Alumni Spotlight: Art Trejo

Alumni Spotlight: Art Trejo

This week’s spotlight focuses on Dr. Art Trejo. He completed the Doctorate in Management, Organizational Leadership Specialization in Information Systems, & Technology (DM/IST) in 2013. Dr. Trejo has a background in Electronic & Industrial engineering and is currently the principal consultant in his private practice, where he serves as Senior Vice President, Marketing, Sales and Program Management. His firm focuses on the commercial and defense industry in aerospace /avionics, Internet of Things, and high availability & wearable computing.

Dr. Trejo has had several speaking engagements related to his research so far. He visited Oxford to present his research at a local UN event. He has also presented in India, Nepal, Spain, Portugal, and Belgium. His TED Talk is available here and you can learn more about him from his TED profile.

View his Research Hub profile to see a full list of his publications and presentations >>

We asked Dr. Trejo about his experience completing his doctoral degree with the School of Advanced Studies. Read on to learn more.

What was the defining moment that led to your decision to pursue your doctorate?

A defining moment for me to pursue a doctoral degree was when I was attending my bachelor degree at the Engineering Faculty at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico in my Electronic Engineering classes in Mexico City. Many of my professors had a doctoral degree, when interacting with the faculty professors in several projects, I was motivated by them and then, I dreamed that one day I would become a doctor. I kept my dream alive for several years.

What is the biggest lesson you learned from your doctoral journey?

The biggest lesson learned during my doctoral journey was to be humble and to face every day with humility. In addition, you need to seek inspiration from everybody, keep increasing your knowledge, and stay motivated. The most important consideration is that motivation could come from anyone at any moment if we are open to learn from anybody, where we all can learn from each other, everybody can contribute to our knowledge.

What enhancements have you seen in your leadership capabilities?

My leadership capabilities have been enhanced directly by my doctoral research projects, which were focused on Emotional Intelligence from the diversity perspective in a highly technical world. Every day, I am improving my leader position by teaching, motivating, inspiring and deploying the concept of Emotional Intelligence in my work environment in programs and projects. The benefit of my doctoral research knowledge has given me a tremendous advantage as a leader to better understand my team members and to keep motivating my employees to assist them in achieving the outcomes of our highly technical aerospace / avionics projects and programs.

How has your doctoral experience changed your personal/professional life? 

For me personally, my doctoral degree has made a substantial difference and significant contribution to my professional life because it opened up a new chapter on my professional career trajectory. It also generated another facet in my professional identity. My acquired knowledge allowed me to better position me myself as a leader, namely from better managing my teams members from the Emotional Intelligence perspective and diversity, and becoming a truly transformational leader. In addition, from my personal perspective, it continues to enable me to broaden my perspective and become an active participant in higher education and industry research projects.

From the personal area, it has helped me to be a motivational speaker in the Hispanic community, where Hispanic students connect and feel motivated to stay in school for the good of their families and communities. From the family perspective, I could have not achieved my doctoral objective without the support, love and motivation of my family, and my degree gave a different view of how to interact with my loved ones, learning from them and to support them to achieve their objectives and dreams.

My daughter was motivated after seeing my struggles and dedication that she decided to continue her higher education, and she completed her master’s degree in Education, and now she is considering pursuing her doctoral degree.

By using my knowledge and expertise of my Emotional Intelligence skills gave me an incredible advantage to communicate and interact with my son who is on the autism spectrum. It helps me to better understand him. All the family members are committed to his learning and learning to be independent.

What’s next for you now that you are a doctor?

What is next for me is to keep focused in my research topics by applying acquired knowledge at the workplace for the good of the community, and to share findings and the acquired knowledge with my peers, students, alumni, and at the conferences where I am invited to present. I am very interested in pursuing a Post-Doctoral degree and participating in the Research Centers Hub at University of Phoenix.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering the SAS doctoral program or to a student currently in the program?

There is plenty of advice to be given by an individual that went through the doctoral program already. As they say, if I knew what I know now, I could have done it differently. However, one advice is to be humble and keep progressing in school without fighting the system. Rules are in place for our learning benefit. Doctoral students should not be discouraged for one incident, one class or one grade.

Doctoral students need to keep their focus very clear about obtaining their doctoral degree and understand very well the responsibility of becoming a doctor with the research community, our family, and the academic world, and most important that the grand price is at the end of the doctoral journey. Persistence and perseverance are important abilities to have as doctoral student to move through the doctoral program. Doctoral students have to keep in mind that Rome was not built in one day, which means that becoming a doctor has satisfactions and sacrifices throughout the process. Happiness and fun is not about the destination, it is about the journey.

As students, we learn in every single class and we have the opportunity to increase our knowledge.  Doctoral students must be open and willing to learn and share knowledge with our faculty, university staff, and classmates.

Thank you, Dr. Trejo, for choosing UOPX to complete your doctoral degree. We wish you the best of luck in your ongoing research and future presentations.