Barney's PhD Journey

Trainer, Consultant, Coach, R&D Director

A Higher Education That Fits My Life

Hi, I’m Barney Wee! It has taken me 10 years to finish my PhD, and it is a non-accredited degree. From a Singaporean perspective, it may be senseless to do this and yet, this is possibly the point that drove me all these years.

Long Road to PhD

For the longest time, I’ve doubted my ability to fit in a schooling system, asking myself whether I was “academically stupid.” It is only a few years ago—as I was researching extensively and talking about nutrition and its impact on our mental and emotional state—that it struck me: I was “high” throughout my childhood and my primary and secondary schooling years, i.e. heavily medicated because of my chronic asthma and sinus problems. Born with a weak immune system, I was very susceptible to flu, cough and throat infections, as well as diarrhoea. Much later on, having largely overcome my childhood health challenges, subconsciously, I wanted to prove to myself that I could do scholarly work.

In a friendly and down-to-earth way, Dr. Laura Valadez-Martinez illustrates issues that many doctoral students face. The talk covers seven challenges that may emerge during a PhD and it encapsulates a sense of academic rigor that one has to go through to finish a PhD. 

Coming back to the “non-accredited” university education, only recently, in November 2020, I finished my PhD dissertation. I started working on my undergraduate studies in 2009 and obtained my Master’s in 2014. Overseas training-delivery engagements started increasing around that time and continued all the way to early 2020. It was very straining to do detailed and complex PhD work while running a business, managing a team, delivering training almost every week, consulting with companies, and coaching individual clients. It was the COVID-19 pandemic that gave me the break I needed to complete my dissertation.

On top of this overwhelming schedule, had I chosen to attend physical classes of any kind for my PhD, it would have terribly upset my family and personal life. It is very hard to find any higher-learning programme that can fit the schedule of a business owner, professional consultant and trainer, and single parent to an autistic son. I knew that I would only be able to work on my studies on the days when I was not taken up by work commitments.

My published journal:
The Criticality of Vertical Development in NLP Coaching in an Intensely V.U.C.A. World

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