Earning an advanced degree requires tremendous focus, discipline as well as personal and professional sacrifice. This is especially true for working adults who may already have full-time careers, financial obligations and family responsibilities.
But degree programs like the Fox School’s Executive Doctorate in Business Administrations (DBA) program can not only enhance their lives; they can help career ambitions take shape, provide new perspectives on business challenges and prepare professionals to approach problems as evidence-based managers and thought leaders in their field.
Recently, Pallavi Chitturi, academic director of the DBA program, sat down with the Fox Editorial team to discuss what it takes for managers and executives to achieve success in academia and beyond—and how the Fox DBA can help them get there.
Can you share a bit about your background?
I received my PhD from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas – Austin and joined the Fox School in 2003. I teach classes at all levels at Fox, from large undergraduate lectures to doctoral-level classes. I’ve taught at Temple’s international campuses in Tokyo and Rome, and for the Executive MBA program at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. My research interests are in the areas of experimental design and valuation studies using choice-based conjoint.
How has your experience prepared you for this new role?
I’ve had a strong connection with the Executive DBA program since its inception, having taught a class in quantitative research methods every year since 2014. I also served as the associate academic director of the program from 2015 to 2021, served on multiple DBA dissertation committees and published research articles with DBA students.
What are your immediate and long-term goals in this new position?
Although demand for the Executive DBA program is growing, so too is competition from new programs across the U.S. My goal is to ensure that the Fox Executive DBA program continues to attract talented industry professionals in a competitive environment and trains and mentors them in a supportive research setting. Drawing on the research expertise of our faculty, DBA students can generate impactful translational research and publish in practice-oriented journals while advancing their executive careers. Fox DBA students have won the ‘Best Paper Award’ at the Engaged Management Scholarship (EMS) conference three times in the past five years, which is a strong indicator of the rigor and quality of our program. EMS is an annual international conference organized by the Executive DBA Council.
Why should someone get a DBA degree?
The Fox DBA program is a practice-oriented doctoral degree. It is targeted at managers and executives with substantial industry experience who seek to leverage tools of applied theory and research to solve real world business problems. It gives working professionals the opportunity to build upon and share knowledge acquired over their careers through research, thought leadership and consulting in senior management.
DBA students come into the program with established careers and family obligations, so taking on this kind of rigorous academic program can be a challenge! What do you think helps a DBA student balance it all?
The Fox DBA program is indeed a rigorous program that helps students gain an understanding of both research concepts and practical implementations. However, program faculty and staff provide students with the support and resources needed to enrich the learning experience and achieve success. The program also connects students with Fox alumni and experienced professionals across different industries. Building a strong support network and collaborating with their peers helps students manage their work-life balance. The program provides students with a structured setting for developing their research ideas and building research skills under the guidance of their mentors. Students graduate with a dissertation that has a positive impact on their professional lives, their industry and the business world at large.