I would recommend the UD DBA to others. I would recommend it to the person who has a love for learning and is looking for an intense – yet caring – environment to cultivate that love.
By BeLynn Hollers, BA ’21
After nine years in the oil and gas industry, one night Brad Winton, DBA ’21, and his wife decided a change was needed for their family. Winton had earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from Millsaps College in 2009, a master’s degree in geoscience from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2011, and a Master of Business Administration from Texas A&M University Texarkana in 2015. After this life-altering conversation with his wife, he enrolled in UD’s DBA program. This is his DBA story.
Just to be blunt, my motivating factor was God. My wife and I both worked in corporate jobs and had for a long time. We were both working long hours, had a new baby, and didn't get to really see each other very much. And we rolled over one night and looked at each other and said, “We have to do something different.’’
With the DBA being AACSB-accredited and with all the different aspects of the program, I knew that it would give me the kinds of tools I needed, while also allowing me to still work and provide for my family as I worked toward my ultimate goal, which was not necessarily teaching at a high-end research university like where I ended up, but a university that was going to be the right level for me.
I knew that I needed something that was not a traditional Ph.D program. I wasn't going to give up, and my wife could not give up the careers we already had, with a young family to support. That would have been irresponsible. We needed more time in our careers to get to a point where we would feel comfortable with my wife retiring and me basically taking a significant pay cut to go into higher education. So when I started looking for programs, I was looking for programs that had flexibility.
I am a tenure-track assistant professor of management at the University of Southern Mississippi. The interesting thing about that position is that the reason I have it is for a lot of the same reasons I chose the University of Dallas in the first place. They value my experience in “the real world,” but they also value my double AACSB-accredited doctoral education. I can both do the highest level of research within our field and teach a lot of different subjects at a high level.
I teach some of our introductory management courses at the undergraduate level. So those are interesting courses, because you need to have the ability to teach a wide range of management subjects; you have to be able to touch on all of them and basically allow the students to see them all and decide whether there's a specialty that they really want to go after. And then on the other side of that spectrum, I'm also teaching in our graduate programs and taking part in our Ph.D. program.
Early on in my career, I got involved with recruiting, helping to bring new people into the industry and mentor them. Especially as I matured in my career, I found that I got so much more out of seeing the success of people who I was mentoring or helping than I did with my own success.
I tell my students who are interested in graduate school that they need to find the “right” program. The right program is the program that meets their immediate needs and their future goals. That said, yes, I would recommend the UD DBA to others. I would recommend it to the person who has a love for learning and is looking for an intense – yet caring – environment to cultivate that love.
I would recommend the program to working professionals or current faculty in search of their doctorate. For those looking to further their corporate careers, the program offers instant credibility to a graduate’s research prowess and expertise on business topics. For those looking to enter academia, the program provides all the rigor of a traditional Ph.D. program, while offering a flexibility that is not part of those traditional programs. With the right mindset and if the UD DBA is the right program, a graduate can achieve most any goal they might have for getting their doctorate.