My application journey to DBA at Warwick Business School

15 March 2023

DBA participant, Kathy Chen, shares her experience when applying for the DBA at Warwick Business School. 

I have been studying in the DBA programme since October 2022. My goal to study in a doctoral programme started when I was a teenager. Although it took me more than 25 years to achieve this goal, I am grateful to become a doctoral student at Warwick Business School (WBS). My journey to the doctoral programme at WBS started with a desire to advance my knowledge and expertise in the field of Marketing and Strategy.

After I was awarded an MBA degree in Canada, I worked in the marketing area in different industries and countries. Being a head of marketing and a key member of the corporate strategy development team in the hotel industry formed the foundation of my career. My daughter’s birth and growth encouraged me to found a tour company with my partners. The brand successfully expanded to different countries and satisfied customers from various segments. It had been a wonderful 12-year adventure when I realised the world was changing faster than I imagined. Therefore I decided to update my knowledge and pursue my passion for marketing. The Master’s study at King’s Business School was a transformative experience that expanded my knowledge and evoked my goal of studying in a doctoral programme. I am thankful for my family’s support in my decision of applying for a doctoral programme.

I started my application for a doctoral programme in June 2021 by researching potential supervisors at different universities. After in-depth discussions with supervisors, I understood a PhD was not suitable for my situation: I am a working parent, a national golf referee, and a competitive junior golfer who has a busy golf tournament schedule around the world. But the DBA programme at Warwick Business School attracted me. WBS has a strong reputation for academic excellence and practical application. The DBA is a highly sought-after programme for professionals who are willing to gain in-depth knowledge and develop advanced research skills. The four-year programme fits most professionals’ busy workload, which includes eight 3-day workshops over the first two years. While most of them are at The Shard in London, it is convenient for professionals, like me, outside the UK to get access.

Throughout my application process, the admission and the programme teams were incredibly supportive and responsive. They were always available to answer any questions I had. Since last October, I have taken three workshops and attended one DBA conference. I enjoy the learning experience with my cohort of 21 students in different fields of study. Engaging with the world-class faculty, collaborating with fellow students, and sharing ideas make my DBA experience delightful.

The DBA programme at WBS stood out for its remarkable faculty, cutting-edge curriculum, and focus on practical application. As a practitioner pursuing theoretical learning, studying a doctoral programme is challenging yet rewarding. I expect my study on sustainability marketing and brand management will benefit different industries, eventually driving changes.

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