As the first blog entry of the new year, let me say that I am thrilled for what lies ahead.
My besties, Generation Z, are gaining momentum both in academic research and as a hot topic for organizational strategists. I am also beginning to see incremental progress on all of my writing projects - including final decisions being made with two of my articles (fingers crossed).
With all of the motivation and good vibes I received during the holiday season, I hope to share it with everyone who find themselves pursuing knowledge and advancement of any kind.
The month of November flew by! I participated in a month-long writing challenge and absolutely loved the positivity and progress I made in my research projects.
As of now, I have two journal articles submitted for consideration, and I am working on two books in tandem. BUT the best news is that I have been selected to be part of the University of Phoenix as a lead Research Fellow! Myself and two researchers will be exploring the career goals and interests of doctoral alumni from online programs. I am super excited about it as this is an underserved cohort in the literature.
Have a wonderful December everyone and I will provide more updates soon!
The weather outside is rainy and my brain is storming too. I love getting together with peers and mentors to mutually discuss business trends, new research, plans for research, and opportunities. We kicked off today with new information about consumer behavior and a new study about Gen Z in the workplace. Tomorrow we will present Gen Z and the triple bottom line - a study we hope to get funding for soon. More details on the findings of that study will be made available once data is finished being collected. I am so thankful to be able to attend conferences and even more humbled to be asked to present my work. In the meantime, stay classy y'all (as they say in Texas).
My research partner, Unnatti Jain, and I - doing the obligatory pre-conference selfie!
Advocating for my fellow doctoral scholars is something I think every graduate should pursue. There is a sense of obligation, of course, to help out our comrades in arms, but it is also part of my core beliefs that humanity is at its best when knowledge is shared.
In keeping with this sense of duty, I informally polled two social media groups comprised of current doctoral students and alumni. This convenience sample included students and graduates from over forty institutions across the United States, some of whom were virtual students oversees. The total sample size was 197 and here are the results to the survey:
When asked "Based on your own doctoral journey, which one of the following do you think needs to be improved in order to improve overall doctoral success and/or experience?" participants felt:
76% Faculty-to-Student Mentorship
12% Curriculum design
6% Critical Thinking/Philosophical Thought
4% Student-to-Student Mentoring
1% None of the above
and one participant added that better processes needed to be established to provide sponsorship of students to faculty, as well as steps to dissertation completion.
The prevalence of faculty mentorship being identified as an institutional issue was a humbling reminder of the vital role faculty play in the overall experience and success rate of doctoral students. As universities innovate and adapt to the virtual schema, we cannot forget the interpersonal relationships that are integral to the academic journey.
I recently relocated to the Pacific Northwest and have been enjoying every minute of it!
What has made the move even sweeter is the opportunity that has been presented to me to oversee the Policy Council of the Ada County Head Start program. As a parent with children who have used this program, being able to assess and develop policy for early education programs will be quite rewarding.
Considering that all young learners are all members of Generation Z also means that this position will compliment the organizational research I am conducting on this cohort. I am thrilled in all directions, as my mother used to say. My blog will include any interesting trends in early education that come up during my time in this role. Stay tuned...
I am happy to report that I have been asked to present a prospectus study at the Academy of Business Research conference in San Antonio, TX October 24-26, 2018.
This study, exploring which traits Generation Z possesses which may influence organizational sustainability, is a collaboration project with a fellow doctoral student I met last year.
If you are interested in attending the conference, here is a link to their main page. This conference is a great "starter" conference for doctoral students or recent graduates who are new to the academic world. ABR hosts a few journals and three conferences each year. I have had nothing but positive experiences with this group and I am looking forward to presenting with them for a second time.
One of my mentees and I will be presenting at conference this fall (more on that later). We began discussing their dissertation study and the issue of scope creeping. The problem statement is perhaps the most important concept to understand and acquire as a researcher. Learning how to avoid scope creep is part of that.
I first heard about scope creeping from Dr. Holly Rick at my first doctoral residency. She explained that too often students will try to address a problem too broadly - or rather, the problem they identify is too broad to effectively design a research study.
Picture it like an hourglass: the background of the study is broad (establishes the environment in which a problem exists). The research problem identified is specific, concise, and addresses one facet of a greater issue. The study that you conduct exists within the scope of the problem. However, once the study findings are disseminated, they can potentially be applied back to the larger phenomenon which exists. In fact, a thorough discussion of findings would include the implications of those findings on professionals, scholars, society, etc.
Scope creep can be identified through editing, reflection, peer review, and practice.
I am very excited to be part of the University of Phoenix alumni group. Before my alma mater (University of Arizona) was offering business school programs for the working adult, U of P had three separate options to choose from. I began taking night classes and eventually went virtual with U of P and I have not looked back.
Further cementing that I am a Phoenix, the university has selected me to participate in a workshop that will help secure publication opportunities for my articles. This first year of my postdoctoral life, I had planned to write a series of articles derivative of initial work from my study - so this workshop is an exciting chance to make that happen.
A book manuscript is in the early planning stages now, which will include research about Millennials and Generation Z. This project is longer-term, but just as thrilling to be part of.
My next study is being designed as we speak, and if I have not found a "home" university to work for, I will be seeking grant funding to independently conduct it. But more on that later...
The main purpose of my doctoral program was to propel me to a more academic career. I have enjoyed being a leader and practitioner in the business world, but I have learned that what I am truly passionate about is teaching others. The road ahead after finishing my doctoral program is exciting and potentially limitless! My research has been well received domestically and internationally, and I hope to return to Europe this fall to present at conference.
Since I am a firm believer in planning ahead, here are some steps I am taking on this new road: