After constantly running throughout the two-years master’s program, I felt like I need a final sprint in order to reach the finish line. Eventually, I’m glad to have this sudden burst of energy to run towards my graduation day by “getting” three things.
Getting the thesis done
Of course, it would be impossible to have a graduation without finishing the thesis first. This spring term 2020 might not be the most conducive period to carry out a thesis project. Too many unpredictable external factors could possibly hinder the planned research project. At least that was what I experienced. The thought of having the thesis be done ideally as the initial plan did make me consider delaying the project until when everything is back to normal. But then I came into a realisation that no one knows for sure and no one knows what the future holds. So, I made up my mind and discussed a lot with my main- and co-supervisor on how to proceed with the thesis project with modifications. I am grateful that they were very supportive, hence I managed to finish writing the report and submit it on-time. I am not saying that the choice to maintain the initial thesis plan and thus delaying the project was a bad decision. Every choice has its own pros- and cons-. But, in my case, it was necessary since I plan to stay in Stockholm and get a job here.
Getting a (new) job
I started working while studying at the end of the third semester. At some point, things went out of plan. I admit this was also one thing that drew a bit of my focus from the study, as I focus on searching for a new one. I was obviously fortunate that Karolinska Institutet is well-acknowledged and has huge networks both in academic and industrial fields that allowed me to “knock at the right door” and then accepted. Starting a new job that is within the field of health informatics opened up my perspective that most of the things I had learned in class were applicable to the real-world demand. The company was understanding and even encouraging me to finish my study. I found this to be a common practice among Swedish companies, at least some that I came to contact with.
Getting a prestigious award
During this time as well, I remembered being contacted by the program director who stated her intention of nominating me to the Global Swede 2020 award. I was stunned and flattered but I didn’t keep my expectation high as I had looked at the previous awardees’ profiles and felt that I hadn’t done enough to be at that level. Nonetheless, I set up my mind as I did not want to tarnish the good name of the program and this campus by being the only nominee who fails to finish the study on-time. Mission accomplished, the nomination was selected and a ceremony was held digitally, one day before my thesis defense.
So yes, these three factors did motivate me into switching to a final-sprint mode towards the graduation day. I am glad to know that lots of fellow students are also reaching this line, everyone with their own running track and source of energy. But, I also know that the graduation day is not the finish line, but rather a starting line of longer-run ahead as the alumni. Let’s keep on going!