For the most ambitious, the corporate ladder is obsolete.
Now that my thesis is submitted, my ‘to do lists’ are becoming more and more full of things I love to do, which is super exciting!
Giving presentations… Building a business (Stackz)… Exercising…
Lately I’ve been wondering about how much having a personal blog like this effects the job hunt. I’ve had several friends weigh in on the issue, expressing opinions across the spectrum. Over the years of writing oxehmoron, I never thought it would hinder me professionally, as it’s obviously written mainly for my family and friends who are curious about my experience here at Oxford. That being said, it’s not punchy, or a hard-hitting political or technical blog, it’s written in simple language and nothing very controversial ever pops up here. So I’ve been wondering if perhaps it paints me as too simple and not cutting-edge enough…
For that reason I took it down temporarily, as I have a few very important applications being reviewed at the moment.
Oxehmoron has only been down for three days and I have received a flurry of emails asking what was going on. This confirmed to me that this blog is actually awesome, and more importantly, it matters to the people I care about most in life and therefore is not something I should worry about. If a company doesn’t want to hire me because I’ve documented and shared this amazing journey with my global network, then its not a company I want to work for, and it is entirely their loss.
And with that, oxehmoron is back up and running. Boom
My thesis defense has been scheduled for April 4th. Horay!
The transition back to Canada has begun!
Packing… Shipping… Job-hunting…
Plans are uncertain at the moment. I could be back as soon mid-April or push it as late as June. Either way, my time in the UK is coming to an end and I’m excited to be coming home.
Calgary will be my first stop but the final destination will be Vancouver so watch this space for updates!
I know what your thinking:
"OK, you’ve submitted. Now what??"
Well I’m not totally finished with my PhD, as I have yet to defend my thesis. At the moment I am waiting to hear back from my examiners about a date. (‘Step 5’ on my post entitled: PhD Thesis Rigamarole)
In the meantime, my focus has shifted to the startup world and various entrepreneurial projects I’ve had in mind of pursuing. So last weekend, Lucy and I attended a Startup Immersion program at the Business School, and have several other events and projects in the pipeline.
I’m also exploring teaching opportunities both here in Oxford and on the west coast in Canada and the US. Fingers crossed! And busy creating a presentation for a webinar I’m hosting for the IChemE in March.
Now that I’m no longer stuck at my desk writing, my social life has perked up (thankfully). For instance, I’m headed to London tomorrow to catch up with a fellow Canadian I met while trekking to base-camp last year, and on Friday, a childhood friend is flying in from the Cayman Islands so will be catching up with her over a pint. Whoop!!
Then there is teaching and running… So don’t worry, I’m staying busy while I wait. Thanks for your concern though!
At the ‘Submission Desk’
February 18, 2014
Saturday Night Settlers of Catan
-with Springer Spaniel, Koala, Bons, Monkey, Penguin, Hoagy, Lilly & Banana
Oxford has made me into a nerd, officially.
Apparently all this ultra-focused computer work has caused astigmatism. The Optometrist said my corneas are now shaped like a rugby ball instead of a sphere (especially my right eye). So as a result, I need glasses when doing computer work or night driving as it makes focusing difficult when I’m tired.
I got 2 versions: The top photos are the ‘serious, professional pair’.
Interestingly, she also told me that the reason I am hyper-sensitive to white light (if you’ve ever been to a concert with me you will understand what I mean), is because my pupils are larger than normal, letting in more light.
Just of you’re curious… it takes roughly 2 months to transport a package from Calgary to Oxford by ‘surface’ (truck and boat).
Thanks for the gifts family!
ps. That’s my bike, Misty
TEDx came to Oxford!
I had the privilege of attending TEDx Oxford last weekend. A few of the speakers were:
-Professor Emeritus Lord Layard, co-editor of the United Nations’ World Happiness Reports and best known as the author of “Happiness: Lesson from a New Science (2005) spoke about redefining the simplistic economics link between income and happiness.
-We heard Augusta Thompson speak about ‘Girl Rising’ a documentary and movement about the values of girls’ education.
-Anders Sandberg, a leading transhumanist and researcher at the Future of Humanity Institute spoke about ethical issues relating to the treatment of computer modeled beings (human and animal) that are programmed with consciousness.
-Baroness Susan Greenfield, a specialist on the physiology of the brain spoke about basic brain mechanisms involved in addiction and reward (relating to dopamine), brain mechanisms underlying ADHA, and the impact of brain development through experiences with ones environment.
-Laura Bates, the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project gave a compelling talk about prolific misogyny present in universities today.
It was a fantastic day that generated much debate over drinks later that evening.
Step 1. Conduct novel research (2-2.5 years)
Step 2. Write thesis (6-9 months)
Step 3. a) Get ‘Application to Appoint Examiners’ form signed by supervisor, cycle to college and hand it in to get signed there (wait 1-3 days). b) Pick up form and cycle back to the engineering department to get signed by the Director of Graduate Studies (wait 1-3 days). c) Pick up and cycle to the University site and drop off to the Graduate Studies Assistant. (wait 4 weeks to process)
Step 4. Hand in 2 copies of printed thesis to the Exam Schools.
Step 5. Wait for examiners and Exam Schools to organize a date for the viva (1-3 months)
Step 6. Defend research in the ‘viva voce’ which is ‘Oxford-speak’ (Latin) for oral examination (3-4 hours)
Step 7. Wait to be given a list of corrections from the examiners (2-6 weeks)
Step 8. Make the corrections in the thesis (1-2 weeks)
Step 9. Wait for approval of corrected thesis from internal examiner (2-4 weeks)
Step 10. Get thesis bound in hard copy (make into a book) (1 week)
Step 11. Submit thesis (book) to Bod Library via Exam Schools
Step 12. Wait to receive ‘Leave to Supplicate’ which is ‘Oxford-speak’ for a letter affirming you have fulfilled all academic requirements (1 week)
Step 13. Wait to receive permission to book a graduation ceremony (1 week)
Step 14. Wait to participate in graduation ceremony (2-12 months)
Step 15. Graduate
Steps 3-15 require 6 months, minimum.
And I’m on Step 3b (sigh)