Matt PhD '21, Organizational Leadership

Business leader. Family man. Difference-maker. 

Are there any “Courage To ________” words/phrases that you think would capture your story well?

“Start” – I knew I wanted to supplement my professional experience with an advanced degree in leadership. The challenge was how to integrate a journey in higher education with the many commitments I have on a daily basis as a husband, father, member of the community, and business person. It seemed like an ambitious objective to attempt. With the support of my wife and in consideration of my family and career, we came up with a plan that allows me to cover all of my responsibilities while pursuing a PhD at Eastern University.  It’s been a fulfilling journey that began with the courageous decision to start.


How does the prop you brought represent you?

My family is the center of my life. I would like to complete my degree in an effort to not only be a better business professional, but also to demonstrate to my children that life is about the continual process of learning and personal growth.  


How would you describe courage in one sentence?

Courage is the ability to take action toward the completion of challenging goals.


How did getting your degree require courage?

I’m still actively working on my degree. Believing in myself was the first step in cultivating the courage to start a commitment as challenging and inspiring as a PhD program. Completing my degree now requires the courage to take progressive steps to manage the academic requirements in concert with the other important elements of my life.


How does your current job or career path require courage?

As a business leader, you must be open to opportunities and challenges in an ever dynamic global marketplace. When opportunities and challenges present themselves, you need both the wisdom and resolution to act. A critical element of this is ensuring both you and the organization you lead are prepared and equipped to manage and thrive in the face of change.

Organizationally, it’s important as a business leader to have the courage to question your team’s preparedness and capability to face the new dynamics. Personally, a certain measure of courage is required to look inward with a self-awareness that you yourself also need to grow to address challenges and changes. My current career path requires both the courage to challenge my organization as well as the courage to challenge myself to constantly transform and improve.


How did EU help you become more courageous in your thinking and actions?

Personally, the experience has been great and has helped me see that I have the capacity to do so much more than I initially thought possible. From this, I am more apt to take on new challenges knowing that I can successfully manage them and accomplish my objectives. There has definitely been a confidence boost associated with my decision to pursue my PhD at Eastern.  

Professionally, the PhD in Organizational Leadership curriculum, the Eastern faculty, and my peers in the program are providing constant opportunities to grow and develop. The experience has broadened my perspectives on both the theoretical and operational aspects of leadership as a discipline. Equipped with this new knowledge, I am more confident in the decision making necessary to address the dynamics and challenges of global business.


Where do you hope courage will lead you in the future?

The courage to start the PhD program was a step in the direction of my future. Eastern’s PhD in Leadership is enabling me to provide a greater contribution to my organization and community while experiencing personal growth. In addition, it has strengthened my foundation and courage to explore, develop and grow as a lifelong learner. From there I hope to make a greater impact to the people, organizations, and programs I lead.

For my children, I hope my academic journey at Eastern provides an example for them to find their courage to take action in their future. My family is part of my experience at Eastern, and we regularly discuss the importance of academics and learning through challenges. In this regard, it’s not just where my courage to start my PhD will lead to in my future, but how it will serve as an example of courage to guide my children’s future.

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