Ph.D. in Leadership Studies
My academic background includes the following collection of business degrees: AS from Bakersfield College, BS from California State University Bakersfield and an EMBA from Pepperdine. I’ve worked in multiple industries and served in the USMC.
What do you hope to do with your degree?
Upon completion of my doctorate, I hope to teach within an Executive MBA or similar program, along with maintaining an executive coaching/business consulting practice. I believe active engagement as a practitioner enables a professor to stay current on issues relevant to students.
How did you hear about SOLES, and why did you choose to enroll?
SOLES popped onto my radar after transitioning from an EdD to a PhD, and it was one of two programs in my final consideration list. I looked up students and requested interviews, and visited the campus to speak with staff and faculty. The fit to my requirements and the endorsement from working students clinched the decision.
Are you currently working?
Until recently I combined full time employment with the SOLES program. Although a participant may succeed academically and engage in exciting research explorations when combining the doctoral journey with full time work, there are trade-offs. Significant elements of the journey I was missing out on included opportunities to deepen relationships in the leadership community, partner on research, be mentored for publishing, TA’ing… I decided this final year leading to my dissertation defense was too important not to include these. At the same time, I am engaging in leadership practitioner activities and have volunteered for the planning committee for the 2014 International Leadership Association (ILA) International Conference. So, essentially, I’ve traded one full time job for another; however, this work allows greater flexibility and supports my doctoral experience and future objectives.
Tell us about any practicum you have done through SOLES.
Two courses included a practicum component: My very first class was Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training, and I applied the certification practicum to enabling an ERG (employee resource group) supporting individuals with disabilities to identify and capitalize on their strengths. One of the executive coaching courses required an applied “stakeholder centered” coaching engagement. The gentleman I worked with gained insights leading to career changes. He’s thriving in his new role. Learning + Rewarding = Awesome!
Tell us about any research or independent study you have done at SOLES.
Three truly exciting opportunities to-date included my pilot study on transformative experiences in the leadership development journey of business professionals, experimenting with voice and communication channels, and the opportunity to reflect on my first ILA conference experience in combination with documenting my development plan.
Have you completed an international experience?
I met my international requirement via the Mondragon experience - a class that involves traveling to Spain!
Which class has impacted you the most?
Each course I’ve taken has a different purpose, and I’ve valued all of my experiences. While I do have a couple of favorites, I believe each participant will find unique meaning in his or her own doctoral journey.
Are there specific SOLES faculty members, staff or administrators you feel have contributed significantly to your success?
I’ve learned from all the professors. At times the outcome added to my technical tool-box, other times I benefited from profound personal insight.
Is there anything else you would like to share with prospective students?
Follow your dreams; your passions. Ping me if you have questions along the way.