"I like that the department involves PhDs in everyday life rather well"
Aurimas Pumputis, Doctoral Student
"I write my dissertation about tourism, particularly involvement of technological platforms in tourism industry."
“Over the two years I have been a doctoral students at SES, I have received really nice support from the administration and department leadership, whether it was about funding for necessary courses, having my office equipment moved to my home address during pandemic, support in teaching development, or other questions. I like that the department involves PhDs in everyday life rather well – we are invited to research seminars, involved in meetings, where the future of the department is discussed, and it is just nice to always be able to have a cup of coffee and chat about research with senior colleagues here. Doctoral studies here are often intense, but also rewarding. We are also a friendly and active group of students – whenever possible, we try to organize a writing retreat or PhD working day-trip. We share our texts with each other in seminars, encourage each other and give feedback.
I write my dissertation about tourism, particularly involvement of technological platforms in tourism industry. This means researching the role of global corporations that run those platforms in organizing exchanges between tourists and hosts, as well as how technology is used for organizing and carrying out travel. I touch upon some interesting questions about corporate control of consumers’ data, changes in (digitalized) consumer culture, and our relation with algorithms that run digital platforms we use when traveling.
My weeks at this moment are rather similar – reading and writing are the main tasks I have every day at the moment. However, they change depending on what I work on. I write my dissertation as a compilation of articles, and at the moment I am focused on writing an article. I might start my day with a few hours of writing, then spend some hours looking for and reading relevant sources for further text. When involved in teaching, I spend more time on preparing for lectures and seminars, as well as grading. If there is a lot of teaching, this can take almost the whole time of the week, but I still try to give some time to my own text every day. If I am attending courses myself, coursework can be full time. Meaning that most of the week is dedicated to learning whatever the course is about – whether it is theories, methodologies, or courses about teaching. And of course, there are the nice weeks when you collect, analyze and write up your data. Some of the nice touches are planning (and attending) conferences or courses in other institutions. In our department we finish the week with a Friday Fika, where PhDs meet (currently online) to round up the week and chat a bit.”