My Doctoral Journey!

by | Feb 1, 2024 | Personal Growth, Testimony

Embarking on an academic journey as a lecturer to attain a doctorate wasn’t merely a personal goal; it was the realization of a dream deeply cherished by my father. This profound and transformative experience was woven with challenges overcome, opportunities embraced, and a relentless dedication to the pursuit of knowledge, fuelled by my father’s fervent desire for academic excellence. Through this narrative, I aim to share the story of evolving from a lecturer to a doctoral scholar, emphasizing the pivotal moments, lessons learned, and the growth experienced along this scholarly path.

For many, the journey begins with a passion for a particular field of study and a drive to contribute to the academic community. As a lecturer, I wielded influence, moulding the minds of future professionals. Yet, amidst the fulfilment it brought, the aspiration to delve deeper into my subject and contribute original research became an undeniable force, spurred by my father’s unwavering belief in my potential. Transitioning to the pursuit of a doctoral degree demanded a critical decision – selecting a research area that not only aligned with personal interests but also addressed gaps in existing knowledge. This decision, foundational in nature, set the trajectory for years of rigorous research and scholarship, requiring the refinement of broad interests into a specific, manageable research question.

Balancing the demands of doctoral studies with responsibilities as a lecturer, daughter-in-law, homemaker, and family manager necessitated a delicate equilibrium. Effective time management became paramount as I juggled teaching commitments, administrative duties, familial obligations, and the rigorous demands of the doctoral program. Learning to prioritize tasks and set achievable goals was essential for success. The doctoral journey proved to be an intellectual and emotional rollercoaster, involving an exhaustive review of literature, research design formulation, and data collection and analysis. This phase not only tested academic prowess but also resilience and perseverance. Despite inevitable setbacks, navigating my academic journey under the guidance of a busy mentor was a lesson in resourcefulness and adaptability. Grateful for their insights shared amidst constraints, I am appreciative of their efforts to provide guidance amidst their demanding schedules. Their wisdom proved invaluable, and I am thankful for their unwavering support.

The doctoral journey gained depth through collaboration with fellow researchers and engagement with mentors, establishing a supportive network that offered guidance, feedback, and encouragement during challenging times. The culmination of this journey was the dissertation – a comprehensive document representing years of research, analysis, and critical thinking. Writing the dissertation required clarity of thought, effective communication skills, and a commitment to academic integrity. Today, numerous online tools facilitate writing and publishing, streamlining processes compared to earlier times. It was an endeavour to construct a narrative that contributed meaningfully to existing knowledge.

The defence marked the pinnacle of five years of dedication and hard work. Facing a panel of experts and peers, I presented and defended my findings, evaluating the rigor and validity of the research while showcasing my ability to articulate complex ideas and respond to scholarly inquiries.

Completing the doctorate symbolized the fulfilment of my father’s dream and marked the commencement of a new phase. Transitioning from a doctoral candidate to a doctorate holder signified not only a personal achievement but a shared accomplishment aligned with my father’s aspirations. This significant milestone opened doors to new opportunities, including advanced academic positions, research roles, and leadership opportunities.

My journey from lecturer to a doctorate-degree holder was an odyssey characterized by intellectual growth, perseverance, and the pursuit of knowledge – all intertwined with my father’s vision for my educational journey. Reflecting on this transformative experience, I realize that the pursuit of knowledge transcends individual endeavour; it’s a legacy carried forward, contributing to the ever-expanding realm of human understanding, and fulfilling my father’s dream for me.

Author Bio

Dr Himani Raval

Dr Himani Raval is an Assistant Professor of Management, and currently, the Head of the Department of Business Management at St Mary's College. She has over a decade of experience in teaching management students at UG and PG level. Prior to joining St. Mary’s College, she taught Business Management and held administrative positions at reputable colleges in Bangalore and Rajkot.