GSB&L Hosts Virtual Doctoral Orientation

GSB&L Virtual orientation
GSB&L hosted a virtual orientation for doctoral candidates.

The Graduate School of Business and Leadership (GSB&L) hosted a virtual doctoral orientation programme via Zoom on 4 March.

The purpose of the programme, which was facilitated by Professor Krishna Govender, Head of Doctoral Programmes in the School, was to guide recently enrolled doctoral students on the functions and services provided by the GSB&L and support services within the University. The School has two doctoral programmes, one being the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) which allows for vertical articulation from the Master of Business Administration, and the other is a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) which is multi-disciplinary in nature with emphasis on developing leadership in organisations.

Govender explained that the GSB&L views the doctoral programmes as flagship programmes which are aligned with the Council on Higher Education doctoral standards and contribute to advancing society and ensuring that all graduates exit with attributes associated with an NQF10 qualification. 

The Interim Dean and Head of the GSB&L, Professor Ana Martins welcomed the students and congratulated them on securing places in the doctoral programme. She noted that the orientation programme aimed to familiarise them with the internal stakeholders linked to the GSB&L, the College of Law and Management Studies, and also to the University as a whole.

‘Students should take up this opportunity to ensure that they gain invaluable skills that they will need across their journey and I am confident that their learning experience at the School will be an immensely enriching one,’ she said. 

College Dean of Research, Professor Colette Muller said that the programme was also an opportunity for the students to explore their research interests with their allocated supervisors. She encouraged students to engage beyond their supervisors and to create networks with the like-minded.

One of the current students in the programme, Ms Samantha Naik – Architectural Professional and Director of SSN Design Group, a Johannesburg based architectural firm, shared her experience as a PhD candidate to enlighten new students on what the doctoral journey entails.  ‘The best advice I can give you is, as soon as this webinar is done, start engaging with your supervisors. Keep that relationship solid and respectful at all times. Getting feedback from your supervisor can be quite difficult to take in sometimes. Don’t focus on the negatives, but try to put things in perspective.’

Other UKZN departments that offered guidance to doctoral students included Library Services and Information Communication Services.

The virtual orientation was attended by local and international students. It afforded students an opportunity to form networking groups. Students were invited to the first Doctoral Support Group initiated by Ms Zama Khanyile, College-based Educational Psychologist and Student Counsellor, who completed her doctoral studies at the end of 2022.

Words: Samukelisiwe Cele

Image: Supplied

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