the Faculty Mentor’s positive feedback. Carrying the significant concepts mentioned in the first paragraph with me toward my doctoral project completion and continuing my educational expedition would enable me to practice ethical behavior in research and adopt cultural practices that recognize the feelings of another cultural group. For example, being imbued with ethical behavior helps me commit to academic honesty and integrity, adhere to the University’s policies and standards, and show ethical conduct in all aspects of my life.
I am sincerely grateful to our Faculty Mentor, Dr. Danon Carter, for instilling in this class the knowledge and expertise required to conduct cutting-edge research with integrity and honesty. Her incredible expertise in this course has endeared her to all the learners who took the course. Her patience, understanding, thoughtfulness, continued support, and relentless delivery of constructive feedback are highly commendable. After each assignment, the positive feedback I received showed that I had to do a lot more to enrich my professional and academic writing. Finally, I am grateful to my fellow learners for their research perspectives, contributions, and shared knowledge, which have enhanced my research skills, knowledge, and learning experience. It is my pleasure meeting and working with you all