IMPACT OF THE EXECUTIVE DBA
The Business Science Institute spoke to Vincent Mottet, graduate of the Geneva cohort n° 1, 2013-2016 and author of Construire une agglomération transfrontalière. Méthode pour surmonter les contradictions normatives, (Building a cross-border district. A method to overcome normative contradictions) éditions EMS, Business Science Institute collection, 2016, 144 pages. After more than 15 years working in the finance department at the Republic and Canton of Geneva, he was nominated as Commissioner for Strategic Affairs in January 2019 by the Council of State. In charge of implementing a new digital policy, for which almost everything remained to be achieved initially, Vincent’s learning experience on the Executive DBA has been of great use. At the same time, he is running for Mayor in the forthcoming elections in Spring 2020.
- What has been the impact of the DBA on your life?
My life hasn’t changed at all and I haven’t become a bookworm, a mad scientist nor a wise man. On the other hand, I’ve undoubtedly gained in intellectual maturity, in confidence and in assurance.
- And the impact on your family?
Let’s not kid ourselves, a DBA takes up a lot of your time. But with a minimum of discipline and organisation, it’s perfectly possible to lead a career whilst working on your DBA, which is often a source of pleasure and sometimes even an escape from professional life! For the record, my 3 adolescent children now call me “Master”, to which I reply that it’s not exactly true and that “Doctor” would be more appropriate!
- And on your career?
The impact hasn’t really been direct, since I already had a stable job and total recognition in my position. What is more, I didn’t do the DBA in the first place in order to find a new job, and even less so to obtain an academic qualification, a title or some form of recognition for my efforts. On the other hand, the secondary impacts have been much more numerous: for example, the desire to share my new-found knowledge and to want to continue my learning journey. This is how I discovered a passion for writing, thanks to a chance to publish books on my thesis topic (the governance of Grand Geneva) as author, co-author or editor. Another book will be coming out again in April 2020 on the construction of the biggest cross-border rail network in Europe called the Léman Express, which was opened in December 2019. I was offered the opportunity to co-edit the book with a friend and former Genevan Deputy, Mr. Gabriel Barrillier.
- And what effect has the DBA had on your way of thinking?
The DBA has improved my critical thinking skills, enabling me to analyse complex situations more effectively and perhaps more swiftly too, as well as developing my ability to take decisions faced with multi-dimensional choices. From a professional perspective, I’ve realised that I get on better with and am more efficient when I’m working with colleagues who have a doctoral qualification (PhD, etc.,). Our way of thinking enables us to analyse projects we’re working on deeply and very quickly. Our meetings tend to be brief and very intense.
- What have you taken away from this experience?
Do you mean, given a second chance would I do it again? Absolutely, with my eyes shut! Not only did the DBA correspond in every respect to my unfulfilled expectations since no other University programme allowed me to reconcile my professional life with the demands of doctoral studies, but furthermore I really enjoyed following each of the modules taught by renowned Professors and also reading through research articles, asking myself thousands of questions and feeling ….. doubtful!
- If you had to give our doctoral candidates one piece of advice, what would it be?
The road is long, but it’s not fraught with difficulties. However, it’s worth the effort! Beyond the question of having the right work method and discipline, you need to remain confident in your ability and never give up. I went through some highs and lows. My best advice would be talk about things straight away if you have any doubts, difficulties, problems or you’re feeling exhausted. The faculty members, your thesis director and the scientific advisor in particular are there to supervise and support you. I remember one day feeling very depressed and totally demotivated after a professor told me that my reasoning was slipping away from under my feet following a presentation. After 6 months on the programme, I was under the impression I understood nothing and wasn’t made for a DBA. A quick 10 or 15-minute phone call with the scientific advisor was all it took to get me back on track again! I never once again lost hope right through to the viva examination!
Guy François Able
A graduate of the Business Science Institute
(Dakar cohort n°1, 2014-2017), and author of Pratiques de GRH, performance sociales et cultures dans les entreprises sénégalaises, (HRM practices, social and cultural performance in Senegalese firms),
éditions EMS, Business Science Institute collection
, 2019, 228 pages, took part in a presentation and book signing event on 11 January 2020 at the CESAG