Pushing the Limits: Why Scott Hazen Won’t Settle for Average
Scott Hazen, an International Programs Security Manager for Lockheed Martin, decided to pursue his Doctorate in Management not because he wanted a new career but because he wanted to be better at what he was already doing.
“My intention for completing this program was never about opening new doors to new careers,” Hazen explains. “I am perfectly satisfied with the position I am in. My expectation was to become a better leader/manager for my teammates.”
At Home in the Classroom
Articulate and educated, Hazen seems like a poster child for good management even without the credentials at the end of his name. But he doesn’t see it that way. Despite having earned his Master’s in Criminal Justice at Boston University in 2006, and although he was well-respected at Lockheed Martin (where he’d worked since 2008), Hazen knew the only way to become a better leader was to become a more educated person.
Deciding how to pursue another degree, however, demanded due diligence from Hazen who is disinclined to do anything carelessly. Colorado Technical University first appeared on Hazen’s radar after a friend successfully completed his degree there. “His endorsement,” Hazen says, “followed by countless hours of research led me to CTU, and I have not regretted the decision once during my first two years with the university.”
While Hazen has seen his fair share of classrooms in college at Colorado Christian University, he’s also taken advantage of online classes when pursuing both his Master’s degree and, now, his Doctorate. As a result, he’s in the rare and enviable position of being able to evaluate the pros and cons of each – and the verdict is clear. “I much prefer the online environment,” Hazen explains. “I travel quite a bit for work, and to be able to log on to a computer on the other side of the planet and watch a recorded lecture at my convenience makes all the difference in the world.”
Features like CTU’s online classrooms, libraries and tools ensured that Hazen could access any resource he needed in order to complete assignments and participate in his classes. Considering the sort of professors and students that Hazen encountered at CTU, his ability to make thoughtful contributions to the course dialogue became increasingly important. “The professors [at CTU] are top notch,” Hazen enthuses. “[And] I am in a constant state of awe by the quality of work and caliber of people [who] are on this journey with me.” Those people, he adds, include some whose friendship promises to last well beyond the completion of his degree in March 2015.
Online education, as Hazen readily admits, is a convenient solution for adults who don’t want to stop learning. And while Hazen acknowledges that perhaps some of life’s drudgeries have fallen by the wayside (read: mowing the lawn), the online resources at CTU have fit beautifully within the parameters of Hazen’s life. Part of his ability to matriculate successfully lay in his prioritizing his responsibilities at the outset of his doctoral program. Family, he says, comes first; followed by work. But even while he counts school as a distant third priority, both Hazen’s job performance and academic career have only flourished. “When I enrolled, I committed to the fact that if work performance struggled as a result of school, I would drop out,” Hazen recalls. “I have received no indication from my boss that that has been the case. In fact, he has also recently enrolled in the DM program at CTU.”
Now, as Hazen approaches the end of his doctoral studies, he can step back to take stock of what he’s learned. Yes, he’s better at his job because of his CTU coursework. But he’s also a richer person, one who now counts new friendships and new relationships with respected professors as part of his life. “I am excited to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Hazen says of his approaching graduation, “but I know I will miss it when the journey is over.”
Image Credit: Lockheed Martin