In Full Flow
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Lilia – about doing a PhD
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Lilia never imagined herself doing a PhD, but yet she is now dr. Lilia Efimova. In the interview with her, recorded a month before her defense last year, she explained to me how doing a PhD turned out to be a format do be able to explore a topic she was passionate about. Watch her explain this:

Lilia on doing a PhD from Elmine Wijnia on Vimeo.

Especially the struggle she describes with the part of doing a PhD and acquire research skills to become an academic ressonates with me. I’ve long thought doing a PhD would be great, as long as I can delve myself in a topic that I want to research. However, most PhD’s here in The Netherlands are focussing on becoming an academic with proper knowledge on research methods, rather than topical expertise.

Quotes from this part of the interview:

“Doing a PhD was a way to give myself time and space to explore and to work on something for a long term and have time and hours and also choices that would be mine.”

“In an organization, how do you manage things that you cannot control? How do you create conditions for people to be passionate about work, because this is what brings business benefit, but this is something we cannot tell them or put in a job description?”

“If you would ask me if I would do it again [a PhD], I don’t know, but I am who I am today also because I went through the process.”

“Being an academic there are certain rules of the game and part of doing PhD is learning about those rules and either comply or breaking or stretching them. [...] If you work in an organization or business or whatever environment there are rules of the game and unless you’re very happy with the game and very happy about the rules you still have to find your own path given the circumstances.”

2 Comments to “Lilia – about doing a PhD”

  1. Ooooooh!
    How i can relate to it all.
    It took me so long to ‘find’ a topic that I could really relate to…and a method I would be able to engage during a long time…because I have to really like and feel attached to what I do.

    I still ask myself, many times, if I am doing the right thing…if I have the capacity to take this challenge to the end…Time will tell.

    Many thanks for collecting this story. It is important to hear other people who have gone through the hard-long process that a PhD journey implies!

  2. [...] posted part the video with my interview, where I tell why I ended up doing a PhD and share things I’ve learnt in the process. I watched is a couple of days ago, making notes – to find out later those were exactly about [...]