David L. Tuyo II has been a student at California Southern University since September 2011 and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Business Administration. He has been in the financial services industry for more than 15 years. David is the executive vice president and chief financial officer for a community financial institution in south Florida. He is married and has two children who are active in many extracurricular activities.
David earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Mobile as well as an MBA from Mississippi State University. He also has completed executive education programs at the Johnson Business School at Cornell University, Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.
Amber Artiaga, academic advisor for the School of Business, sat down with David to discuss his experience with the CalSouthern DBA program.
Amber Artiaga: What made you decide to continue your education and earn your DBA?
David L. Tuyo II: I have always had plans to pursue a DBA to push myself and explore research at a much deeper level. I have a great respect for anyone who continues their education and want to be a good role model to my children as well as those who I am blessed to meet in my personal and professional lives. The DBA also helps to differentiate me in the marketplace while I work toward the honor of one day leading an organization as a president and CEO.
Amber: What led you to choose CalSouthern?
David: The value proposition at CalSouthern is extremely unique. The tuition-lock feature makes the planning process easy, especially when pursuing a degree that will take a few years to complete. The accreditation was important to me, as was the history of the school; the university has been delivering distance-learning programs since the days of disco. I wanted to go with a seasoned program. With personal and professional time constraints, I couldn’t afford to be a guinea pig or a beta student for a university that was attempting to horizontally integrate into the online learning space. Finally, I was impressed with the hands-on personal touch I received as I researched the school and went through the enrollment process.
Amber: How long have you been in the program?
David: I started my first class October 1, 2011. I have taken one class at a time, progressing through the program without missing a single month. I am on track to graduate in December 2014 or January 2015.
Amber: What has been the biggest challenge?
David: Without a doubt it has been balancing work, school and family. During the course of the program, I have changed jobs twice and started a consulting business. I also relocated to different parts of Florida. My children are in their critical development years and it’s essential to me that I remain an active father. Amber, as my academic advisor, you have always kept me on track with emails and phone calls. I am more appreciative of that than you will ever know.
Amber: What are you most proud of?
David: I am most proud of my family being so supportive of throughout the past few years. They’ve done everything they could possibly do to set me up for success.
Amber: What surprised you most about the first year of the program?
David: The first year flew by, and it was surprising how simple it was. I am not talking about the course material or the workload, but the step-by-step process the university has developed for learners to be successful. In many respects, the courses are designed to address the age-old question “How do you eat an elephant?” Of course, the answer is “one bite at a time.” In this case, it is one assignment at time to complete a class, then one class at a time to finish a year, and one year at a time to finish a program.
Amber: What advice would you give to learners that are just starting their program?
David: First and foremost, jump in and get started! There are a lot of people who dream of graduating, but never get off the starting line, which, of course is the first step in any journey. The second piece of advice would be to trust the process. CalSouthern has been doing this since before many of its learners were even born. Also, you should interact with your mentors, academic advisor and other learners as much as possible. Finally, I would make sure that you “push the pause button” from time to time and reflect on what you’re learning and maybe go a bit deeper into your area of study. It will keep you from merely going through the motions and allow you to enjoy this extraordinary journey!