About a year ago I went through an internal debate: should I follow the easy and common path laid ahead of me and do my master’s thesis with a Finnish company, or should I instead spend the half a year free from company interests, working on a topic that I would be truly passionate about?
The first option was offered to me on a tray. Good pay and an interesting topic in an appealing Finnish IT company. But it was too easy, and I don’t like options that seem too easy. They can blur one’s mind and lead to choosing something just because it’s easy, not because it would be right. And the more I thought about it, I realized I needed to set my own objectives, methods, and boundaries, I needed to spend the last half a year of my studies doing something of my own.
And after digesting my first trip to Sub-Saharan Africa for a few months, I suddently realized that I had a contemporary, suprising and unique topic in which I could submerge easily for six months. The about page tells more about my topic.
Combining development co-operation and information technology is an up-and-coming area, but I struggled to find anything on my research focus, which is more on the meta level of development co-operation. Although a bit discouraged, I was determined that I had a good idea, and so I put it on a paper, and started spamming the diverse reseach groups, NGOs, government agencies and companies that I thought would have a stake in the matter. The first three months went past with thin results, and it was just after I was frustrated enough to extend my search beyond our small country’s borders that I found like-minded thinking.
Development Gateway is a US-based foundation initiated by the World Bank. They provide Web-based platforms to make aid and development efforts more effective. After sending my thesis proposal to them, I was suprised with a phone call from Washington D.C. and with an offer to do my thesis in collaboration with them. The initial schedule to start my thesis full-time in January 2010 had to be postponed due to an intriguing job opportunity at a Finnish Embassy in Nigeria, and so we agreed on fall 2010 for me to intern and do my thesis at DG.
Finally, a year after formulating my thesis topic, everything is set. I flew in this gorgeous and impressive capital 24 hours ago, and I’m a night away from the first day at the new job. Thanks for joining in this journey with me!