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Becoming a…Leader
Rinal Patel

PhD in Leadership Student
California School of Management and Leadership at Alliant International University

Q: What inspired you to pursue this degree program/profession? 

A: I have two primary purposes in seeking a degree program: to learn more and better myself to be more successful. I know that there is always an opportunity for learning and developing in life, even if someone does not have a profession; however, having a programming degree broadens the opportunities. And that's why I have chosen to pursue a PhD in Leadership. 

Another reason I chose to pursue PhD in Leadership involves helping people. I grew up caring for others. Helping people was instilled in me by my family at a very early age. So, to me, the most rewarding feeling is to know that I helped someone. 

Q: Describe the most rewarding parts of your student experience.

A: Getting selected for the PhD program at Alliant International University was my most rewarding experience. I chose my university because it was an establishment that would give me an excellent education. My courses challenge me daily, and I am working hard to earn my degree. I dedicate myself to my studies, working hard in class and seeking help whenever needed. 

The most rewarding teamwork experience I have had was in this year of university. We had a project due in teams of four, which accounted for quite a large part of our grade. I believe everyone pulled more than their weight because so much was at stake. Teamwork is very rewarding when everyone has something significant to win or lose.

Q: Share your advice for new students on how to be successful in the program.

A: It might be easy to put an assignment off when it isn't due in the next day or two. But, if you start early, you'll feel less overwhelmed when the deadline approaches. It'll also give you plenty of time to ask your instructor for clarification or guidance if you need it. So, keep track of the due date for each assignment and project and the dates for upcoming tests and exams. Knowing when everything is due can help ensure you have enough time to work on assignments and projects or study for tests without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.

Making every effort to go to class regularly is vital for academic success. Looking through the syllabus for each course can help ensure you're prepared for your classes. When you attend each class, you'll be in a better position to fully understand what you're learning and ask questions about anything unclear. 

Q: What impact do you hope to make through your work?

A: Share what you believe. It's a basic form of honesty. Others might not always agree, but speaking up shows confidence and can fuel discussion, group thinking, and new ideas.

Be a leader and lead by serving others, and you will stand out. Effective leadership will help grow confidence in your team, improve business operations and increase emotional intelligence. Those who find solutions and constructively relay them also earn the respect of their peers.

Voicing your thoughts is an essential component of your job growth and development. While out-of-the-box thinking may be out of your comfort zone, you'll generate more possibilities, learn a lot, and inspire others. Think ahead, stay ahead, and get into the habit of always looking for solutions.

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