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From Corporate America to Academia: DBA Alumna Teaches at LSU
Rebecca Bogie's, DBA ’19, career trajectory changed when she picked up a magazine as she waited for a job interview.

In it, she saw a full-page ad for UD's Doctorate in Business Administration program.

"The application deadline was about a week away, but I thought, I would love to be back in school, refresh my skills, meet new and different people,” she recalled. “So I pursued two paths at the same time: getting a new job and getting into the program.”

After nearly three decades in corporate America in roles in human resources and corporate finance, as well as earning an MBA in corporate finance, she decided to pursue the DBA and graduated in 2019. She is now teaching at Louisiana State University in Shreveport.

Bogie's initial DBA cohort of approximately 30 people dwindled to about half of that by the end of the first semester, leaving those who had figured out how to make the program work with their full-time jobs. 

“The first two years of coursework, no one in my cohort was prepared for what we had to give up,” she explained. “There could be no dinner and a movie on Friday night, for example — it was all about getting homework done. Your habits have to change for a while. The people who were able to stay in the program had slightly older children or grown children, so [they had] lesser demands on them from a family perspective. And you must have a supportive spouse, someone who loves you and wants you to do this because it's important to you.”

The remaining cohort members formed close relationships. 

“It was invaluable to have the support of others in the same situation, sometimes having the same doubts of ‘Should we be doing this?’” said Bogie. “But we were all people who love being in school.”

The changes to the world of education between Bogie’s earlier degrees and the DBA were significant and sometimes challenging to navigate. Her undergraduate and master’s degrees had been earned entirely in person, while the DBA is a hybrid program, with some online classes and some on campus. 

“The way we would go from the practical hands-on focus to the theory driving it was what kept me so engaged with the program,” said Bogie. “I could explore why I’d been doing what I’d been doing for 15 years and how to generate better results going forward.”

About half of Bogie’s cohort were interested in teaching, possibly part-time or as adjuncts. A couple of years into the program, Bogie began getting opportunities to lead classes at UD here and there, and these opportunities cemented her drive to teach. 

“I really enjoyed it and began looking for somewhere that would give me a more regular schedule,” she said.

The Shreveport campus, where Bogie is teaching, is one of the smaller campuses in the LSU system, and gave her the opportunity to develop her own courses rather than just teaching curricula that others had developed. She appreciates being able to incorporate her years of experience into creating these courses, especially after realizing that teaching is her long-term vocation. 

“I’m thrilled to have gone from HR to finance to academia,” she said. She hopes to remain in academia for the rest of her career.  

This past semester as the pandemic persisted, she taught in person on campus. LSU’s Shreveport campus was one of the few in the state to open in person, with masks, shields and smaller class sizes. Bogie taught introductory financial and managerial accounting classes, as well as an online course providing fundamentals of accounting for students without business backgrounds entering master’s programs. For the first time, she also led a first-year seminar teaching undergraduates just beginning college how to be successful in their higher education careers, part of a wider effort among many public universities to ensure new students acquire the skills needed to successfully complete their degree programs.

Bogie’s DBA dissertation was inspired by the company MoneyGram and its efforts to address operational compliance issues. Repairing organizational legitimacy was a research area of interest for Bogie, and in the course of her research, she learned that many other companies — over 400 — were also under similar federal oversight. She sought to determine whether all these companies’ efforts to fix their problems, such as replacing their C-level executives, were statistically significant.

“It involved a lot of data collection, sorting through existing public company stock-based data. It took a long time and was much harder than I’d anticipated, and I dealt with large amounts of data on a regular basis,” she said.

Through it all, however, she had the support of her DBA cohort.

“The feedback of my cohort was very important throughout my time in the program,” she said. “They were all very senior people in their organizations, and it was always very helpful to hear what they brought from their experiences into class. The program was more than the curriculum itself; it was the interaction with a group of professionals to whom you get close enough that you feel you can ask them for advice.

“Our cohort is still very active in staying connected, having mini-reunions and things like that, which was something unexpected,” she added. “In a traditional graduate program, you might have multiple classes but not necessarily go through the whole program with the same people, so these relationships are more long-lasting than what you get in a traditional program.”

Not only did she develop significant relationships with her fellow students, but also with her professors. 

“Everybody who teaches in the program was so invested in our success and long-term growth,” she said. “They functioned as sounding boards and advisers.”

Ultimately, Bogie’s experience left her feeling much more engaged with UD as an institution than with the institutions she had attended for her other degrees. Over the past few years, living in Irving, she felt very fortunate to be able to attend informational DBA weekends and visit with prospective DBA students. 

“We had a sense of community that developed with our cohort and the professors as professionals, and I’m now contributing back to society in a way that I wasn’t before,” she said.

Discover more about UD’s DBA program.

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Mar 5, 2021

Current President Thomas S. Hibbs, Ph.D., BA ’82 MA ’83, has chosen to return to a full-time faculty position at Baylor University on July 1, where he served prior to UD. He will continue to...

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