ISM insight: Life as an ISM student

The ISM Student Blog provides insight into life at ISM. Bloggers are current students and recent alumni who are excited about sharing their diverse learning experiences in ISM’s programs. Explore this blog to learn more about life at ISM, and how the program benefits students in the long run. You may also want to follow ISM on Facebook or join the conversation on Twitter.

Throughout the two years of coursework, doctoral students are continually honing their research and writing skills in preparation for the final stage: writing the dissertation. But before doctoral candidates begin to write a dissertation, they must first submit a dissertation proposal. Fortunately, preparing for this phase of the doctoral process begins on day one of the courses. 

ISM’s doctorate business programs provide diverse course offerings, enriched by an environment of students who may be entering the program as subject matter experts in various fields, such as medicine or law.  Further, as a discipline, business itself has a vast array of facets, with some subject matter experts such as accountants or HR professionals, desiring to deepen or broaden their area of expertise. These past professional experiences help to enrich classroom discussions, weaving together a diverse tapestry of perspectives in the discussion.

As a doctoral student, you are required to write two additional research papers outside of your traditional course assignments. The first paper, referred to as Case Analysis I, is assigned approximately one month before you begin the program; you have exactly three months to complete it. The second paper, referred to as Case Analysis II, is sent when you have completed approximately 75% of your course studies and also has a three-month deadline. Totaling 1.5 credits each, the first assignment is staged to serve as a baseline from which to measure your research and academic writing growth during the program.

When pursuing a doctorate degree, no matter your circumstance, you will inevitably receive the question, “How do you do it?” Admittedly, the schedule and deadlines are daunting but with a plan, a support system, and a desire to remain part of this elite and impressive group of students and alumni, it can be done.

Courtney Rottman

I am not a morning person, but I recently eagerly woke up at 3:45 a.m. to attend a class discussion with my DBA and PhD classmates. Under the direction of Dr. César Baena, I recently completed the Dynamic Strategic Management course which explores the challenges and analyses required for businesses to remain competitive and responsive in their ever-changing environments.

As part of our coursework, my classmates and I were able to come together as a group to ask questions and discuss the course materials and our research. Although unusual for an online course, attending an early morning wake-up call was a welcome interaction to spend time with my classmates in time zones across the globe due to the rich and diverse perspectives they bring to the course materials.

Courtney Rottman

You know how they say art imitates life?  Well, the timeliness of ISM’s academic course offerings certainly imitates work.  More often than not, I find myself consuming knowledge from the rich course discussion and materials then find myself applying and practicing those lessons at work the very next day.  Although my professional career has almost reached the twenty-year mark, I find that the contemporary and classical course offerings both reinforce my knowledge and prepare me to tackle the challenges that our team and organization face on a daily basis.

Courtney Rottman

As 2017 comes to a close and 2018 rolls in with new expectations and opportunities, many people mark the start of the new year by setting personal and professional goals. Some people set health-related or physical challenges, like losing weight or running a marathon. Others set out to spend more time with friends and family, reduce time on social media, or dedicate additional time to giving back to their communities.  Unfortunately, a recent survey indicated that only 9% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions.  In many cases, this is because they did not set realistic goals and expectations.  Even though it is routine to set milestones for business goals, quarterly checkpoints and often measure for success along the way, we do not adopt the same practice for our own personal goals.

Courtney Rottman

The global impact of nonprofit organizations is immense and immeasurable. Without the work of nonprofit organizations providing health and social services, advocating for the rights of the voiceless and championing environmental causes, to name a few, our world would be a far worse place than it is today. In addition to the important social roles they play, nonprofit organizations are also powerful contributors to the economy. Within the United States, the nonprofit sector raised $390 billion in 20161, and the number of people employed by the sector comprised more than 10% of the total U.S. workforce2.

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