Career Leadership Motivation

FinishEdD: A Working Woman’s Journey in a Doctorate Program

Please join Ivery Arie in celebrating one of our contributing writers, Dr. Chisom Unegbu!

Chisom has been a contributing writer for Ivery Arie for over a year now. I remember when I first reached out to her about starting Ivery Arie and she was super excited and motivated to inspire other African women. Despite her rigorous doctorate program, children and other commitments, Chisom saw the vision, and till this day, helps promote the mission of the platform. I am super proud of her accomplishment and what the future holds for her! Please continue reading to get a glimpse of her inspiring journey to becoming Dr. Chisom Unegbu.

August, 2014 I embarked on a doctorate program in educational leadership with Dallas Baptist University. Little did I know how the journey would profoundly impact my life and those around me. Let me put it bluntly. A doctorate program is not for the faint hearted! It is hard. Some moments I found myself in fetal position completely exhausted and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of knowledge I was acquiring. How could I continue being a working wife of three small children?a15e6777-acfc-4767-b5bd-87f774b9c455

May 4, 2018 I completed my program, and the ages of my three kids are now 8, 6 and 4. Do the math to get an idea how old they were when I started. Crazy, right?

There were moments I wanted to quit, but I would repeat to myself that “God didn’t bring me this far to only bring me this far.” I’m incredibly grateful for the support system I had. One thing I’ve come to realize in life is whether a doctorate program or something else, do not ever feel bad about asking for help.

My Mom did my family’s laundry for almost 4 years!!! That single act took so much stress off me! I’ve worked in higher education for almost a decade and serve as a community college professor and my colleagues at work took on not so great teaching schedules for me to have the best times to teach, so I could get off work at a decent hour to go write and research. My husband was ever supportive through prayer and in many instances keeping our kids occupied while I tried to squeeze in an hour or two of extra reading or running data. My church family was amazing! My sweetest friends would send me inspirational prayers or memes to keep me motivated. Did I lose some friends because of this program? Yes. That was hard. There will be some people who will not be happy with your progress, and unfortunately, they don’t realize they stifle their own future when they fail to encourage others.



  1. In all, the amalgamation of a consistent, great support system helped me persist to the finish line. You must also know when to rest during the journey. Take moments for pause and reflection and renewal, whether it’s a long walk, getting a pedicure, or going on a mini road trip. There were times I literally had to step away from my studies, but mind you, I did not quit. For those of you on an academic journey, you can and will finish, in Jesus’ name! It ain’t hocus pocus. It’s hocus FOCUS! That’s how the magic happens!

– Dr. Chisom Unegbu 

Ivery Arie
Author: Ivery Arie

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