SAS Alumni Spotlight: Marisela Jimenez

SAS Alumni Spotlight: Marisela Jimenez

This week’s spotlight features Marisela Jimenez, recent graduate of the Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership program. Dr. Jimenez is a business analyst, consultant, and trainer, specializing in solving organizational gaps that impact organizational performance. She has worked in both the private and public sectors, across various industries, and currently serves as COO of Intire Health.

As part of her doctoral studies, Dr. Jimenez completed a quantitative research study (link below) involving leaders' emotional intelligence and leadership styles in context of organizational change initiatives. She is actively researching ways to improve organizational performance.

With her doctoral completed, Dr. Jimenez plans to give back to the business community, particularly men and women in start-up companies. Read her alumni Q & A below for more about her experience in completing the doctoral journey.

View her profile >>

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

Realizing that time was going to pass me by regardless of what I was doing was my defining moment in pursuing my doctorate, and for me, it is best to live my life with minimum regrets. 

What inspired your research project topic?

My research project topic was inspired my experience working for global corporations and smaller, privately-held companies; regardless of size and industry, my managers seemed oblivious about employees’ frustrations every time changes in the company were announced.  My doctoral program provided the platform to examine possible correlations between managers’ leadership skills and employees’ overall performance; after rigorously aligning my research study, I learned that emotional intelligence plays a critical role in the effectiveness of managers; without the appropriate level of emotional intelligence and leadership skills, most managers may announce company changes while neglecting to consider the emotional effects in employees.

What’s next for you and your project?

In my research study, I provided recommendations for additional research examining organizational performance through the lens of the emotional intelligence flexibility subscale and the transformational and transactional leadership styles. Among these variables, I plan to focus on Hispanic managers to learn variances between their leadership style and emotional intelligence in context of their effectiveness.  The Hispanic population continues to rise and data are needed to identify Hispanic leaders’ overall success in managing a business in the United States.  Essentially, demographics will include ethnicity, gender, age, and education.

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

My biggest lesson learned is that in my doctoral journey, perseverance, discipline, and self-motivation superseded my intelligence; yes, it took IQ to start my doctoral journey but it took a high level of EQ to finish it. 

What enhancements have you seen in your leadership capabilities? 

Primarily, I have developed a deeper awareness about my behavior in situations involving groups of people with diverse professional backgrounds; this awareness has helped me to manage my leadership style, thought processes, and problem solving approach.

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

My doctoral experience changed my life in context of meaningfully engaging in opportunities that create significance while benefiting my family, employer, and my community; thus, my perspective about what I do encompasses significance before prestige.

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

Most importantly, know that perseverance, discipline, and self-motivation are essential to initiate and to finish the doctoral program.  Get a daily boost of each one of these three sources and press forward towards the goal.

Dr. Jimenez added, “I want to express my gratitude and acknowledge the following persons who were incredibly supportive in helping me to accomplish my doctoral journey.  I thank my mentor Dr. Lionel de Souza, and my committee members Dr. Lisa H. Cree and Dr. James Cunningham; your guidance and encouragement helped me to overcome many challenging moments, and without your patience and insight, I would had encountered many closed doors, yet you helped me to open my mind and to see opportunities amidst chaos and limitations.  I am forever grateful!”

Thank you, Marisela, for working this journey with the University of Phoenix and the School of Advanced Studies. We wish you the best in your future efforts in research and business practice!