Graduating Doctor of Philosophy
Boost for linguistic knowledge
“In my PhD project I researched the philosophers Max Scheler and Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II). However, the skills you sharpen during a project are not always the skills you expect to improve. In my case, my command of several languages advanced. I read in French, German, Polish, but especially my knowledge of English expanded greatly. After high school my knowledge of English was average, now it has become my second mother-tongue.
“You also learn to pay careful attention to language. When giving an international presentation or writing an article, you cannot afford typos or inaccuracies. Your communication skills also improve as you progress.”
Challenges without stress
“I have always been a fairly sociable person, but my doctorate helped me to relax even more among people. I travelled a lot and often came into contact with different people and organisations. A step into the unknown no longer stresses me.
“Personally I would prefer to remain in an academic environment, at least for a while. I would like more training. I would like to get an even deeper view of my field and feel I could benefit from further dialogue with other philosophers.”
Seeking solutions with a passion
“Would I recommend others to pursue doctorate? It depends on the person and their expectations. To a large extent, the pursuit of a doctorate determines the rhythm of your life. If you prefer a structured 9-to-5 working week, I would strongly advise against it. But anyone, in whatever field, who is driven to search for solutions must surely pursue a doctorate."
Alicja Gescinska writes opinion articles for Belgian newspaper De Standaard and the Dutch Philosophy Magazine. She was invited to be a member of the ‘Philosophical Team’ established by the Dutch newspaper Trouw. Gescinska has also published the award-winning book The Conquest of Freedom.