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The perspective of a new researcher

I am Outi, the newest addition to this research team. After finishing my master’s degree, I jumped into the world of research in the beginning of September 2017. Here is a short recap on some of the things included in this first year and a little bit, about what I have learned so far working with B2N.

The firsts:

  1. I attended a research conference for the first time.

  2. I wrote my first abstract and got accepted to present.

  3. I had my first own office.

The first conference I attended was luckily not the one I had my first presentation. The conference Nature Based Solutions (more information NBS2017) took place in Tallinn University. The whole trip offered an intensive learning experience that has given me a base for preparing myself for future conferences.

During the Autumn, I also wrote my first ever abstract that lead into being accepted as a part of a working group in a conference. That also meant I had the privilege of writing my first ever paper for that conference and presenting it. The paper received good and constructive feedback and I have been developing it further since.

To conclude the list of firsts, while having my first own office was fun, I’m happy to report I’m currently working in a shared space. It has a lot more life in it and works better for my type of a person!

Things I have started to understand a little bit more:

  1. A variety of different urban ecosystem services.

  2. Roles of different stakeholders in the process of creating ecosystem services.

  3. The process of publishing, taking part into conferences and organizing workshops.

Like always, when starting a new job, there has been an endless number of new things to learn. First and foremost, I have learned a great deal about the vast variety of ecosystem services and the complexity of the concept. In addition, I have started to understand better the roles of different stakeholders in the generation of ecosystem services. In addition to the steep learning curve in the substance of our research, I have also learnt a great amount of practical skills related to academic work.

Looking forward to the fall!

So, has this all been what I expected? Before this experience, things that came into mind when talking about research work were such as interviews, a lot of writing and publishing new articles. As it happens, reality is not quite so simple. Research as a job includes a lot of reading, preparing and acquainting oneself with the topic before any writing takes place. It is an endless process of learning and moderating knowledge related to the research question at hand. Sometimes it feels like my brain is simply going to overheat due to the amount of new things it must comprehend. And what comes to publishing things, well mostly the work is long term and results still await to happen in the future.

What I love about my job is the chance to improve myself and understand the world better. By learning new things and being persistent, this job might someday lead into changing the world as well! So what would I say to someone interested in research? Keep an open mind, speak about your interests and look for the place to conduct your research in. Great team to share learning with and learn from is essential, or has at least been for me here in B2N!



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