[Sponsored Article] Earning a doctorate degree is recognised as one of the highest achievements in an individual's academic journey. Defined by an emphasis on academic rigour and quality research, the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) offered by the College of Business at the City University of Hong Kong (CityU) is consistently recognised as one of the highest-ranked DBA programmes in the world. Aimed at applicants with over 10 years of senior management experience and already well-established in their field of expertise, the CityU DBA programme is strategically designed to provide a learning platform for professionals seeking to engage in research that directly addresses their intellectual curiosity, while providing real-world benefits for their organisations and beyond. DBA programme director professor Muammer Ozer says the programme maintains its commitment to quality by purposely keeping student numbers low. To maximise cross-learning experiences, importance is placed on selecting participants with different professional backgrounds. This is achieved by recruiting experienced executives from different countries and industries, as well as from NGOs. "We always want to ensure there is a dynamic and invigorating classroom environment," says Ozer. The professor also points out that, while the DBA programme is challenging, at the same time it is intellectually stimulating and offers a personally rewarding journey that participants are able to treasure. For example, Ozer says students are able to look for academic answers to their important questions by going through a rigorous research process. "Being a student again, making new friends in a non-business school environment and conducting research that interest them is something that students cherish dearly," notes Ozer. To help students strengthen their research work, the programme uses a spiral learning approach, which involves revisiting and fine-tuning research work to achieve high-quality results. Students learn advanced research techniques and how to write academic papers. Students also have access to the University’s library, and they are provided with statistical support. The culmination of the DBA is an academically rigorous but practical thesis, which has to be defended before a panel of academics. To help them research and prepare their thesis, students are assigned an individual mentor to advise them on suggested research choices. Mentors are all senior faculty members with expert knowledge and understanding of the latest business practices and specific areas of business. "Our professors are active researchers in different areas of business," Ozer says. They publish their latest research in leading academic journals and participate in international research forums, where they learn first-hand about the latest developments in business. As a result, the DBA programme is able to provide students with the latest knowledge from the research community. Ozer says that faculty members are always ready to assist and support students, who also receive constant statistical support from the College of Business extensive statistical resources facilities. In addition, students have the opportunity to network with senior business leaders from different industries. To ensure the DBA programme is relevant, Ozer says the CityU College of Business faculty constantly monitors the research and global business environment. In the process the latest research models and theories are applied to solve emerging business problems across all aspects of business including fintech, innovation, the Mainland China-led Belt-and-Road initiative, blockchain, artificial intelligence and leadership. For Dr Peter Cheng Lap Yin, who graduated in 2018, joining the CityU DBA programme allowed him to fulfill a personal ambition to conduct high-level research focusing on supply chain risk management (SCRM) in the apparel supply chain. "It's a new and evolving branch of conducting business, which is essential to help the industry to progress," says Cheng who explains that SCRM places emphasises on coordination and collaboration among supply chain partners. Similar to most areas of business and manufacturing, Cheng notes how the apparel supply chain is being reshaped by automation, machine learning and Industry 4.0, which refers to data exchange in manufacturing technologies, cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things (IoT), cloud computing and cognitive computing. "My research is concerned with helping the industry step forward from the traditional business model to a more sustainable future," says Cheng who credits the CityU with supporting his passion and research activities. Citing various memorable takeaways from his DBA journey, Cheng says he was able to enjoy leaning and sharing experiences in the company of professionals who are looking for ways to make their work, their industries and the world a better place. "Meeting such mix of diverse and talented people helped me to broaden my horizons and opened the way to new perspectives," says Cheng. Highlighting further positive aspects of the DBA programme, Cheng says he valued the support of his thesis adviser. "I was fortunate enough to meet with someone like-minded who helped me move forward with the ideas I had accumulated in my years of working in the apparel industry," says Cheng who adds that he also appreciated the support of the DBA faculty and the resources available to students. "The department's staff are particularly encouraging and extremely helpful and supportive of any kind of research you are willing to undertake," notes Cheng who also completed his Executive-MBA at the CityU.