Coming Down the Home Stretch (Again)

It’s like deja vu all over again (shades of Yogi Berra). I feel like I’ve been here before.


I’ve been out of the game for a while, dealing with a serious illness. I’m over the worst of it and the treatments have stopped for the time being, so I’m going to try to take advantage of this window of opportunity before it slams shut.


I just contacted my supervisor on BlackBoard to schedule an appointment to discuss my dissertation. The truth is that at this point, I don’t have much to discuss, as I’m just getting back to my dissertation. However, I hope that by the time his appointment schedules opens up, I can discuss something meaningful with him. I did take the time to read through a number of student posts in the dissertation forum, and there is a familiar refrain: he can only review 2 chapters for feedback, and feedback is given only once. The whole dissertation process is a bit daunting, so I can understand my colleagues’ collective angst, but these are the rules we have to play by, so it is what it is.


Whereas I used to have hopes of getting A’s and B’s in all subjects and graduating with honors, the grind of the past 3 years, along with 3.5 months of chemotherapy, has lowered the bar of expectation. As my first student mentor advised, I simply want to earn my masters and move on. I am thinking of doing a PhD, but I will allow myself some time to step away from academics for a while and regain my health before committing to 6 years of research. I do have a research idea that I think would make an important contribution to both the existing academic literature and management practice, but right now, I just want to finish what I’ve started with this course.


The good thing is that there are sample dissertations provided to show what the expectation is, and honestly, I think that the pass/fail portion of the dissertation is largely keyed to the literature review and the methodology section. With this understanding, I’m going to try to read and summarize roughly 60 articles over the next week, If I can do that, I’ll be on a good pace. I’m targeting an early March submission to allow enough time to re-submit, if in the worst case scenario things don’t go well with the first submission.


I’m pretty excited about this right now, so let’s see how long this motivation holds up under stress. One way or another, the finish line is in sight.



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About Ismail

Hi, I'm Ismail. I'm an American living abroad while trying to figure out what I want to be when (if) I grow up. I love sports, particularly American football and martial arts, and when I'm not working at one of my four jobs, you will likely find me in the gym lifting really heavy stuff. I'm a distance learning MSc Finance student, and I'll be happy to share my journey with you while trying to maintain some semblance of sanity.

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