SAS Alumni Spotlight: Barrett Shaw

SAS Alumni Spotlight: Barrett Shaw

This week’s spotlight focuses on Barrett Shaw, a 2014 graduate of the Doctor of Management, Organizational Leadership program. Dr. Shaw has worked for National Security Technologies since 2002 and currently serves as a Senior Administrative Specialist.

Read his alumni Q & A below to learn more about his experience studying at the School of Advanced Studies.

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

A strong desire to challenge myself and find a greater sense of purpose in my career. After idling for many years, I had a moment of reflection where I realized how much time I had wasted not moving myself forward. Upon seeing an ad for University of Phoenix, I made the decision to continue my education and it led me to the doctoral program.

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

With commitment and perseverance, you can accomplish anything. The doctoral journey is challenging, at times frustrating, and extremely rewarding. You are responsible for your success in the program and if you hold true to your determination and keep the end result in mind, you will succeed in completing the journey.

What enhancements have you seen in your leadership capabilities?

Greater confidence in my decision making and my interactions with co-workers. I am comfortable speaking up, sharing my opinion, or offering advice because I am confident in my knowledge base. The doctoral program provided a solid foundation of leadership theory, which influences my career choices and decisions on a daily basis.

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

I am more willing to put myself out there and try new things because I’ve been through the ultimate set of hurdles. Nothing could be more daunting or challenging than going through the doctoral journey. The confidence has opened a whole new set of opportunities to grow on both a personal and professional level.

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

I am looking to get more involved in the doctoral community in a mentoring capacity. I am passionate about helping others succeed on their doctoral journey. I am also working to develop my speaking/coaching business.

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

Don’t overthink whether you should do it or not. Trust yourself and your ability and make the leap. I spoke with the doctoral enrollment counselor several times over the course of a summer, and each time, I felt like it was something I couldn’t achieve. Finally, after our third or fourth conversation, I just decided to jump in, not fully knowing what I was getting myself into. It was the best decision I ever made.

Thank you, Dr. Shaw, for choosing University of Phoenix to continue your education, and for your willingness to give back to the research community as a mentor.