Alumni Spotlight: Scott Cohen, DBA, MCOB Class of 2016
Shortly after obtaining an MBA and Masters of Accounting degree, I found myself teaching on an adjunct basis for a number of local colleges and universities. While I originally thought that I would just teach on a part-time basis while I managed my CPA firm and other business interests, I soon found myself looking forward to teaching my next class much more than I did going into the office. At first it seemed a bit odd to me, but I found that I got a great deal more satisfaction out of helping people obtain their educational and career goals than I did trying to develop the next tax strategy for a client. As I investigated what it would take to become a full time educator, it became quite obvious to me that I would need to obtain a doctoral degree in order to be qualified to earn the type of living that I would like and to work at the type of school that I desired.
However, finding a program that was AACSB accredited that would allow me to maintain my current employment was no easy task. After spending approximately four years investigating and evaluating programs where I could attain an AACSB accredited doctoral business degree, I was fortunate to find out that the University of South Alabama was just starting a new program.
As part of the admissions process, I was required to travel from my home in North Carolina to the campus for a formal interview. While this may seem to many a bit of a hassle, I was very glad that I did. In my mind, while MCOB was busy evaluating me as a prospective student, I was also evaluating them in order to decide if this was the place where I would be comfortable spending three years of my life and investing a great deal of time and money for my future. Fortunately, I found MCOB to be a great fit. I was very impressed with the MCOB, and most importantly, with the professors with whom I would be working over the next three years.
I can say that earning this doctoral degree was quite a challenge. For those of you that may be thinking about this, please don’t make the decision lightly. Quite honestly, it made getting my CPA license a cake walk. It is NOT just another MBA type degree. The program is designed to be comprehensive and research intensive to prepare students to compete with those from full-time Ph. D. programs. It is a significant commitment in time, effort and money. That said, the rewards and benefits of earning a DBA from the Mitchell College of Business are commensurate with the difficulty earning it.
During my program I was fortunate enough to have one paper published (with Dr. Turnipseed), and have two papers that were accepted to the Academy of Management, and one at the Southern Management Association (all with Dr. Mosley and Dr. Gillis). Hopefully, these will be published in peer-reviewed journals in the near future. Outside of working with the professors at MCOB, I have also been working with another group of researchers from Bryant University, Indiana State, and SKEMA Business School. We currently have one paper under a third review at the Journal of Business Research, and two other papers have recently been accepted to major conferences.
Earning this degree has afforded me the opportunity to interview for a number of positions. While part of the DBA program, I was offered a position teaching accounting at SKEMA Business School, a highly ranked French business school that is in partnership with NC State University. Recently, I have accepted a tenure track position at the University of Indianapolis. In the end, the degree from USA opened the doors to a host of opportunities and has enabled me to begin an entirely new career. Earning this degree was a great challenge. I now look forward to the great opportunities that are sure to come my way.
Scott Cohen, DBA
MCOB Class of 2016