MSCA projects are life-changing experience. And HERE IS WHY

Three years already after the beginning of my Ph.D. 
In other countries, I should be finishing and defending my work, but in Switzerland, things are different. Here the quality of research is much more appreciated. Therefore, a normal Ph.D. takes over 4 years. 

This month we had the last meeting of our MCSA (Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions) project INFRASTAR. So we all met in Brussels to celebrate our work and give feedback about our project. 

last beer with the INFRASTAR team

Many conclusions were discussed, and further works were recommended. It seems that the fatigue of concrete does not have a ready to use solution, we had, therefore, the opportunity to take advantage of the synergies created by different opinions and visions. But we all agreed on one thing: Only sleep cures fatigue. And we left with this beautiful souvenir:
Only sleep cures fatigue ;)

Now that our MSCA project comes to an end, I would like to share with you how this project makes me a different person.

INFRASTAR teaches me how to mix fun and hard work to be more efficient. I was thinking that only hard work pays off. With INFRASTAR, it turns out that hard work pays off when it is combined with good vibes: fun, teamwork, friendship, traveling, collaboration, and communication.

INFRASTAR gives me an international experience to do research and share it with others. Making presentations for other members of the project during training weeks, making our research practical during implementation days, communicating our work in international conferences, sharing our Ph.D. life in blogs, and on Facebook and Twitter, are all powerful tools to improve our Ph.D. experience and develop some necessary life skills. 

I was thinking in the beginning that this whole experience is superficial when I figure out that a deeper understanding of the world of research also requires communication to share knowledge with the whole public. To make it available to everyone in the globe not just by the open-science approach but also by popularizing our work and sharing our personal experiences with others. 

I am now more confident to present my work in front of a public in different languages, I can explain to my little brother or my grandmother what I am doing, I made friends all around the world, I am ready to move from my comfort zone (my lovely office and my little apartment) to discover the world, and I am prepared to manage last-minute crisis while working or traveling. Those are skills that I didn’t expect to get by doing a Ph.D.!

Unforgettable moments in one picture

Ph.D. life is farther more enjoyable with INFRASTAR

Once upon a time, I took the train from Paris, leaving my comfort zone, to come to Lausanne, with my two suitcases and nothing more. I came to start a new life as a Ph.D. student in EPFL and as a member of INFRASTAR. I didn’t know what was waiting for me.
Today, I can certainly say that it was one of the best decisions I have made.


This will be the last blog in the context of INFRASTAR project, most of the hard work is still waiting for me...


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