Today I became a Ph.D. candidate! I presented the dissertation proposal last Friday and today. I have spent about a month for this proposal. Scheduling was one of the toughest things to do, and that’s why I proposed twice. (One should not do it twice.)
Overall, this official milestone of my Ph.D. study has prepared myself to better frame and position the work I have been doing. In fact, I realized that a dissertation might be slightly different from a research paper to be published at an academic journal. The committee looks for a theory that can be as generalizable as possible and as applicable as possible to multiple contexts, while a research paper might want to be very specific on admitting limitations of the work. This actually made me think how I can and should generalize the findings or hypotheses into other contexts such as automobile, ship-making, etc. This is quite a different task than I have been doing. It will be challenging but I find it must-have for a dissertation.
In addition to proposal, I presented a few presentations at POMS over last weekend. In total, I pitched four presentations over four days. It was very exhausting, but also an intensive learning period. The most important thing I think I learned out of this presentation spree is the importance of storyline. Having a good narrative always helps. When I do research, often I am so focused that I lose the big picture on what I am doing and trying to say. In that sense, creating a powerpoint deck for the paper I want to present helps me stay in the consistent storyline and understand the key contributions of my own work.
During the last week, I have missed the 500-word quota. As I restart my routine workload, I need to get back to the quota again. This blog post has 308 words.