Showing posts from February, 2016

A Beautiful Day on the Campus of the University of Vaasa

Today was the deadline to submit the conference paper. I left the office very late but managed to take some photos on the way to work. We are proud of our campus and it is usually named as the most beautiful campus of Finland. The university of Vaasa is just by the see. Some of the buildings are old industrial buildings and the rest ones are new. 
The environment and the atmosphere are some of my main reasons to continue the studies, even after the master's degree, at the university of Vaasa. I believe that this is one of the best places to develop own thinking. 

day seven out of seven and good food

To get good food is important as it stimulates positivism for the entire day. Thus, this post is a thank you to our lunch restaurant, CafeLeison, where I went for lunch alone today as there were no one else present. Another specialty of our department: researchers from doctoral students to emeritus tend have lunch together. As we are small and open department, there is very little hierarchy. And no, I'm not trying to avoid telling about my writing process.... 
As we moved to this beautiful side of the buildingcalled Tervahovi, my friends and I faced a temptation to just eat fast in the employee restaurant Alma where university supports the lunch by couple of euros. However, the food is better at Cafe Leison. 

But. The. Research. I guess you don't care, but I have almost 3000 words. It is 15 pages long, the literature review is not even in the middle way. Yet in addition to that, only conclusions is the only uncompleted of the first of many draft version. Last evening, I read an …

Thoughts of SIXTH Day - so much to be done

When you wonder why the university is empty, wonder no more: it's probably the time of the Exam Week.
I declared to myself that the data chapter is done (for now). The method and results shall also be doable no reader is going to check them with the introduction and conclusions are bad. The goal of today has been to get some words down to the background chapter that still need a lot more attention and is far from finished. I don't like to tell about thinks that I have to do. I think it's better just do them. Here, is a sentence that is likely to appear in the final version of the research paper: 
How and why does knowledge spill over is more than an academic question” concludedAudretsch and Feldman (2003).
I am unsure if it is okay to start the introduction chapter with direct quote, but for now Chapter 1 starts with word of Audretsch and Feldman. 
Why is spillover more than academic issue?  1) Companies are interested to get spillovers (like from universities) 2) To attract c…

Work-Life balancing and couple of pics of our office

Have you tried out yoga, body balance or something similar? In university of Vaasa, it is very convenient to train at the Vaasa Sports Club that is located on the campus. Last week I went to body balance at 7.30 am and my head was full of thoughts related to work. Those thoughts were in my head during day and they also come to my dreams. Today, I could concentrate on the movements much better. Firstly, the work trip is done and secondly I believe that balance had a role to play. When I was at work after the training, I was on fire. I finished a task after task. Yet, I admit, in the afternoon I was very tired. 
Our office is divided into two parts, mine and Saara's. My desk is messy when I am in the middle of a process or project where as Saara likes it clean and organized. What I need more than physical organization is an organization in my mind. For that purpose training yoga or body balance is pure gold. 


Writing about the data was an ease. it is actually at least as cool as the coding itself.  
Today was almost perfect but then my computer, my darling, refused to log me in. After restarting twice, I took him to the ICT management that told me to my relief that my darling had just dropped from the domain. What a relief! At the same time, there was a possibility to ask (stupid) questions (that will make my laptop and my relationship much smoother) and update some settings.

Some spirit lifting of today: 

Results so far shortly:  5 min free writing gave the first sentences to the Data chapter! Wow.  Data description starts to be long enough but still I would like to say something more about itMy supervisor prof Piekkola read and commented the data chapter. It wasn't that bad. :)  (oh and I had some coffee. It tastes much worst than in home, I'll stick with tee at work)

Day FOUR - the Direction is Right

Today's suggestion were full of cool ways to get started. But! I just started explaining our data issues and I am still doing that. Additionally, I made already the outline during the first days. It is a relief to see that some ideas have developed even further. Still, I need much more new text per day as I wrote today. MAYBE it is time to change tee to coffee.
The day started with 5 min writing challenge. To start from somewhere is the hardest part of it. Again from it, I gained one cool new context of the research.

This is how the advises for today look like: 

Yet, all in all, I'm "late". Friday wasn't as productive as I hoped. The train was fully booked because of the winter holiday and I didn't get a seat. However, I spoke with my mom for one and half hours and was much earlier in Vaasa than I had let myself to prepare.  Wish me luck. :)

Day THREE and Work Trip to Helsinki

On Monday, I started mentally preparing for the early wake up today. On Wednesday, I went to body balance at 7:30 am (- and I was late). Today, the train left at 7:00 am (and I made it). It was the same train that I took sometimes to the core courses of FDPE (Finnish Doctoral Program in Economics), held in Helsinki.

Today’s schedule looks busy: afternoon goes to a project meeting about the data contraction. I expect to be back in Vaasa at 9 pm after which I have a meeting with my friends to whom I have promised to make a small discussion outline about (personal) savings. That’s a subject that I could write a lot about. 1) Finnish people should save more as my generation cannot trust to have the state paid pension. 2) How nicely the savings accumulate into a fortune if you start saving early (historical perspective) and 3) there are awesome stories about how people have retired early or how people are saving for it.

