6th September 2017, with dreams shimmering in my teary eyes, I left home, setting myself onto this long and arduous journey that leads me back to home. And while I may err to think of myself as the protagonist of my story, I realize that I am only a side-character, fortunate enough to have been surrounded by people who helped me shape this journey. And so, as one chapter of this journey comes to a conclusion, I take this moment to acknowledge their support.
I deeply appreciate the invaluable contributions and support of the esteemed professors, whose mentorship has been instrumental in my academic journey.
To begin with, a big thanks to Professor Miguel, who as my advisor, helped me stretch my boundaries, and also as a friend, supported me through the tough times.
With a strong sense of gratitude, I would like to acknowledge Professor Michael who helped me develop and sharpen critical thinking; Professor Jon who’s work has had a significant impact on my dissertation, and Alan who’s journey into academia has been a great inspiration for me.
A special mention to Professor Yueyue Fan and Professor Giovanni whom I learnt a great deal from.
In this journey, I got the opportunity to work with many amazing people from the CEE and ITS department.
A special mention to Anish Sinha, who encouraged and motivated me to start blogging. Conversations with him have always been inspiring and instigating.
A huge thanks to Ran Sun, who helped me out on numerous occasions when I was stuck with problem solving. His recommendations and suggestions saved my PhD big time!
I would also like to acknowledge my lab-mates I worked with including Elham, Carlos, and Sarah.
Along this journey I made a special bond with Nitin and Supratim, my friends and my housemates, with whom I started this journey in 2017, boarding the plane together, and together we end this phase of our lives in 2023.
With Nitin I have shared many special moments including those on the field of football, watching horror movies, walking around the Arboretum, cooking and sharing meals, and many more.
In Supratim, I found a friend with an energetic curiosity towards life. And moreover, a friend who I could always seek help and support from when in need.
Together, Nitin, Supratim, and I have shared our ups and downs in our PhD journeys. And even though this phase of our lives comes to an end, our bond will continue to grow stronger as we move forward into new adventures.
A special mention to my friends back home – Anurag, Lalit, and Vedant. Even though we are miles apart now, their presence in my life has been invaluable. I am grateful for the memories we created together and the bond we share. Here’s to many more years of laughter, adventures, and cherished moments with these amazing friends!
And last but not the least, a huge thanks to Tanya who has been a friend of mine since childhood. When I lost faith in myself, she believed in me, and always supported me through thick and thin. Her friendship has been a treasure that I cherish dearly, and I am truly grateful for her presence in my life.
As I reflect on my PhD journey, I am immensely grateful for the unwavering support from my esteemed professors, colleagues, friends, and family. Their contributions to this journey has helped me grow and become a better person. And now as I embark on new adventures, I carry with me these cherished memories and the profound lessons from this chapter of my life.