The most important skill the DBA taught me is critical thinking


Gareth Hughes, a Bid Proposals Manager at Utility Partnership Limited, graduated from the Doctor of Business Administration at University of South Wales.


Why did you choose to study a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)?
I chose to undertake the DBA as I was looking for my next significant challenge and also wanted to address a real world issue being faced by my organisation at that time. In addition to this, I wanted to gain further professional and academic skills and capabilities to enhance my day to day work and also broaden my future career opportunities. In what is an ever increasingly competitive job market, I wanted to find further ways of differentiating myself from potential competition, which, even before the completion of the course, is something I believe the DBA is providing me. 

Why come here to study it? 
The reputation of the University of South Wales, with particular reference to the business school, is one of the highest calibre. Before committing to the Doctor of Business Administration at USW, I found all university staff to be professional, engaging, knowledgeable and above all else, motivating, with a genuine interest in being helpful in what is a major undertaking. At the point of commencement, the DBA was still a relatively rare course throughout UK universities, and the University of South Wales should be commended for leading the way in this increasingly popular and well recognised qualification.

How do you think the knowledge you have gained from the Doctor of Business Administration have impacted your professional career?
Without doubt, the most important skill the DBA has taught me is critical thinking, that nothing is sacrosanct and that everything can be questioned, no matter how long established and how widely a received wisdom it is. I feel I have gained confidence in my own analytical skills, as well as in work I produce professionally. Whilst my knowledge directly related to my field of study has obviously been greatly been enhanced, I think the approach to being analytical, the good practice of thorough research and the confidence to back your own work as valid, reliable and valuable, is of equal value to the value of the thesis itself.

Has the Doctor of Business Administration facilitated personal development?
I am a major advocate for the broader personal development that the DBA provides outside of the immediate academic and professional development. As part of the course you encounter a wide range of people from disparate sectors and industries and at varying stages in the career and professional development. The experiences of these people and the collegial atmosphere of the DBA sessions provide significant opportunity for personal growth and experience. Added to that, the expert standing of the academic staff, coupled with a open approach to debate, mean that the opportunity for personal development goes well beyond the sharp focus of an individual’s thesis.