Dr. Mark Henry knows how difficult it can be to balance a career, coursework, and—most important—family. Between his work as the vice president of broadcast infrastructure for Major League Baseball Advanced Media (a two-hour commute each way) and ensuring he had enough time with his wife and children, he also needed to dedicate significant time to pursuing his dream—earning his doctorate.
“It has been a lifelong goal of mine to complete my doctoral degree,” explains the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) graduate, originally from Jamaica. “My passion is technology and how we can use it to better society. I have great enthusiasm for media technology and its use to entertain, educate, and inform. The research skills garnered from pursuing my doctoral degree enable me to uncover media technologies with business potential that will better meet the social and entertainment needs in the U.S. and abroad.”
As a member of this summer’s graduating class, which celebrates commencement on July 16, he shares advice for current students who also have to work hard to strike a balance:
Make every second count. “I work in New York and live in New Jersey, so I have a four-hour commute every weekday. On the bus ride, I’d use my laptop to do research, literature reviews, and write my doctoral study,” he explains. “When I got home, I spent time with my family, ate, and slept—then rinse and repeat.”
Build strong relationships with your faculty. “Dr. Christos Makrigeorgis, my DBA faculty advisor, had a very high bar for his mentees,” Dr. Henry says. “He helped me navigate many challenges, and always inspired me to push myself to do better and achieve my potential.”
Don’t lose momentum. “Even while you’re waiting for committee members to send their reviews, keep moving,” he says. “If you’re waiting for section two to be approved, there’s work you can do on section three. You can’t start research and data collection, but you can build your tables and data sets so when it’s time to collect the data, you can just plug it in. And, if you’re not a doctoral student, apply the same principle. When you’ve turned something in, even if it’s a multi-step project, begin the next phase to organize your work and then pause to do some reading—but never allow a review to slow you down.”