I am coming back to you before the end of 2015. There are few thoughts I want to share with you about my year.
This 2015 has brought to me the opportunity to re-discover and further develop my research skills. I would remark the following:
My stay at NATO: it gave me the chance to dive into a concrete topic more profoundly. Particularly, the theme of energy security is a niche where disciplines such as international relations, economy-political economy and security intertwine. I was assigned to contribute by further elaborating and improving a study on the energy security aspects in an urbanised environment that my department was working on as a part of a major project.
What I like the most about this project, was the freedom I had to concentrate and study certain aspects I thought could be more interesting. Now I see that freedom was crucial to take the opportunity to plan the research, to structure and select the methodology of the study and evaluate the priorities when elaborating my report.
I have to recognise that when I came on board I was not initially convinced about the theme of urbanization I was going to study. It was not exactly the kind of topic I was most excited about. The more I researched and read about «urbanization issues-trends» the more I became interested. Actually, I have begun to talk about it in here. The intersection of urbanization and energy security creates multiple opportunities of study and work such as, Critical Infrastructure Protection or Smart Cities. These two have caught my attention and interest.
The elaboration of the master’s dissertation. I jumped from one research project to another one. The dissertation was a pre-requisite to obtain the graduation for my masters. In order to deal with that requirement, it is always adviced to select something we can enjoy along the way. The topic of my master thesis was related to energy security too. It analyses the impact of unconventional energy resources on international order.
This time, my personal attitude and mental approach were different. It was a topic closer to my personal interest and I was excited since the beginning. We were told by the director of the master that this last part of the master’s programme was something of our own initiative. We were responsible for the theme we were talking about, the scope and the pace of work.
The dissertation has been my «baby». I set the scope of the research of the topic, the structure, the literature, the methodology of study and analysis logically all on my own. I am proud of it because it is the first time I had to do it all on my own.
The role of the supervisors have been different. The research I was involved in at the NATO center was partly the responsibility of my boss. He assigned me to contribute to it; therefore he was the one taking the last decisions on what to keep or to remove. He was responsible for the result of the report. Our work relationship was more of collaborative nature more than anything.
The supervisor of my master dissertation was there to guide and advice me more than anything. I would describe the relationship as one of a more cooperative nature. She was there to help me go through it rather than collaborating in the elaboration. I was the single person responsible for the result of the thesis.
These two experiences have occupied my 2015. I have learnt a great deal with them. It has been a quite ‘solo’ journey and a truly enjoyable ones.
Lastly, I am happy to repeat myself in that I am growing in perseveriance and confidence, two virtues I have certainly developed more this year.
Happy new 2016. Stay tune and ready to share more experiences with you from tomorrow on.