DBA Testimonial: Navigating parenthood and entrepreneurship while pursuing a doctorate

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DBA Testimonial: Dr. Lena Kurban Rouhana gives advice on how to navigate entrepreneurship and a family while following the DBA program.

Lena Kurban.pngDBA 2020 Graduate

Dr. Lena Kurban Rouhana, DBA 
Owner / Managing Director, LaSoul

"Embarking on the journey of attaining a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree is a significant accomplishment that not only represents years of dedication and hard work but also opens doors to new opportunities and transformative experiences. 

However, being an expat working mom of three kids, a business owner and a wife of a hard-working man who travels most days made the challenges even more daunting. Here are some of the obstacles I have faced and worked through while navigating the triple journey of motherhood, entrepreneurship, and higher education.

Time management and prioritization

One of the primary challenges I have faced was effectively managing my time and priorities. Balancing the demands of academic work, childcare and family responsibilities, and running a business required meticulous planning and organization. Each day involved careful scheduling and making tough decisions on how to allocate limited time and resources. Although some days were very effective, I have learned that it was never perfect, and I have learned to accept that.

Emotional and mental exhaustion

The relentless nature of being a mother, entrepreneur and doctoral student often led to emotional and mental exhaustion. Juggling multiple responsibilities, handling familial duties, and managing business operations took a toll on my well-being. With the constant insistence from my wonderful supervisor, selfcare through meditation and walking became essential to maintain my resilience.

Support system and delegation

Building a strong support system was crucial for my success. Delegating tasks and seeking assistance provided me with the necessary support to pursue my DBA degree while managing my business. My husband played a big part of this not only though his psychological motivation but also by taking over children’s responsibilities in times when I couldn’t manage. Having a supportive system be it from your partner, colleagues, family, or others is crucial for success.

Learning from others’ experiences

The pursuit of a doctorate degree often involves collaborating with colleagues, experts, researchers, and scholars within the field who you learn a lot from. I have met the most genuine group of cohort colleagues with whom we have exchanged shared best practices. I have been blessed with the best academic supervisor who has not only taught me how to move forward in my DBA degree, but also has been a real-life example of how a working mom of four amazing kids can be nothing less than professional, giving, caring, multitasking and successful. I have gained her as a mentor, friend, and publishing colleague.

Sacrifices and trade-offs

Pursuing a DBA degree, motherhood, and managing a business simultaneously demanded sacrifices and trade-offs. I had to often forego personal and social activities to allocate more time to my responsibilities. I made tough decisions and remained focused on my long-term goals recognizing that short-term sacrifices were necessary for future success.

In conclusion, attaining a DBA degree while being a wife, raising three children and managing a personal business is undeniably challenging. Yes, it has been very demanding and exhausting and demotivating many times, however with the success of every step taken, it was worth it, and I was proud of my determination, commitment and resilience.

Through effective time management, a strong support system and a tenacious spirit, I was able to make it through and succeed in each sphere of my life.

This has strengthened my belief in my capabilities as a working mom and has been an example for my three boys that it is always possible to succeed no matter what your age is or the challenges you face. I hope this journey serves as a testament to the limitless potential of individuals who dare to pursue their dreams, even in the face of immense challenges."

Read More: Doctoral Knowledge Journal, issue #19

Learn more about the DBA

Gettyimages: Ivan-balvan


  • DBA
  • Sustainability

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