Call me doctor now?

Hi! Sorry for the lack of updates on this blog during the last two months. I’ve been busy finishing my PhD studies. Read on to find out how it went.

My PhD defense

My public examination took place on 25th of May in presence of my friends, family members and colleagues. According to the rules at the University of Helsinki, I first gave a 20 min presentation about the background, methods and results of my research and then answered the questions of my opponent for about 1.5 hours. The “opponent” is an external specialist in the particular field of science, who in my case was Prof. Béla Iván from the Hungarian Academy of Science.

I remember feeling very confident during the disputation and many of the guests told me afterwards that they were surprised by how relaxed I looked. I was honestly just happy to talk about my favorite topic and I had waited so long for this day to come.

presentation during disputation

My opponent was very excited about the topic of my thesis and I could tell that he had extensive experience with collaborators in the pharmaceutical industry. He wanted to know, whether we had thought about patenting our delivery strategy, and whether similar results could be achieved with FDA-approved materials. His points were justified and thought-provoking and something to keep in mind, especially since I am hoping to continue my research in industry.

In the end, Prof. Iván was very satisfied with our discussion and suggested that I should pass the examination with the highest grade. The grading committee confirmed later that I had passed with distinction. Below is a picture of Prof. Tenhu (my supervising professor), me, Prof. Iván, and my primary supervisor, Dr. Hietala.

my professor, opponent and supervisor

How do I feel now?

I’d say it’s a mix of 3 feelings. On the one hand, I’m of course proud to have finished my PhD studies with best grades and that the whole process went so smoothly. I didn’t have to make major revisions to my thesis and the examiners all congratulated me on how well it was written (Read my thesis here). I was also very touched and grateful to notice that so many people were caring about my success.

On the other hand, I feel a bit sad to leave my project now after all the hard work and dedication I devoted to it in the last 5 years. Maybe I will pick it back up someday and see to its commercialization. I also felt nostalgic to say goodbye to my colleagues and supervisors. We had such a great atmosphere in our working group.

The third feeling is pure excitement. What new challenges will the future hold for me? Now is the time to try new things and chase some dreams! The best advice I have received so far is to not rush things too much. To take some time to myself to reflect on what I want to do next. I will definitely keep you posted on where my path will lead me.

Thanks for reading!
And to answer the title question, you can call me Tina.

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