"Hillary Clinton is a very engaging person"
When Wittenborg Amsterdam lecturer, Dr Yasmina Khadir-Poggi, recently obtained her PhD from Trinity College Dublin, none other than US presidential candidate and former First Lady, Hillary Clinton, was the guest speaker at her graduation ceremony. Clinton also received an honorary degree from Trinity College, one of Europe’s most renowned institutions of education.
Khadir-Poggi, who joined Wittenborg in February 2018, did her PhD on Knowledge Management. “This was born from my interest in globalisation, the knowledge economy and people in organisations.” Why Dublin? "I wanted to try a new experience and discover another culture. I was also fascinated by the Celtic Tiger."
Khadir-Poggi is a French national who studied and worked in France before moving to Ireland and now lives in the Netherlands. Why the Netherlands? “I followed my husband,” she says. At Wittenborg she teaches MBA as well as EBA modules and is mostly based at the Amsterdam campus. "I always loved interacting with students and doing research in my field."
What were her impressions of Clinton during the graduation ceremony that took place in June?
“It was a nice surprise to know that she was part of the doctoral ‘students' to be awarded a PhD. We had the opportunity to warmly shake hands and congratulate each other. Otherwise, it was difficult to get close to her as she was surrounded by a whole bunch of body guards and disappeared just after the ceremony. However, during the short time we shared the same space, you could see a very smiling and engaging person who did appreciate this special moment.”
How would she describe her PhD journey?
“There were some challenging times but also some rewarding ones, such as finalising a chapter. Perhaps one of the biggest challenges I had to face was the total loss of my data analysis due to a technical issue. After some hesitation, I decided to resume my work and did the analysis all over again. There were other challenges of course, but none that couldn’t be defeated. Finishing the doctorate was just overwhelming. It brought a unique sense of achievement. This is an experience of its own. My next goal is to publish and develop my research further.”
What advice does she have for people who are on the verge of doing their PhDs or find themselves struggling with them?
“Keep faith! The journey leading to the completion of a PhD is a challenging one, but also a very rewarding one. Whenever someone finds themselves struggling with her or his research, she or he must demonstrate some resilience and faith!”
by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press