The end of the beginning

The very first post on this blog was written while I was still an undergraduate at the University of Derby. Today I am happy to say that I have just successfully defended my PhD thesis on the effects of urbanisation on the behaviour of song birds. This means not only can I order a new bank card with “Dr.” on it, but also that my time as a student has finally come to an end.

thesis-picture
The first draft of my PhD thesis just before I submitted it.

The question I have to ask myself now is what next?

Right now I am working at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany and am loving it. I work with a really fantastic research group and I hope I will be able to stay here a while yet to pursue some of my research ideas. After that, I have no idea! I am considering several possibilities including continuing in academia long-term, working for conservation/environmental charities or applying for jobs in government environmental agencies. If you have completed a PhD I would love to hear in the comments what you did next.

As for this blog, I hope to revive it after its long and unplanned hiatus. As all PhD students know, the final year is the most intense and personally challenging. In the last year I have moved to Germany, written my thesis and published a paper. amongst all this I didn’t find the time for my poor blog! Now, however, I have a little more time and I plan to use it to write a series of blog posts on my PhD experience. Both the good and the bad. If there is anything you would like to know about the PhD experience please let me know below!

I also plan to write about whatever I do next. Although it is still quite unclear at the moment I am optimistic for the future and looking forward to the next challenge. The end of being a student me is really just the beginning of the next stage in my life and I can’t wait!

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4 thoughts on “The end of the beginning

  1. Well done, Dr Sam Hardman. Not that I went down the academic route, I’d certainly suggest you now enjoy yourself above all else. Take things slowly, no need to rush into whichever career path you might choose as, in the end, luck plays a significant role as to your overall destiny. Maybe, consider joining the “A Focus On Nature” movement unless you already have.

    All the best and I wish you well, do keep blogging.

    Tony Powell and naturestimeline

    1. Thanks Tony! I plan to take things easy for a little while now. I need a break! What is the “A Focus on Nature Movement”? I actually haven’t heard of it but probably should have…

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