A New Journey: Pursuing My Doctoral Degree in Management

Sometimes you have to make the leap to to pursue the questions that keep you awake at night.

My acceptance letter to Weatherhead School of Doctoral Program at Case Western Reserve University.
Justin Ribeiro

Update, June 2023: Having been encouraged by my research, advisors, and colleagues, I declared and have been accepted into the PhD program in the School of Graduate Studies at Case Western Reserve University. So instead of now being a Doctoral Candidate in my 3rd year, I am now a PhD student preparing for comprehensives next year and working diligently on my 2nd study and dissertation.

The lack of writing here over the course of the last couple of months is by no accident. I’ve not befallen writers block or illness, I’ve not been buried under work or deadlines. I’ve not been hiding from the light of day so much as trying to climb a mountain to see it from a new perspective, a set of vastly different contexts with very different stakes.

Truth be told, I’ve written a great numbers of pages of late, just not in the more public context I’ve grown accustomed. More specifically about 40 pages, edited down to 26 pages with no only a very specific purpose but a different voice: they told the story of why I was in pursuit of a doctoral (and possibly PhD) degree.

I don’t need a doctorate by any means; no one has at any point in time said another degree is what I need to be successful—if anything, the opposite is more true. That said, as wide as my reach and career has been I cannot shake this yearning for the long term, a more valuable cross generational impact that is not only pertinent to the problems faced today, but a sustainable future.

I’d been planning to make the attempt in some form over the last few years which required a lot of aligning of priorities and responsibilities—personally and professionally. The last couple of months I’ve spent pen in hand on application revisions, trying to hone my overall message. After much paperwork, interviews, and soul searching, the dust did settle into a silent calm as I awaited my reviews.

The first letter to come in was one I had hoped for: I’ve been accepted at Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. Their Doctor of Business Administration program came highly recommended from both friends who attended their program (cheers Laurie) and others who had high praise for the faculty which includes a veritable who-who of oft-cited researchers like Kalle Lyytinen and Richard Boyatzis. The program checks a lot of my boxes for the sort of research I’d like to accomplish and my overall goal beyond the doctorate is to go further toward the sustainable systems PhD program.

With a start in the fall of this year, the next three to four years within the program should be an interesting and challenging journey. My pursuit of knowledge has always been driven by a wide curiosity to explore the world around me, so it’s hard to hide my excitement for the challenges ahead. I relish to see what comes along as I wander down this new and uncharted path.