Stop the press! I’ve just received my last grade and coursework is DO-NE!!!
It has been a long and demanding path, lasting from September 2010 until late last month, constantly travelling, commuting, studying – and working at my regular job. At the same time, I really enjoyed it and learnt a lot in all five courses I was enrolled: Research Methodologies, Risk and Decision Making, Optimization of Transport Infrastructures and Operations, Business Models and Contracts, and Transport Policy and Institutions.
Now it’s time to take a big breath and focusing on the thesis proposal I need to prepare and present for the Thesis Project curricular unit, due later this year. It’s the only thing left to finish my first year at the program and to enter in the long and big immersion of research and… thesing.
While doing coursework, my life spanned the area between Sines, Cascais, and Lisbon, which I had to cover several times a week. For the morning classes, I’d usually travel the day before from Sines to Cascais, then take a morning train from Cascais to Lisbon, hop on the metro at Cais do Sodré and do a morning walk between the stop at Alameda and IST.
This image bring me back – bring us, I’m expecting to be read – to one of those busy, but enjoyable days. It was October 19, 2010, at 08h41, and I was doing my final leg in direction to IST. Here is the sunny version of IST’s South Tower.
OK, now that we know each other, let’s go for a quick recap of the story so far. I started my PhD program in September 2010. It comprises coursework during the first year, including the curricular unit Thesis Project, plus two years of research, at the end of which I am supposed to submit and defend my thesis. Of course it would be handy if I managed to start research while doing coursework, but given the usual lack of time for doing that plus the fact I’m studying part-time and squeezing my time between academic activities and job responsabilities, I’m finding that just a little bit difficult…
I had to enroll in five courses I chose with the help of my designated tutor: Research Methodologies, Risk and Decision Making, and Optimization of Transport Infrastructures and Operations in the Fall semester; and Business Models and Contracts, and Transport Policy and Institutions in the Spring semester. At some point during the year, I’ll have to find an academic that, based on a draft thesis proposal (I’ve already finished), will be designated as my official supervisor.
The moment I’m writing, I’m done with most of my coursework (reason why I found the time – and thought it would make sense – to start the blog) and I have only one exam left.
I think this is it. And now it’s time to go back studying. But not without wishing a Happy Easter for those who celebrate it.