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Polly Watson Black

Whereas some students pursue their doctoral studies full time, others study part time, often alongside a full-time job or career. As well as needing a university that can support part-time study, part-time students may require distance learning options. In this context, the chapter recounts the author’s experiences of studying part time for her Ph.D., specifically the saga of finding and keeping a good director of studies. It begins with her initial search, which included finding a second advisor. Next, she describes losing the director of studies and the struggles involved in deciding whether to follow him to a new university or to stay put. Having chosen to stay, and to find a new director of studies, the author experienced a second loss, but she was able to adapt to the changes involved. The chapter concludes with lessons on finding a director of studies and coping with transitions where these occur.

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Polly Watson Black

All things in life involve a balancing act. Changing careers is no different. When I decided to change from being a successful business executive to becoming an academic, my family life was in full swing. The decision was complicated; the transition even more so. I left my executive position and started doing consulting and teaching as an adjunct. I quickly realized I needed a doctorate to get taken seriously and be offered a permanent position at a university of any standing. I also knew that I would have to do it part time and long distance. I took a position at a small but prestigious university in the US running their entrepreneurship program and teaching part time.