I am notorious for taking on challenges. I’m never happy unless I’m busy.
Following a weekend in late 2012, organised by firm on life after professional services I read a book called Working Identity by Herminia Ibarra at the recommendation of one of the facilitators. Thanks for recommending it Tim!
The central plank of the book is to experiment before committing. As I put that thought into practice last year I took a couple of undergraduate subjects in Media. It involved sitting in lectures, attending tutorials and writing essays. I did really well – hopefully not a false positive!
As I continued to experiment I also struck up a dialogue with the Commerce School of a local university about how I might go about undertaking some research.
I also started to write articles for The Adelaide Review, all the time continuing with my full time work.
I took plenty on and certainly wasn’t bored!
As the year went on, I found I was really enjoying my study and was looking to further it. Why not do some Postgraduate study in my field I thought. So I started a conversation with the Commerce School and they were enthusiastic. I was too – hopefully not another false positive
Next step, how to go about it. A Masters by Research and then PHD maybe? Seemed pretty good until we talked more and I realised I had no research skills of an academic nature. I had considerable research and writing experience but business is different to academia. This was likely to be a limiting factor. Then came the suggestion of undertaking Honours which could lead into a PHD.
I applied had an interview and was accepted into Honours – another positive step. I thought that was job done and it would have been if my potential Supervisor hadn’t taken early retirement! This was a potential issue as having a supervisor is essential.
The challenge now was to find a Supervisor.
Over Christmas I wrote a submission. This is when I learned something which I now understand is a key issue, that being, how important having a Supervisor interested in the topic is.
Over the next couple of weeks I had a series of meetings with potential Supervisors, eventually finding one who was interested in a topic which I had initially discussed with the Commerce School in October.
So I now have a supervisor and idea for a research question . With that the journey begins!
The question is have I bitten off more than I can chew?
Photo: An Australian university campus’ Image: An Australian university campus (AimanB; Flickr.com/ Creative Commons)