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DBA Testimonial: Dr. Esther Sleilati

Publié le
11 Octobre 2021

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” is what Benjamin Franklin once asserted.

This has always been my motto in life, mainly on the professional level. Years after starting out a corporate career in Marketing, I decided to make a pivotal vocational shift and delve into the realm of education. The night classes I had been teaching on a part-time basis after my corporate schedule yielded so much fulfillment that I just had to dedicate myself to inspiring and equipping the youth with the know-how I had acquired throughout my life. After all, “a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle” (Fr. James Keller). What if one candle could light hundreds of other candles? This would enlighten the entire world!

At that point, in December 2008, I sought my DBA with GEM, my home away from home. That was one of the best decisions in my life! A true watershed! I was a part-time university instructor at the time with prior experience mainly in corporate marketing research but with meager knowledge in academic research. 

Given that my aim was an exclusive career in academia, the DBA mindset was paramount for my success. To light up the candles of the young generations, didn’t I need to have the tools and timely knowledge? How could I show them the way if I was in doubt? How could I provide them with the latest findings without being updated myself? This was the beginning of the DBA journey that molded me into a completely different person. 

The DBA at GEM granted me a priceless learning experience by opening up all the doors of academic research to me along with infallible support from my supervisor and the GEM family.

I put the acquired knowledge and techniques into practice in my thesis entitled “The Effects of the ISO 9000 Certification of Firms in Lebanon upon the Satisfaction of their Customers in the Business-to-Business Lebanese Market: The Case of the Packaging Industry”, and graduated in December 2011, which resulted in my getting a full-time position at Notre Dame University (NDU), a NECHE accredited university in Lebanon.

“What is research but a blind date with knowledge?” This question by Will Harvey, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, kept haunting me, thus giving way to an invaluable research journey. The latter consistently unearthed ground-breaking knowledge that I was a pioneer in sharing with my students, and publishing in peer-reviewed academic journals. Every single publication refined my research skills, granted me further knowledge, and drew me a step closer to the summit.

As to my supervisees, whether Master students with both the GEM and NDU or DBA candidates at GEM, they have been benefitting of an experience with me analogous to my experience with GEM. I have made it my mission to transmit to each one of them exactly what I have been so fortunate to acquire from my learning experience during and after my DBA. 

After all, it is the DBA that has enabled me to build up advanced problem-solving skills, to continuously develop critical thinking and analytical skills, to boost my credibility, and to never give up! I have made it a point to transmit as high doses of each of these treasured skills to every single one of my students. 

How right was John Naisbitt when he claimed that “we are drowning in information but starved for knowledge”. This DBA-driven mindset is what my students look up to, and it is this state of mind that I have been striving to inculcate into my students’ outlook, whether in Lebanon or at the international schools where I am a visiting professor.

As an Associate Professor today, ten years after initiating the DBA journey, I am more research-driven than ever. I am still learning and transmitting my knowledge to those hungry minds eager to understand. I am still lighting up candles and unearthing critical minds.

I am still awakening the youth to the truism revealed by a Nobel Prize winner, Albert Szent-Györgyi, that “Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what NOBODY else has thought”

My mission is to make an impact!

 

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