Graduate Student Spotlight | Noah Borgen
Noah Borgen is currently enrolled in Hood College's Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) program. He submitted an Outstanding Paper for the Society for Advancement of Management 2020 Conference.
Noah Borgen, Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA)
- Business Administration (Doctorate)
- The George B. Delaplaine Jr. School of Business
"The biggest benefit to a program like this is the immediate application in both one’s professional and personal lives. I was able to take the assignments we completed and apply them to work I was doing in my day job, allowing me to fold the time into my work schedule instead of stacking it on top of my already heavy workload."
I spent the majority of my life searching for my personal authenticity. I started out as a writer, and as T.S. Elliot famously says “Good writers borrow; great writers steal.” I built my authenticity borrowing and stealing from my family, from the books and movies to which I was exposed and from my social experiences in my communities. My personality was a patchwork or melting pot of stolen identities.
My first attempt at authenticity was in searching for an academic institution that fit my style. I first attended The College of New Jersey, then Pratt Institute, then Ocean County Community College, and finally graduated from Towson University with a B.S. in English with a focus on Creative Writing.
My next attempt at authenticity came from joining the United States Navy where I served for six years, including a deployment to Afghanistan. My superior officer asked me to apply for a role at Johnson & Johnson in procurement and I then spent the next eight years progressing in my procurement career, including moving from J&J to AstraZeneca. Procurement allowed me to develop my business acumen and to pay for the comforts my family enjoyed.
Spanning my transition from J&J to AZ, I earned an Executive MBA from Villanova. This was, perhaps, one of the most impactful experiences of my life. The cohort was comprised of professionals from all levels (analyst to chief X officers) and everyone was willing to share and experience as one. I credit a lot of my authentic journey to that program, especially through a course titled, Managing Your Life and Your Career.
When I completed my MBA, after moving my family from Philadelphia to Frederick, Maryland, I decided to enroll in Hood’s Doctoral of Business Administration program. In the DBA program, I found a similarly impressive and diverse cohort. My authenticity journey continued with one of the very first courses in the program, LEAD 601 Seminar in Leadership Theory and Practice, in which we were asked to look inward and uncover our authentic leadership styles.
I’ve taken the lessons from that first course and applied them continuously across all other courses, through two promotions at work, and to uncover my greatest passion, coaching, allowing me to start my own coaching business, Authenticity Incubator LLC. My journey, starting with my first academic attempt and culminating with this doctorate, has been an incubator for my own authenticity. I took my previous patchwork of stolen identities and replaced it with a real understanding of the man I am.
Why did you choose Hood College Graduate School and this program in particular?
The honest truth is that I moved to Frederick for work and Hood College was in my community. I thought it was foolish to pass up an opportunity to go to a college in my neighborhood. I expected to find a graduate certificate program or a second masters that would be relevant to my career, but was excited to find a doctoral program that fit into my life and learning style (specifically the Saturday cohort format).
The hardest decision was between the DOL and DBA. Having already achieved an MBA, I questioned which would be more impressive on my resume. In the end, I was drawn to the additional requirements of the DBA in experiencing external professional learnings, which I chose to focus on coaching certifications. Also, I was lucky enough to work for a company, AstraZeneca, who was willing to pay for my education.
What do you enjoy most about Hood College?
The faculty. Every teacher and professor is down to earth and fully supportive. We were lucky enough to have amazing leaders as part of the program, but we also had some of the most personable and intelligent teachers and professors contributing to our education as well.
How do you think obtaining your doctoral degree will benefit you in your career/life?
For one, Credibility. Often degrees are a way to open doors to experiences and roles that would not be available without them.
For another, Authenticity. This program has been an immense and effective journey of self-exploration.
My career path would be drastically different had I not done the research and reflection required in this program. I learned more about myself and my capabilities than I had imagined possible in an academic program.
Tell us about your Outstanding Paper for the Society for Advancement of Management 2020 Conference.
I submitted a paper to the SAM conference about an previously unresearched topic called Disruptive Procurement. A consulting firm had published a white paper developing a conceptual framework for achieving what they called disruptive procurement, which was defined as a state of procurement support that allowed the collaboration between internal stakeholders and external vendors to achieve previously unexplored innovation, perhaps even disruptive innovation. As it was a white paper, it was not heavily referenced and not built on previous research.
My paper took the framework and brought together a foundation of previous research and theoretical frameworks from disruptive innovation, strategic procurement, and business partnering.
Is there any other information or fun facts you would like to add?
The biggest benefit to a program like this is the immediate application in both one’s professional and personal lives. I was able to take the assignments we completed and apply them to work I was doing in my day job, allowing me to fold the time into my work schedule instead of stacking it on top of my already heavy workload. I credit my promotions and many of my successes to my MBA and DBA assignments and my ability to apply them to my work in procurement.
Also, the compassion of the faculty in the challenges that come with completing a program like this on top of work and life was inspiring. I am a father of two young girls, with one on the way, and every scheduling conflict was met with empathy and compassion. We are all adults and we are all in this together. We may be on different journeys and on different paths but the cohort format allowed us to lean on one another, including the faculty.