For those of you, who don’t have a clue what I mean with it, let’s start at the beginning. Four years ago I started my PhD. And now it’s done. I handed in the dissertation (the actual thesis) on May 27th and my final exam, the thesis defense was last Thursday. For this, I had to present (some of) my results in a 30 minutes talk, followed by a discussion and questioning round with the examination board (six of the university professors). So- big deal!
When I first practiced the talk with my colleagues, I was super nervous. I’m not used to being nervous before giving a talk – I am actually quite fond of it and I don’t have a problem with talking to or in front of a lot of people. So I have no idea why this practiced talk creeped me out so much. Anyway, this was a week before the actual defense, so I had lots of time to practice. Looking back, it doesn’t feel like I practiced a lot. I could have done tons more of preparation – but in the end the defense as really great! The talk went well and I wasn’t nervous a bit. Questions were okay, and I kept my cool so everything was actually really neat! I am a little proud of myself, I must say.
I haven’t realized that my study time is really over now. That I finished my education. Finally, after 13 years of school, 6 years as a student and 4 years as a PhD candidate. I still have to realize that I am actually kind of an expert in my field now, and that I will not have another exam ever, in my life. It feels strange – and I don’t really know how to feel about it yet.
Now, I am an employee at the University, a research associate, still working for my PhD supervisor. My contract will end in November, and I will move at the end of the year. My new home will be Munich – I am really looking forward to it, but I am also a little scared to leave my colleagues and friends behind. I will also need to find a job – and I don’t even know what I would like to do. Except of course that I might not be in a position to be picky. I mean, work is work. And you have to start somewhere.
So there is a lot happening right now. I just wanted to inform you about the successful finish of my PhD. I need to publish my thesis before I am allowed to call myself ‘Dr. rer. nat’ (German equivalent to PhD), but, well. That’s not going to be a problem (:
Hear you soon peepz, next time I’m going to talk about my thesis in more detail. What I did, and what I found.