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Student Profile: Dr. Bob Dawkins
A 2001 graduate of CityU’s MBA and MPA programs, Dr. Bob Dawkins retired from the Navy in 2003 and has since gone on to teach at American Military University, earn a Doctor of Education in Instructional Technology and Distance Education, and currently works as an SVP for A-T Solutions.
He’s been busy since he left our doors, but found some time to discuss his success with us:
City University of Seattle (CU): You graduated with an MBA and MPA from CityU. That’s a heavy course load! What led you to pursuing two degrees at CityU?
Dr. Bob Dawkins (BD): I knew I would transition into a civilian job once I retired from the Navy, and wanted to improve my knowledge of the private business sector. After attending a transition assistance class (in the military you are updated on expected changes and challenges when you retire), the briefers were very clear about how a company determines their return n investment based on your resume. The decision to pursue two degrees was based on expanding my next career into the public or government sector, as well as the fact that I earned a CityU scholarship that helped pay for an additional degree. An MPA is valued in the government and public sectors, and I knew I was maxed at tuition assistance support via the Navy, so once I was awarded a merit scholarship I decided to “double down” to improve my chances in my next career
CU: What would you say is the most important lesson you took away from CityU?
BD: That’s a tough one. Either career goal attainment or time management. At one point, I had five master’s courses running and each required a good deal of reading and writing. The CityU professors worked with me and my schedule in conjunction with a full time Navy job in order for me to complete all course requirements on time. Taking on a non-traditional degree effort is a partnership and both parties have to be committed to achieve the end state
CU: Can you explain how CityU helped you in your academic endeavors later on down the road?
BD: It helped me more than I realized at the time. Within six months of completing both master’s programs, I was approached by American Military University to become an adjunct professor. This was due to my technical skill-sets as an Master Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician, and the academic requirement to hold an accredited master’s degree. I learned how to develop college level curriculum and become an online instructor. This led to my desire to earn a doctorate in instructional technology and distance education. Achieving that doctorate moved me from being an adjunct to a full-time instructor, and then opened up opportunities to work as a military evaluator for organizations like the American Council on Education.
CU: How well do you think CityU set you up for success?
BD: I have opportunities I would not have had without a master’s degree, and a desire to help others achieve what I was able to. I developed time management skills and improved my writing capability, both of which are skills that are required to complete a doctorate program. The master’s programs alone opened up numerous teaching opportunities for me, really more than I have time for. Most importantly, it proved that given the correct attitude and drive, you can accomplish major milestones without having to sit in a traditional classroom and still profit from high energy instructors who are concerned about your success. Additionally, when I left the Navy in 2003, I had a better understanding of the business world which was important in helping to grow a small service, disabled veteran-owned business into a 200 million dollar a year company.
CU: Do you have any words of encouragement or advice for CityU students interested in the CityU MBA program?
BD: Think about how you intend to apply the degree knowing that the mature business world is seeking both experience and accredited degrees to improve their return on investment for customers. Many of those customers hold MBA or MPA credentials, and prospective students have to recognize that we are a heavily accredited society in that we expect certain capabilities when a person holds an academic or technically specific qualification.
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