Samstag, 6. Oktober 2007

My first week as a PhD student

In this week, a lot happend. The first three days of the week I was introduced to Ericsson. There was a huge amount of material to look at, like process descriptions, organizational charts, products and so forth. Honestly, I don't think that I have really understood it yet as this is a complex organization :)

Additionally, there was a lot of practical stuff to solve. For instance, I had to sign the contract, get my badge and so on. This was quite hard because I did not have my social security number yet. If one does not have this number in Sweden, he basically does not exist in Sweden, cannot open bank accounts or sign binding contracts. However, I got my number on Thursday and now everything is moving forward smoothley.

We also had a few meetings. At the university, there was a meeting called Brown Bag Seminars. Actually, this is a lot of fun. Somebody from the group or a guest researcher presents his research in a relaxed atmosphare while the others have a light lunch. Thereafter, a discussion of the research takes place and people bounce ideas around. Some of the other PhD students were also at the universtiy when I did my master studies. One of them is Nina, she was a lecturer back then. We talked a little about our research as she is doing research at my company, too. As our topics seem to be well integrated, we thought about doing a paper together. I look forward to that and will further discuss it with her next week.

On friday, we had a very important meeting with the Streering Group of my PhD studies, consisting of me, my advisor and two people from Ericsson. The streering group will meet every four weeks to discuss what has been done, to give feedback, discuss new research ideas, and decide what to do in the next four weeks. This week we had some very interestind discussions which made me understand some of the problems the company is facing pretty well. Furthermore, some research ideas popped up and we were able to roughly define an initial overall goal of the research. We also planned an initial case study at the company which I will start to prepare now. I took minutes of the meeting and wrote down some research questions. Next week, I will distibute the notes to the steering group to see whether we have the same understanding of things. When this becomes more mature, I will also go into the topic of my area and write something about this.

To draw an overall conclusion of my wirst week: It was a lot of information to cover and a lot of prictical things to solve, but everybody is very supportive which made the first week of my studies very pleasent.