The completion of Alvin’s DBA program is on the horizon. If all goes well, he plans to finish up his doctoral study by the end of this summer 2012. In an interview with Alvin, he shares how happenstance networking opportunities, the Walden community, and a little bit of perseverance are leading him to reach his career goals as a higher education instructor and beyond.
- What prompted you to pursue your DBA with Walden?
After working for over 18 years in the consumer products and consulting industries, his job was eliminated in 2009. Ending his relationship with the corporate world allowed himself to dedicate more time to entrepreneurial ventures as a professional speaker and instructional career coach. He developed programs, curricula and instructional materials to lead inspirational workshops and seminars at companies, conferences and schools in the community. Through his work empowering others to reach their goals and become successful in their careers, he became more and more interested in furthering his education with a doctoral degree to continue on to become a higher ed instructor.
- How has Walden Career Services helped you with attaining your goal to become a higher education instructor?
Alvin’s first experience with Career Services was through his residency experience when he attended the Career Management Strategies seminar, which enlightened him as to how he could use his Walden doctoral experience to advance his career. He also met with Career Services one-on-one in person and through phone appointments to set goals and come up with an action plan to reach his goals. Career Services was instrumental in guiding him with the development of a strong, academically focused CV, and setting realistic goals for higher ed teaching positions by gaining experience at the community college level first. Alvin took the advice of Career Services, and started connecting with smaller tech schools and community colleges in his state. He capitalized on his relevant skill set gained from his entrepreneurial and career coaching experience to bridge the gap. By the summer of 2011, he was teaching his first higher ed course in entrepreneurship, and since then has added an additional 6 adjunct instructor positions. Because of Alvin’s strong academic and professional achievements, he was also nominated by Walden faculty to serve as a lead peer mentor for fellow doctoral students.
- What is your most recent success?
Alvin recently earned a Walden University research grant to conduct an Entrepreneurship Case Study in Cambodia with his doctoral study chair. This year he will be spending 2 weeks in Cambodia to conduct an entrepreneurship training boot camp for local community-based business owners. This opportunity resulted from a serendipitous connection at a Walden residency with a faculty member who shared his interest in entrepreneurship.
How did this come about? He was discussing his research interests with a Walden faculty member at a residency. It turned out they had the same research interests regarding entrepreneurship, and the connection was made.
- What advice do you have for other Walden students?
Alvin highly recommends taking advantage of all the support services that Walden has to offer: Library, Writing and Career Services. As a doctoral student, he also recommends being fully engaged in both the virtual and face-to-face residency experiences. Become a powerful networker, and connect with your Walden colleagues/peers, faculty and staff, and treat each person you meet like a treasure chest waiting to be opened. And, of course, don’t forget to give back to your network.
Secondly, Walden’s programs are extremely practical. As a student, you are able to take the knowledge and theory from the classroom and put it into practice immediately. This is a great way to bridge your academic life with your professional life to reach your goals.
Written by Career Services Advisor Nicolle Skalski