Submitted on 06/17/2019

Dear DCR Members,

I am very delighted to keep you posted on my career at Justus-Liebig University (JLU). As most of you knew, I was offered a full-time postdoctoral position at JLU Gießen in September 2018. I am involved in research, teaching, and some administrative activities. The working environment is very friendly, and my adaptation has been faster than I had expected. My successful integration at JLU is largely made possible by my experiences at the DCR as a doctoral student. The DCR has positively contributed to my career in, at least, two ways.

First, the DCR program has devoted valuable resources to my research training. I am currently working on three research projects that require advanced skills in multilevel models. I have acquired these skills thanks to the DCR program. During my time at the DCR, not only have my thesis supervisors encouraged me to take an advanced training in multilevel models, but also facilitated the financial support necessary for the seminars. Moreover, my first year at the DCR was an opportunity to acquire skills in qualitative/quantitative research, which has also equipped me for the current research projects. In addition to research methods, the program has further developed my critical thinking, through in-class debates. During the first year, we used to have weekly reading and debate on dynamic capabilities. At the beginning, I used to take it personal when classmates challenged my arguments. The professors created a supportive environment that allowed us to articulate our arguments. Over time, I have come to realize that research is about confronting ideas, and that constructive criticisms are crucial for academic progress. By the second year, I have actively sought constructive criticisms from my peers, which has built a much stronger interpersonal relationship among us. This willingness to listen to and consider challenging counterarguments is greatly contributing to my career at JLU.

Second, my interactions with the professorial and administrative staff members have developed my ability to understand, communicate with and interact with colleagues in Germany. My successful integration at JLU is a product of three years of learning about the German culture, especially in the academic environment. In my opinion, the scope of the DCR program, thus, went beyond advanced research training. The program has also sponsored German courses for the international students. Although my knowledge of the German language remains limited, the basics that I have acquired, thanks to the DCR, enable me to survive in the streets of Gießen where the English language is not very common.

I aspire for a career in academia. My staying at JLU is geared towards success. Besides sleepless nights and skipped holidays, the resources made available by the DCR during my research training and the support of the professorial and administrative staff members have considerably contributed to this optimistic future.

I cannot wait to meet you all in September.