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Dell Exec Enhances Research Expertise in DePaul DBA Program

Stephanie Shipp
Stephanie Shipp, DePaul DBA student.

What drives Stephanie Shipp to travel more than 1,000 miles from Austin to Chicago once a month to attend classes at DePaul University? It’s the opportunity to study in DePaul’s Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA), a three-year, part-time degree program where executives gain advanced research skills for mining insights from data and leading change in their organizations.

In this Q&A, Shipp, an operations thought leader and customer experience advocate at Dell Technologies, discusses why she entered DePaul’s DBA and what it means for her career.

Why did you decide to  pursue a DBA at DePaul?

My pursuit of a DBA is aimed at my continuing quest for personal mastery and growth, empowering me to acquire the highest level of education in business management knowledge, research methodologies and related acumen. I specifically selected DePaul because of the reputation of the university and the DBA curriculum, which emphasizes the contextual alliance between the academic and corporate disciplines. Although I am not local to the Chicagoland area, the structure of monthly classroom residencies was a critical factor, as an online program is not my preferred learning venue.

How does the program help advance your career?

The substance of the program has expanded my way of viewing and subsequently solving problems. Since joining the DBA program at DePaul, I have become more intentional in my construction and deconstruction of problems and solutions. I now consider additional perspectives, as found in academic research literature, to inform my path forward with evidence. My new viewpoint is considered a value-add and is increasing sought after in a variety of forums.

How would you describe the quality of the faculty?

In a word, phenomenal. Each faculty member is well-versed in their discipline areas, and they are extremely adept at interconnecting varying academic topics to relevant practitioner scenarios. They create a very collegial environment where our diverse voices, as practitioners, are an integral part of the knowledge base.

What have you learned from working with the other professionals in your DBA cohort?

The cohort experience is a significant part of the learning experience. We each bring a different perspective, professional knowledge, capabilities and core competencies, which enhance our discussions and projects. As a result of our diversity of experiences, we gain a supplementary layer of knowledge from each other.

What value can DBA graduates bring to their organizations?

DBA students evolve their critical thinking and cognitive capacity in a way that is relevant and valuable in a corporate environment. Graduates will see comparable problems through a new lens and refined perspectives, which ultimately elevates the outcomes for their organizations.

What advice do you have for other professionals considering a DBA?

For any professional who has a desire to pursue a terminal degree (highest degree awarded), I would highly recommend they consider DePaul. The structure of the program is very advantageous for someone who desires an in-class and face-to-face learning setting vs. online. While working and pursuing a terminal degree can be demanding in any format, the structure of this program allows for work balance and a cohort experience that is unlike any that I have heard of. Most importantly, the DePaul DBA offers a curriculum full of academic rigor, coupled with a conducive structure for working executives.

Learn more about the DePaul DBA