julius' timeline

Julius, a North American in his late twenties, had completed a master’s degree and worked in engineering and for the federal government before beginning the PhD. Julius decided to pursue doctoral work in order to advance in his field, and was in the third year of his PhD at a North American university when he joined this study. Julius was married with three children, and following the PhD, left academia to set up consulting company.

What struck us about Julius’s story was: 

Relocation; work-life balance.

Developing his company alongside academic work.  

Developing his company; importance of networking and marketing. 

 

PhD

Year 3

PhD

Year 4

 

PhD

Year 3

Concerned about maintaining work-life balance.

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Hoped for career in academia in the long term but also open to work in industry.

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Spent time doing TA work, which he did not view as academic work, but relied on for funding.

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Immediately after the PhD, he wanted to work as a consultant and then go in academia eventually.

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Encountered difficulty getting access to rented lab space, which delayed his work.

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Worked on data collection and analysis, and received “outside assistance” on thesis chapters.

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PhD

Year 4

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Began setting up company that he planned to work on full time after the PhD.

In immediate future, planned to work on the company, and then in a year decide if it is “going to work or not”.

Relocated to different city (his hometown).

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Submitted thesis.

Also interested in lecturing at the university, but long-term hoped company would be successful.

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Defended thesis.

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Anticipated financial difficulties while he worked on the company.

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Worked on thesis corrections and writing papers.

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Worked on “keep[ing] contacts” at the university and from previous study in Europe to help with company.

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Challenged to “establish” himself as “someone knowledgeable in the field” to find business; “being published helps”.

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Post-PhD

 

Year 1

Continued to struggle with work-life balance, but “probably” had better balance than most professors.

Worked on contracts, finding clients, accounting, and other administrative work; focused on “building a portfolio”.

Continued to work on developing his company and hoped to hire employees.

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Met with a website designer, and was reminded that he was part of a community of small business owners.

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Developed grant proposal; business planning and consultant work; coordinated events with another professional.

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Frustrated at meetings he’s “looked down [on] as being ‘young’”.

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Attended conferences, which was “networking opportunity”; gave educational workshops for practitioners.

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Continued to work on papers related to PhD work; involved in putting together a journal, which is part of the “marketing”.

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What struck us

Relocation; work-life balance.

Developing his company; importance of networking and marketing.

Transition from academia to business owner.

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Story

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Researcher Identity Development (2017). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License