Category Archives: MY Ph.D JOURNEY

WHAT I LEARNT DURING MY FIRST YEAR OF Ph.D

It was a struggle and it is a progress not yet done. I was super excited to have started my Ph.D. and so far its been nothing less than I expected except the fact that sometimes I get lost during the Ph.D. adventure. The enthusiastic nature in me has kept me on my feet and I am always curious discover new things. Cutting the story short, below are the 10 main things I have learnt during the first year of my Ph.D.

  1. Self-Motivation: I have learnt that my motivation is key to the progress of my research. We all have a reason for choosing a particular research area and this should always motivate us. There have been times when I feel tired and confused but I persist in putting so much effort to achieve my goals. It is very important to have passion in ones research work, this will keep fueling the research energy.
  2. Accept rejections: There were several rejections I encountered, an example is journal article rejection but I have only learnt to work on it better and not to be disheartened.
  3. Seek assistance: Seeking advise from senior colleagues, lecturers and staff is very necessary. We can’t always assume to find answers without asking the more experienced persons.
  4. Identifying research aims and objectives: It is important to understand the reason why the research is been conducted, the contribution to knowledge and how the objectives will be achieved. This is major guide through the research.
  5. Accept new directions: There are lots of times my research was adjusted. An example was when I had to change my theoretical framework, this was a major challenge. Most times, new directions lead to positive results.
  6. Public speaking: I have never had fear of public speaking but this is one thing I have constantly engage in during my Ph.D journey. It is important to be happy about your research and willing to always talk about it. There are lots of presentations to be done either at the faculty or external events, although they are most times not compulsory but they are very good for personal development. I was always excited to make presentations, which hearten me to present at 2 different conferences in my first year.
  7. Discipline: Occasionally, I am tempted to spend time on distracting things instead of my research. I have realized that distraction is a tool that should be avoided and can self-discipline is a tool to fight it.
  8. Literature review: This is a continuous progress, it is important to keep up to date with the literature of your research. You can click on this link for the importance of literature review https://tobioyefeso.com/2020/05/12/importance-of-literature-review-in-social-sciences-humanities/ .
  9. Confidence: Having confidence in ones research work is awesome, this shows that you are conversant with your research and you understand the direction your research is going.
  10. Good relationship with supervisors: This can be tactic but it is very important to establish a good working relationship with supervisors.
  11. Organization: Staying organized is very important, I have always loved to work with a plan and prepare ahead of my days. Therefore, I didn’t find it difficult in organizing my research work. It is necessary to keep your calendar up to date, as there are lots of activities that will be occurring. Having said that, there are different tools that researchers use to organize their research such as Mendeley, Evernote, Microsoft One Note and so on.
  12. Social and Mental: There is more to life than just a PhD, I usually engage in other activities such as attending moot courts, tea breaks, catching up with colleagues, blogging, visiting places around, going to the gym, watch movie and others. I believe this helps to keep the social and mental health good. As a famous proverb says that ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’.

WHY I DECIDED TO DO A Ph.D.

Starting a Ph.D. was a dream come through for me. While growing up, I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do career-wise but I knew I wanted to do things that seem impossible to the feeble mind.

I wanted to enage in mind boggling activities within the social sciences and understand how variable related into outcomes. In a few words, I wanted to engage in tasking activities and sicover peculiar facts based on research findings. I wanted to make positive impacts in peoples life through my intellectual power as many people believed I was very smart just wanted. But then, I wasn’t sure about how to go about it, I read lot of books and solved lots of puzzles, which made me believe there is always a way.

My dad wanted me to be an Accountant and my mum wanted me to be whatever I wanted to be. Sadly, I was terrible at mathematics, so I eneded up as an Art student. This did not deter my dad who trusted my path to Accounting was still nurtured. One day, my dad sat me down and asked a simply question, he said;

Dad: Tobi what career path have you chosen?

Me: Daddy I want to be a Lawyer

Dad: Why do you want to be a Lawyer?

Me: I want to help people (that was the only thing I had in mind as a teenager)

My parents supported me in the path I wanted but at the long run, my discipline was too broad (I’d talk about my degrees in another post). My parents decision towards my career seemed different but I learnt from their style of career informed parenting. I think forcing a child to pick an interest in a particular discipline (science or art) is poor considering that you may have not understood the passion and interest of the child. We can only understand the passion of our children by been readily available for them. We should not allow the modern caveats in our society make us impose a career on our children or leave our children to free will because we do not want to force a career on them. The fundamental responsibility of parent to children is guidance from experience and love. This will make us avoid subjective training in the career development of our children from an early age and help us develop their strengths and skills in what they find engaging and willing to invest their resources to add value to the world. Forgive me for digressing but I will talk more about this in a different post.

I had passion in children and it is always a misery when I see a child rights been violated and can’t do anything. This was a great motivation for me. Let me cut the long story short by highlighting 5 reasons why I decided to do a Ph.D.

1. I want to kill my curiosity in discovering new approaches

2. To become an expert in Child Rights

3. To demonstrate my intellectual potential and get enough confidence to analyze and solve societal problems

4. To offer a significant contribution to the existing knowledge of my research

5. Long-term career goals.

Let the Ph.D journey begin…

Do not forget to drop your comment and advise.


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