Always keep moving and find solutions instead of problems

During my 20 years being in a business environment, I am the one who likes to think out of the box and enjoy challenges, I usually feel happy for every little new thing I have learned. Therefore, to have the opportunity to enter the doctoral studies made me feel even happier.

Because this journey, among other things, has given me quite a lot. I have learned so much. It has opened my eyes to a different world (university world) which is quite different from the business world I’ve got used to. The studies give me new energy, higher motivation at work, more inspiration at home and my daily life. Even though, this means, of course, I have to work hard, due to the many roles I have at the same time.

At my core family, I am a wife, a Mom, a daughter-in-law, a sister, and an aunt etc. At work, I am an employee, a co-worker, a strong link in a long chain/teamwork. And finally, at the university, I am a student. The latter role sometimes feels quite tough. Nevertheless, I still enjoy the studies because this is my choice. Except for a few frustrating moments every now and then, for example when you are facing some contradictory guidelines from lecturers or professors, such as how to write a learning diary. An instruction which I used a few times earlier, clearly states: “The goal is to analyze and comment on lectures, not to summarize the content of the lectures. Main goals are discussing and analyzing the central themes, and processing one’s own learning by reflecting the content to own situation/research work”.

However, in March, I attended a workshop which included five different presentations. I have written 3 pages learning diary according to the learning diary mentioned above. Unfortunately, my learning diary was not accepted, the reason is: “there was no summary of the presentations. Consequently, I have been told to write a few more pages to summarize two given different articles.

On the contrary, in the Research ethics course, among other things, we have learned a clear rule about authorship, which I found very useful because this helps me to release myself from “unethical treatments”. Other information from this course is that the lecturer encourages doctoral students to use “Turnitin” before submitting manuscripts to journals. Unfortunately, according to the University’s policy, I have been told that “Turnitin is only a tool for staff members, not for students”. Unluckily, staff members have more important things to do than to upload students’ manuscript through Turnitin.

Even so, my example here is extremely small and “heavily biased”. I try to believe that supervisors, lecturers, and staff members do care about us and want what is best for us. Do you agree?

Thanh Ha-Vikström
Doctoral student
Faculty of Technology, Industrial Management


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