Whether you are a C-level business executive wanting to broaden your vision or an experienced professional from a field such as law or medicine, a PhD program may be the enriching challenge you are looking for. Antwerp Management School gives executives the chance to acquire the highest academic degree while continuing to work in their own field. How have AMS’s PhD students found the experience?
Gert Kuijt, CEO of MSB de Medici and Head of Surgery at Maxima Medical Center, started a PhD program after taking on management responsibilities alongside his medical practice at the hospital. “I work as a doctor part-time and as a manager part-time. There are a lot of challenges facing healthcare today and I notice my career is becoming increasingly management-oriented.”
"I notice my career is becoming increasingly management-oriented.”
To serve the needs of his team, he decided to further his education at AMS and gain more insight into management. “My added value to the group is what I can organize, and what I can get financed and get people to do. As a way of improving my skills, a PhD is a logical choice.” Professionals who face management questions without being familiar with the academic discourse on the subject can often be left crying out for clarity and guidance.
Academic insights in your own discipline
Our PhD students understand the relevance of life-long learning, whether it’s for personal development, managing people or academic research. “I like to constantly educate myself to be a resource for businesses and to bring effectiveness and expertise to address specific questions,” says Inci Akkus, CEO of Akkus Consulting Germany.
"It provided me with a good opportunity to spot some of the more recent directions in the literature.”
Keeping abreast of the changes and new challenges in your field is a big advantage, especially in consultancy. And staying up to date with research is a key way of giving yourself a competitive edge. Geert Scheipers gained his PhD and became academic director of our Advanced Strategy Management program. He embarked on the PhD program to immerse himself in academic research on management: “It provided me with a good opportunity to spot some of the more recent directions in the literature.”
Staying ahead of developments and gaining ideas
The four-year PhD program focuses on acquiring the knowledge and research methods relevant to your area, and applying this knowledge to contemporary business questions. As a PhD student, you remain focused on your career while expanding your academic interests in a structured way. Inci Akkus, for example, started the PhD as a personal challenge, but she also highlights how much she appreciated the practical approach: “I appreciated that I could still work, run my business, work on my career while I was provided with the opportunity to specialize in a specific topic that is valuable to my clients.”
"It adds value to your work environment, not just through scientific research, but also by putting you in touch with interesting like-minded people active in a large number of sectors.”
Often, scientific understanding gives you just the edge you need to prepare for developments. “We want to be ahead of all the transformations that are coming,” says participant Steven Peeters, a Certified Public Accountant at BDO. “The program adds value to your work environment, not just through scientific research, but also by putting you in touch with interesting like-minded people active in a large number of sectors.”
"It would be hard not to get good ideas."
Gert Kuijt recalls the inspiring conversations he had with his fellow participants: “You can tell that someone got really far in marketing, and somebody else in private-equity venture capital, and someone else in engineering or software or business administration... It would be hard not to get good ideas!”