John F. Dion looks back on his own DBA experience and highlights what helped and hindered him in his studies. Four years of intense research and questioning makes for a unique experience that can change a life perception. This hard work was both a personal and a professional challenge that John shares in this article.
John views this project as a life experience that undoubtedly teaches humility, patience and re-assessment in order to produce high-level research. He advises,“Listen and accept with humility the feedback that you receive on your work. Your advisor and the other professors want you to succeed. Their comments are designed to make the work stronger. Consider each comment deeply before responding. This does not mean that you need to make every suggested change. You will receive conflicting feedback. At some point in the process, you will have sufficient knowledge and insight to disagree with input and defend your position”.
Moreover, he underlines the importance of keeping in mind your own motivations every day to stay on course and never lose sight of the purpose of the research topic. Four years of work constitutes a long journey, so it is essential to be prepared, organized, and motivated to stay headed in the right direction. John warns, “You will encounter a major obstacle at some point over the course of study. It might happen during the early days during the workshops. It might happen while gathering or analyzing data. It might happen while writing up, as it did for me. You must persevere. Completing a research doctorate has far more to do with persistence than intelligence.”