I’ve been imagining this moment since late December 2017 and it continued during the entire 2018. It worked as a form of motivation in order to keep analyzing the data, to keep writing, to keep editing and to finalize.
I like to speak to an audience. I don’t remember if I’ve ever been afraid of speaking in public, though I remember not always being very good at it. However, I always wanted to improve my performance and there is nothing better than being prepared and looking forward to share your thoughts with those present.
And so I did. I enjoyed presenting, especially as the audience was attentive and interested. The commission was so kind and presented positive reflections and suggested ways in which I could improve. I received questions from the audience, which I enjoyed more than I would have imagined before.
The commission wrapped up really nicely, announcing that I meet the expectations. So, I passed the class 🙂 (this is an inside joke, aimed at pressure reducing).
All of it would have not happened without the support, coordination and guidance of my thesis coordination, Professor Doru Buzducea. In three of the four and a half years, three other teachers were part of the support team, providing critical feedback which strongly influenced the manner in which I approached the topic. They are Professors Cosima Rughinis, Florin Lazăr and George Botescu.
I’ve met experts and lay persons who provided information I could later analyze and present in the thesis. Researcher Stefan Dorondel gave me the opportunity to observe researchers in action, on the field, while studying flooding. Public institutions from central, regional and county level accepted to discuss with me about their work, the obstacles they face, as well as about the rationality concerning why they do what they do. Specialists from NGOs explained their interventions and shared their insights. Locals who were affected by flooding told me their stories, expressed their dissatisfaction with honesty and relieved for a few minutes their traumatic experiences. Towards all of them I feel grateful.
Then there are a my colleagues from the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work of UB, who continually encouraged me and supported me during this period, some of them being there for me even before starting the Phd: Daniela Gaba, Georgiana Rentea, Corina Brăgaru, Diana Tihan, Tatiana Cojocari, Mihaela Ștefan, Adrian Dan and others.
My colleagues from work, from Accenture Romania, from the Swiss Contribution Office and the Swiss Embassy, as well as those from the research projects in which I worked and still work in, were always kind, understanding and supportive throughout the entire process of starting, drafting and finalizing the thesis.
Life was made easier by all my friends, colleagues and acquaintances who insisted we meet for coffee in order to relax and forget about the thesis for a while. They listened to me talking about the thesis, complaining when overwhelmed and nicely accepting when I declined the invite. Some of them were present in the room on Thursday, some were not, but all of them supported me in getting where I needed to go.
And of course, my family was there for me in direct and indirect ways for the PhD and all throughout my life. Calling my mother when I was down, discussing with my father ways in which I could add an entrepreneurial perspective on my activities, laughing with my brother on my weaknesses. My grandma will forever be missed. Supporting aunts and cousins who understood when I couldn’t pay a visit. My boyfriend, who I don’t believe I could ever repay for how absolutely amazing he is.
I am grateful for all the support I have received; it feels absolutely wonderful to live in these times and to be surrounded by kind and openhearted individuals.
There are still some procedures to unfold before it’s final and, in most ways, my work is now just getting started. However, there is no better time to thank those who are here for me: I see you, I acknowledge you and I am grateful for you!