Undertaking a DBA: What Can Graduates Expect?
At UBIS, we offer a range of degree programmes to suit everyone, no matter what stage of their academic or professional journey they are at. For students who have completed their Master and are considering their next steps, we have our IACBE-accredited Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA).
To tell you a bit more about our DBA and the value it holds for proactive and ambitious business graduates, we sat down (virtually!) with UBIS Provost Dr Rodrigo Muñoz and asked for his insights into this unique programme of study.
DBA or PhD?
‘The biggest distinction between a DBA and a PhD is the focus,’ Dr Muñoz begins. ‘The focus of what you will be writing about, what you will be writing your thesis for, is different. Unlike a PhD, the DBA addresses a practical issue. It solves a problem.’
Establishing their area of focus is key for any graduates looking to begin their Doctorate. At UBIS, students can choose to focus their research on virtually any topic in the field of international business management, from finance, marketing and organisational behaviour, to less traditional areas of study. And Dr Muñoz advises starting to think about this sooner rather than later.
‘One of the things I tell all prospective students is that the DBA is a marathon, not a sprint. It is better that you practice, that you start reading and writing for two hours every day as soon as you start thinking about undertaking your DBA. Don’t wait to start doing your own research once you have already started your course. Start acquiring knowledge today.’
Choosing the focus of your DBA thesis
When it comes to choosing the area of study that is right for you, developing a broad area of knowledge and interests is key here, explains Dr Muñoz. He emphasises the importance of being able to draw on information from a wide pool of knowledge.
‘I tell all my students, read one or two good newspapers daily. You don’t have to read all of it but skim the headlines. Read that first paragraph, even if it is a topic you’re not interested in. Take a look at the literature section. Take a look at the obituaries, the op-eds, understand what perspective drives this source of information. Over the medium term you will develop a wealth of knowledge and understanding that will help you narrow the focus of your research. It will enable you to connect disparate areas of knowledge and bring them together which is a terribly important skill to have as a human being.’
Support from the experts, to become an expert
Thanks to our state-of-the-art learning management system, we are able to offer students the highest calibre of tutor support through remote working. Students will be guided throughout by a professor with a deep understanding of their field of study. Their thesis tutor will work alongside them as they develop into experts in their area of interest.
‘With the support of a thesis advisor you will be able to undertake great research, gain new knowledge and ultimately become the authority on a specific topic. You will develop a relationship with another intellectual through this continuous process of debating, of exchanging information. That is something that no one can take away from you,’ says Dr Muñoz. ‘We teach you how to learn, how to ask pertinent questions and then how to go out there and find the answers. And then communicate that knowledge to the community that you are aiming for, be they students, colleagues or friends.’
Through our DBA programme, students will become experts in their own area of study. Thanks to the practical nature of the degree, they will also be equipped with key professional life skills.
‘The DBA is a vehicle for you to give shape and strengthen your research abilities,’ explains Dr Muñoz. ‘UBIS gives you an intellectual framework that you can utilise to address any subsequent challenges you will encounter as a professional.
The toolbox that you develop during the work towards writing your thesis will serve you well anywhere you go. Whether you’re working for your national government in a totally unrelated field, whether you’re working in industry or starting your own company, the critical thinking skills, the analytical skills you will hone over the course of your studies will serve you anywhere in life.’
Passion and curiosity is key
More than anything, Dr Muñoz emphasises the importance of passion and curiosity in Doctorate students.
‘I tell students that they need to be doing something that fulfils their own personal curiosity. The most important element is passion; you need to be passionate about your topic. From the start, you need to believe in what you’re doing. You want to feel a sense of accomplishment, that you have done your bit to contribute to mankind, to create more space for understanding.
Do it because it completes you. It’s nice to have the letters after your name, to have the title Dr, but that’s not the relevant part. The relevant part is that you’ve challenged yourself and that you’ve solved a small portion of the riddle of knowledge.’
If you’d like to find out more about our Doctorate in Business Administration, click here for more information on the course structure or get in touch via our website.