It is one of those little happy moments: it sunny outside, I am drinking a nice cup of cherry-flavoured tea and I’m listening to Paolo Nutini. It is Thesis Thursday, the day where I work on the little monster that is my masters thesis. The past couple of days I’ve crafted yet another CV and I have been busy pondering over the future, looking at more internships and even entry-level positions. I will in all likelihood graduate with a MA degree this summer after spending just four years in academics – but they’ve been four good years. I’ve learned a lot and grown a lot in those four years and for that I’m grateful.
I’ve often been asked why I want to leave academics. Some of my previous professors firmly believed in my obtaining a PhD someday, which is flattering and has had me doubting in the past. Truth be told, I’m horrible at picking research topics – everything is just so darn interesting – and whilst I love doing research and coming to new conclusions because of it, I do not feel I can contribute as much as I would like to the academic community. I really have no idea in which field I’d like to obtain a PhD or what I could do with it after. Plus, I yearn for some practical, real-world experience of day-to-day work, not just theorising about how the world functions. And there is always the possibility to return to academics later. I’ve seen enough examples of professors obtaining PhD’s in their thirties and fourties to know it is possible.
Perhaps I will come running back screaming to academics next year. Perhaps I will not. For now, I think it would just be good to obtain some experience outside of it. And it is going to happen: I have my first real internship lined up this summer! I applied some of the tactics I learned from the JCI The Heart of Europe’s (Y)Our Future in Brussels conference I attended in November. In the future I will probably share some of those tactics, as well as networking articles I read or other advice I find interesting. For now, though, I will return to my thesis.