Love of learning leads a Navy veteran to pursue a DBA
Pursuing a doctoral degree is a major undertaking that requires a great deal of time studying, researching and writing. Yet for William Hyder, a retired Navy diver, that reality was more of an attractor than a deterrent because it gave him the opportunity to invest in something he loves: learning.
William took college courses off and on for several years while he was active duty, but never finished a degree. After he retired, he took that opportunity to complete his bachelor’s degree, which he followed up with an MBA shortly after.
“I never saw achieving an undergrad degree as possible because the target kept getting farther away,” William said. “Once I completed the degree I needed more. I got fidgety and realized I was addicted to learning and wanted to continue the journey.”
He began researching doctoral programs and weighing different pathways.
“I immediately gravitated toward a Ph.D. because it’s ‘the’ terminal degree,” William said. “With work and the challenges life throws, I knew I couldn’t do a residency program, and with the exception of for-profit universities, the Ph.D. [programs] in organizational management were few and had significant onsite requirements.”
That’s when he learned that City University of Seattle was launching a new Doctor of Business Administration program.
“It spoke to me and I saw it as, ‘this is what I need to do,’” William said. “I enrolled in October 2015 and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it since I started. There hasn’t been a single moment since this extraordinarily long journey began that I’ve regretted the decision.”
The online format of the program has given him the flexibility he’d been seeking.
“With the online program, the advantages are that you can complete the work on your schedule,” William said. “I work full time, so that’s a distinct advantage… A lot of the professors have Zoom meetings where we all get in and discuss the subjects and content of the course. I think that what the online courses are lacking in versus onsite they make up for with providing students the opportunity to learn and interact on their own.”
The DBA dissertation process
William started working on his dissertation in the spring. It is the final component of the program he has to complete before finishing.
“I’m doing my dissertation on multi-generational leadership styles and their impact on organizational development and change,” William said. “Throughout the DBA program, my interests have bounced all over the map. It was actually an advantage that the program provided – rather than focus on one specific area, it opened up a lot of opportunities. My mind is quite a bit more open because of the work I’ve done the past three years.”
His research focus directly aligns with the work he does as the General Manager of the National University Polytechnic Institute.
“I enjoy helping others see multiple perspectives and helping team members learn how to lead,” William said. “I like to provide opportunities for ownership and seeing those team members become successful and learn to manage different situations.”
Although he is just in the early stages of the dissertation, he’s already thinking about the culmination.
“It’s a long road and a long ways from start to finish,” William said. “When I read dissertations and the dedications, most often they start out with attributing a large part of their success to their significant other. Mine will say the same thing. You need to have someone who lets you go off and write for hours on end every night and do what you need to do to be successful.”
We have no doubt that with the support of his family, colleagues and CityU faculty, William will be successful.
Learn more about the Doctor of Business Administration program on the CityU website or by requesting more information.