The CalSouthern DBA: A First-Person Account

Feb 4, 2015 by Daniel Baro, DBA

daniel-baron-featureMy name is Daniel Baron and I live in Toronto, Canada.  I have more than 25 years of corporate experience with small- and large-sized enterprises and have been president of three companies.  Over the years, I have been able to acquire a well-rounded, practical knowledge regarding how to run a business, but eventually I began to feel the desire to “elevate my game”—despite the fact that I am in my 50s. After all, my MBA is now more than 20 years old!

A friend and colleague of mine mentioned that her husband had earned a DBA at CalSouthern; he spoke very highly of the program and of the university as a whole. A DBA, for a practitioner like me, was the perfect program to improve my business skills. And as I researched universities, CalSouthern came out on top with its unique approach to self-paced, online learning. This flexibility to work toward my DBA at my own pace, studying wherever and whenever I chose, was very important to me since I am still working and need to fit my studies into my busy schedule.

So far, so good: I started my DBA on October 1, 2013, and have maintained a 4.0 GPA through my first eight courses.

So is the degree a walk in the park? No. Anything but! The DBA is a lot of hard work and demands discipline and sacrifice. However, on the other hand, it is very rewarding to acquire a cutting-edge knowledge of business at the highest level of education. This has given me more tools and more self-confidence to solve the business problems that I face on a daily basis.

Academically, I face a challenge that most other learners do not. My first language is French, and writing in English has been a challenge—and scholarly writing is an even bigger one.  However, I have learned the discipline of writing during this past year, and now I miss writing whenever I skip a day.

The DBA program can seem overwhelming at times, but my way to deal with this is to narrow my focus and take it one day at a time without thinking too much about all the work ahead. For example, if I find I am unable to complete a paper, I put it aside, rest, and work harder at it the next day.

Also, at CalSouthern, you are not alone. The university has very competent mentors that are readily available, quite helpful, and very supportive for online learners like us. In the same way, the university’s academic support team is equally available whenever help is needed, and our dean has personally demonstrated to me that he cares for his learners and is there to help you succeed.



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