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Personal and Professional Fulfillment: Why I Returned to School to Pursue My Doctorate of Business Administration


Posted October 25, 2018 by Samar Aad Makhoul - Accreditation and Continuous Improvement - The LAU Adnan Kassar School of Business

I started my career as a computer scientist in 1997 after receiving my B.S. from the Lebanese American University (LAU) in Beirut. A few years later, I got my MBA at the University of Liverpool, and my teaching diploma at the University of Sunderland. I spent more than 10 years working in the field of education and was the e-learning director at the British International School in Jeddah, where I resided with my husband and two daughters for 15 years.

Three years ago, we decided to move back to our home country of Lebanon, where I joined my alma mater, LAU, as the accreditation and continuous improvement coordinator at the Adnan Kassar School of Business (AKSOB). In this position, one of my tasks was to help the school achieve its AACSB Accreditation, which was earned in April 2016. During this time, I also got involved with AACSB’s activities and events, completed some faculty research, and received an invitation to speak at an AACSB conference. My involvement with the school was fascinating, as it enhanced my qualifications and made me a part of the higher education academic world.

Surrounded by so many educators and learners made me realize that if I wanted to continue my career in higher education, I should go back to the classroom and enhance my skills in order to gain a competitive advantage. My decision to pursue a doctorate is part of my belief in the lifelong learning process and in acquiring more knowledge.

Despite being a mother and having a full-time job, I thought that I owed it to myself to continue my education, seek better understanding of a topic I was interested in, and to increase my confidence in communicating, debating, and teaching. I felt I wanted to discover and achieve a new level of education.

Enrolling in a doctoral program was not an easy decision; it was a decision that took time and matured over the course of a year. I had to look at the pros and cons and weigh the challenges I might face in managing my time and finances. A doctoral degree does not come cheap, but I would say it is priceless.

After several studies and thorough research, I chose to base my doctoral study on the topic of artificial intelligence and its impact on human resource functionalities. I then started applying to programs that matched my requirements, and was thrilled when I received my unconditional letter of acceptance from Durham University. Durham University is a top university that holds many accreditations, including AACSB.

Studying at an AACSB-accredited university was important to me, as it gave me the assurance that I was receiving the highest standard of education. Furthermore, I also was interested in the research conducted by the university, an integral part of maintaining the highest level of quality and accreditation. The researchers at Durham University publish in top-tier journals, which will no doubt help me enhance my research skills. Finally, being a student at Durham University gave me the chance to be part of a global and diverse community, where diversity across cultures is highly valued.

Based on my experience, I recommend individuals to free themselves and pursue their dreams; life is too short to waste it on feeling like a prisoner of life’s pressures and adversities. Whether your dream is to fly to the North Pole, climb Mt. Everest, or pursue your Doctorate in Business Administration, just do it!


Photo of Samar MakhoulSamar Aad Makhoul is pursuing her Doctorate of Business Administration from Durham University. She currently oversees accreditation and continuous improvement at the Adnan Kassar School of Business at the Lebanese American University in Beirut and Byblos.

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