Student seeks to support small businesses, educate others by earning a DBA
*Pictured above: Luke Bailey with Dr. Laura Williamson and School of Management Dean Tom Cary
A desire to apply his business savvy to helping small business owners succeed motivated Luke Bailey to pursue a Doctor of Business Administration degree.
“The overarching idea is that I want to be able to use my knowledge, skills and ability to help others,” Luke said. “A lot of people have great ideas and want to get a business off the ground, but don’t have the business acumen. I can’t weld a trailer, but I can write a business plan… I see it as an opportunity to help those in my community – getting involved with small businesses and taking what I’ve learned from big organizations, government, for-profit and nonprofit groups and using that background and applying it to help support people in reaching their business goals.”
As a result of his education and career experience, Luke has a lot to share with others. He previously earned a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and an MBA from Columbia, and has 20 years of experience with the U.S. Coast Guard.
“After I completed my MBA, I thought that was going to be it.” Luke said. “I thought I’d finish 20 years with the Coast Guard and make my way into a private venture, but I had a desire to continue my education. I want to be able to teach, particularly at the university level, and I don’t want to be hindered. [Earning a DBA] opens an opportunity to teach all levels of business and to shape young hearts and minds in my community. If I had the opportunity to continue my education, why wouldn’t I do that?”
Once Luke decided to pursue a DBA, he spent a great deal of time researching schools and programs to determine which would be the best fit.
“I was looking at top schools globally and CityU kept popping up,” Luke said. “I travel for work, so I needed the ability to not be restricted to a brick-and-mortar institution. I liked the ability to do it on the road and not be hindered by work. I found that with CityU I would be challenged the same way [as taking in-seat classes]. Prior to interviewing with Dr. Laura Williamson, I talked with her over the phone in depth and got a taste of the program and the close-knit feel, and the interaction between the instructors and the student body. I found that the program is competitive with other institutions and offers the ability to have balance with work and life.”
Now that he has taken several classes in the program, he says he is pleased with his choice.
“It’s been excellent,” Luke said. “It’s flexible and challenging, and the instructor cadre is fabulous. I appreciate how engaged they are; they want it to be a competitive program. They’re flexible and make themselves as available as if it was in a physical classroom. That’s the pinnacle of the program… The thing CityU gives me is access to the vast knowledge of instructors and support. The staff at CityU has to be notable too. I have tons of questions and people are always available. As stressful as it can be, it’s reassuring to know that there are people who get it and want to help.”
Asked what he would tell someone considering earning a DBA at CityU, Luke said:
“I would tell them to take their time to research other schools so that they have an opportunity to compare learning institutions. They need to have conversations – call up schools and ask questions and see if it aligns with their interests. Once they look around and have conversations, they’ll find for themselves that CityU is the right choice. They’ll find people that align with the mission and vision of the institution. I know it doesn’t stop at the end of a class or a program, I know that as an alumnus I’ll always be able to reach back and talk to these people, and the faculty and staff at CityU get that and they want to be a part of making my experience better. I recently found out a friend of mine is applying for graduate school at CityU, and I told him that he’s not going to go wrong.”