I’ve now completed the second and almost third day of my first Ph.D. residency, and my brain is officially mush. I’m excited, intrigued, fascinated, and exhausted all at once.
I can honestly say that I’m not sure I would’ve gone down this path if I had any idea what I was getting myself into. But I am so, so glad that I did.
The past two days have flown past — seminars in statistics, finance, statistics, learning strategy, and statistics… And then statistics. (Who knew that a Ph.D. would mean so much freaking statistics?! Well, Ph.D.s knew, clearly…) There’ve also been guided tours of research and online classroom tools, lectures from visiting professors, and panel discussions with faculty and current Ph.D. students. It’s been practically non-stop.
The recurring theme throughout the entire residency has been: if you think this is a lot of work, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. And that’s why I say that I might not have proceeded if I had realized. Admittedly, it’s intimidating and scary to think that I’ll be spending every possible moment reading books, browsing scholarly journals, writing papers, and collaborating with classmates. I’m told that this will typically take a minimum of 20-30 hours each each week just to stay current on assignments. Knowing how much I value quiet down-time and social activities with friends, I might very well have declined if I’d been better informed.
But as I said, I’m very glad that I’ve gotten myself into this. Having told the free world that I was doing this, paid a hefty tuition and a number of other expenses, flown all the way out here and started working with the other students in my cohort… I’m certainly not going to quit now. And never mind the stubborn aspect — I’m honestly in awe of the opportunity to really become an expert in a field that absolutely fascinates and delights me. Less than 1% of the population has a Ph.D. and in a few years, I’ll be one of them.
For someone who is focused on achievements, credentials, and prestige, it doesn’t get much better than that… Certainly not in the field of Human Capital Management, anyway.
I figure that each week I will be devoting a couple of hours each weeknight to my studies, and basically all of Saturday and a good chunk of Sunday. And that’s for the two years of classes, where I study all aspects of Human Capital and the research/statistical methods that I’ll need in this program. After two years I will take my comprehensive written and oral exams, and then officially become a Ph.D. candidate.
From there I will be signing and conducting research in my field — actually creating knowledge rather than simply absorbing it. I’m already leaning heavily towards research about diversity in the workplace, diving into something that I’m obviously very passionate about… But I’ll hold off on making too many pronouncements about that until we get closer.
In short, I’m going to be living and breathing this stuff for the next several years at a minimum. I apologize in advance if I start boring the hell out of all of you.