The best part in this work trip is that our travel secretary gave me…

day TWO - this is not going to work...

Quite unsurprisingly, perhaps, this feels doomed. Or maybe it is the weather: it snows heavily even though it is probably hard to see from the picture..

Today's task was about "tiny text" = abstract. Well, now I have the first abstract draft version but I am sure it is not good enough: the data is unmentioned and my supervisor surely wants it there. Adding it, however, will violate the sense of "flow"... I decided to get back to that later. The questions to start with and then the rule of placing the answers into an abstract were helpful. That was painless! Even though, starting with the abstract felt weird. Next, there were suggestions for the title. I made five competing titles, couple of them look quite cute. But is cute good enough? At this stage probably yep. 
As it feels that there are too little to do for these first days, I peeked to the next day. I wanted to kept the concepts as a secrets that I read then in the mornings as that made me stay excited for…

DAY ONE going!

So, now it really started. I find a need to sketch the literature review part. I am planning to write first from the big picture, which is the theory of growth here, and then go nearer and nearer to the literature dealing with the main issues of this research.

From How to write a journal article in 7 days I had to identify today what is driving the research and typical headings of that sort of a paper. So far I have now a some sort of table of content. It feels too little for one day. Yet, today I identified how I should write the paper. (This sounds silly.)  The gain of this paper is the empirical results. The text needs to stress what have been done in the literature, how this research relates to them, the methods and of course the results.

Today's specialty in the workplace was a visitor from Rome. Thus, this week we are very international small department with two Italians! We are so lucky! :)

Almost Normal Day at the University - Writing Challenge Day ZERO

A deadline for a nice conference is approaching. I have preliminary results, some knowledge of relevant literature - and a will to try.  
I printed slides from the same author as here but a bit in different form. From now on, I try to follow the steps and finish the first preliminary version of the paper in approximately 7 days. And yes, I need pressure. That is why I make it now official. If I fail, I buy the best chocolate bar I know and give it to my boyfriend. I will not eat the chocolate, I'll just watch him eating... I promise. 
This also a good test for the advise as this is my first article. I have written two thesis (bachelor's and master's), but this is very different. If you have tried these advises before, please let me know.

About the normality. The snow is still with us. As typical, bikes are in use. Additionally, we were blessed again with the sun shine. After the dark winter, to see the sun feels always wonderful.  

About the tasks of day zero: "where y…

Employee Co-Operation Negotiations at our University

The Finnish law states how the employer should act when faced a need of decrease the number of employees. The Finnish universities are forced to cut spending as the government is cutting the funding. Our university fired less than ten from the support services. The University of Vaasa is my first long time employer so I didn't have any experiences on these lay offs before. It is surprising how sad and tired I have felt and still feel, even though I am not working on the support team. No wonder that the literature finds these situations as a drop in productivity. 
It is hard to say anything worth saying about this situation, it is sad even though the rector made it clear that this they didn't want to do. The most rational feeling is targeted to one colleague, friend should I say: a beautiful and clever young women. I am very concerned how this will affect our coffee club, where we spend all the pauses at work, when this one very important and dear person will no longer join us…

Valentine's Day at the University

This morning all university staff was invited to celebrate the Valentine's Day in local restaurant at 9.00 AM. Our rector hold two speeches (one in Finnish and one in English) about the Finnish traditions of 14.2. In Finland, the day is not for lovers only: it is mostly for friends and even companies tend to do something nice for their workers for that day as an act of friendship.  

We had (chocolate!) cake and coffee /tee. Additionally, persons that had served the university of Vaasa a long time got rewards. One of them was my favorite mach teacher: Matti Laaksonen. It is refreshing to have special events on campus from time to time. We also had traditional lottery where all persons that are present and registered for the event can win some awesome gifts, like university products or lunch tickets. This time, our table didn't wan. Maybe next year!

Have a happy Valentine's Day and don't forget your Friends!

What's a spillover?

We had an assignment to write about our research in "understandable form". I already submitted my explanation (and I just spotted one unfinished sentence) so here is a part of it. I hope it makes sense to You. If not, I need to improve.
"Never thought about where all the frontier knowledge really come from? Yes, we have that research and development units that push the knowledge frontier forward. Yet, not all new knowledge to us is new to everyone else. When companies trade with each other, they learn from the others competences and organizational systems; this is called an economic spillover effect. Sometimes, they learn how the middle product should be developed to generate more value to their customer company. Sometimes, they see good or bad habits of the management those they self can employ or avoid. So, no wonder our estimations of knowledge in economic growth are lacking.

Researchers are making the fix with spillover effect. However, the channel and direction of t…

Application period

Now it is the time of the year to apply for funding. I made a schedule to apply from three different foundation. There are also two other foundations that I might apply as well, if thing end up badly. 

The first deadline was to day. I wish I had a feeling of relief but quite the contrary: A deadline of a course assignment is on Friday - and my supervisor had couple of unexpected ideas like a trip to Helsinki for a meeting of our research project. 
But, it is not too bad: the air is full of opportunities and because of them, I have lot do. Application writing wasn't that bad either, it is actually enjoyable to think about the value, meaning to the region and layman version of own research. 
Oh, and the course assignment. I loved the classes.