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Baptiste Colas (PhD Student, Laval University, QC, Canada) recently visited Univesidad Carols III de Maddrid as part of the EAA ARC International PhD Visit Scheme. In this blog, he discusses how the visit went.
Visiting period: 2019/09/02 to 2019/11/08 (10 weeks)
Initially, my main motivation for doing a research visiting at UC3M was to extend my network in Europe and more generally learn about the European universities landscape. Since I was planning to enter the job market, I wanted to collect as much information as possible in order to be more prepared for this. Having well-connected faculty members and PhD Students was very fruitful in that sense. Moreover, even if we were four of us on the job market sharing the same office space, I did not feel any competition between us, and everyone was supportive in quest of a job.
During my stay I had the opportunity to take part in some research events. First, I was attending to weekly seminars where high-quality researchers were invited to present. Also, I could discuss research with both faculty members and PhD students. Everyone at UC3M was very welcoming and offered me the opportunity to discuss my research. Thus, I have been able to receive comments on my papers from faculty members that took the time to carefully read my paper and meet me to discuss about it afterwards. In addition, I was invited to take part of the reading group activity at UC3M. Basically, every week one PhD student chose a paper that everyone read, and then we discuss it for around one hour. During this weekly event, at least two experienced faculty members were present – usually Beatriz Garcia-Osma and Encarna Guillamon-Saorin. It was a good way to keep reading papers outside our own research interest, and a good way to develop new research ideas. Also, it was a good opportunity to get to better know other PhD students and their research interests.
Finally, I had the opportunity to take a PhD course with Juan Manuel Garcia-Lara. The topic of the course was “accounting research” and focused on empirical financial accounting research. Even if I already had been exposed to a similar course at my home university, this was very fruitful since it gave me the opportunity to discuss research with Juan twice a week and to obtain another perspective on this research trend. Also, it was a good opportunity to meet other students that were early in the process of their PhD and discuss their research agendas. Finally, Juan kindly agreed to exempt myself from some of the assignments to let me focus on more important things there.
Overall, my experience at UC3M was very positive. I met great people, improved my research skills and discovered a wonderful city and campus. I really enjoyed being mixed with other PhD students during my time in Madrid. I develop a strong relationship with them, and I am pretty sure that this friendship will end up soon or later in co-authorship. Also, since we were four of us on the job market, it was very useful to share tips and insights. Ultimately, it was really helpful for the job market, because UC3M offered me to do a job market seminar during my stay as part of a formal recruitment process. This ended up in an offer that I happily accepted!
Baptiste Colas (PhD Student, Laval University, QC, Canada)