What to Look For in a DBA Supervisor on how to write a thesis statement?

Mantissa College-JulianHaytham

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“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today,” said Malcolm X, American civil rights activist and minister. Nothing could be more true -- education can open doors for you, both personally and professionally. A solid educational foundation, in a degree program that is rigorous and fosters excellence, is one of the keys to your success. Particularly, a  DBA student will spend years conducting research, learning, and studying, most often on their own, working steadily and independently. Completing a DBA program seems like a daunting undertaking! However, under the right supervisor, or advisor, you’ll be able to make the most out of your DBA experience and graduate with satisfying results.

Being supported in your studies by a caring and attentive supervisor is what should be expected in any degree program, but especially in a DBA program. However, this is not always the case, so here are some key things to look for in a DBA supervisor and factors to consider as you do your research on finding the best DBA program in your field of study.

1. Meet your potential DBA supervisor in person, if possible

If possible, it is highly recommended you take the time to travel and meet your potential supervisor in person before you commit to a DBA program. Research shows the supportiveness of your supervisor matters, and might not actually match up with whether or not the supervisor is an award-winning author or researcher, according to SI News. What matters most might actually be if your two personalities mesh.

Taylor and Francis Group’s research supports this claim. It explains, “Taken together, we find that supervisor supportiveness is the greatest predictor of DBA student satisfaction, but that supervisor academic qualities have no significant effect. However, both the academic qualities and supportiveness of departments significantly predict DBA student satisfaction, suggesting university departments and DBA supervisors would ideally work jointly, and perhaps more closely than many currently do, to achieve competitive levels of DBA student satisfaction.”

Meeting your potential supervisor in person before you enroll allows you to gauge whether or not you’ve got chemistry. It’s not dating, but in many ways it resembles it. For example, when you’re stressed out, or your research isn’t going well, and you can’t see which direction to go in, can this particular person pull you out of your own black hole? Susan Greenfield, professor of physiology at the University of Oxford, advises, “The real issue is to see whether the chemistry is right. Think about whether your prospective supervisor seems like the sort of person who will be there when you need them.” Intellectual and emotional support -- being able to listen and bounce ideas back and forth -- is vital to the success of DBA candidates.

Make a list of questions before your in-person or virtual meeting. These questions will help you determine how seriously this person takes your work and your candidacy in the program. You’ll also both get a better idea of your expectations.

2. Check your future DBA supervisor’s credentials, research interests, and publications

The DBA supervisor should be an expert in the field of study you are interested in pursuing for your DBA degree. It seems obvious but this reminder to pay attention to your supervisor’s credentials, research interests, and publication track record, is not to be taken lightly. The popular saying it’s not rocket science! actually does apply to this situation. You do want to work with the top expert astrophysicist, especially if you are going to study astrophysics. Don’t you think?

Do your research. Read your potential supervisor’s academic papers and publications. Search the internet for interviews and find out more about this person. Consider even talking to people who have worked with this supervisor in the past, or ask people who know this person about their work habits, temperament, and teaching style. Ask the right questions: How does s/he approach organization? How many meetings are expected over the course of the semester? What are the deadlines? And so on.

3. Learn about your supervisor’s leadership style and level of professionalism

“My graduate adviser became a close friend immediately and we’ve stayed close for years now,” says Steven , Lecturer of DBA programme at Mantissa College. “Several of my former students also remain close friends. Two of them were the official witnesses at my wedding.” Your supervisor's leadership style and level of professionalism play a big part in your overall experience as a DBA student. 

The old adage knowledge is power can be applied to choosing your DBA program, and perhaps, more importantly, to choosing your DBA supervisor. Pay attention to the details, do your research, and make sure you find both the best fit program and the perfect supervisor who will help you succeed in your dream of becoming an expert in your field of study!

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