ACADEMICS WITH WUNMI : MINDSET

IMG_8941 copyHello there!
Trust you all are doing just fine! Well I thought by the time this post is published the Nigerian election would have been conducted. Unfortunately, its been postponed. Quite frankly, I thought the postponement wasn’t called for, reason been that; the election date has been predetermined for over a year now, more so, this insecurity issue has been there for a while now (need for more pro-activeness in Nigeria), I don’t think the six weeks would make any major difference (hopeful though). Also, I believe so many economic and managerial decisions are on hold till the election is done, outsiders/investors will perceive Nigerians as politically unstable (My Opinion). Nigerian stocks for instance is experiencing one of its greatest falls since the postponement announcement (the market reacts to such news negatively). Nigeria shall get to the promise land by the grace of God. I salute all our non-Nigerian readers.

In today’s post, the emphasis is on ‘mind-set’ expedient to possess to excel in research as a student.
I describe ‘mind-set’ simply as the way an individual programs his/her reasoning (mental) abilities which is capable of influencing his attitude or behaviour towards something or someone.
Before I continue on the mind-set subject, I would like to give an example of my past research projects as well as the mind-set I had alongside. Here are the research works I have carried out till date;
• Adoption Of IFRS in Nigeria: the Idiosyncrasies (2010)
• Opportunities and Challenges Of IFRS Adoption In Nigeria: Nigerian Banking Sector (2011)
• Challenges SMEs face in Nigeria (2012/2013)
• Why Firms Mimic Each Other’s Capital Structure: Explanations from Product Market Competition (2014)

The first three projects basically express the problems perceived in my environment per time thus using my findings to make constructive recommendations. While working on the last project, the aim was to identify practical underlying principle in firm’s financial policies, critically examine and analyse the results of past literatures as well as provide explanations for conclusions reached by recent researchers on the subject matter.
From the example above, we can see how my perception used to be and how it has evolved.
This illustration leads us to the types of mind-sets, according to Carol Dweck ;
a. Fixed mind-set: This mind-set believes every ability is inborn, that is, kings are born not made. Here the mind-set does not embrace development, learning or growth.
b. Growth mind-set: this school of thought believes ‘learning never ends’. That is, kings are not born, they are made. In fact they justify that you re what you’ve made yourself to become. This mind-set encapsulate the CASI/CAPSI mind-sets discussed below.
With academic (research) excellence in view, here are the mind-sets (CASI/CAPI) that’s worked for me as a student researcher;
a. Be Critical: here, you’re basically comparing existing literatures on the subject matter with an open and inquisitive mind. I observe that academic researchers often times ‘tackle’ (in a healthy way) each other’s opinion, i.e, they all want the audience to see through their lens so while ‘A (2007)’ says the earth is spherical in shape, ‘B (2009)’ based on the conclusion of ‘A’ would justify with in-depth analysis that the earth is rectangular thus providing valid evidence why the earth isn’t spherical. The role of a 2015 student researcher here is to understand, question & discuss the point of view of these two researcher in your own words thus justifying either party with contemporary example(s). Being critical could imply contesting existing results or conclusions, proposing new or distinct solutions, looking for gaps yet to be filled in existing literatures.
Note that critical thinking does not represent negativity.
b. Be Analytical: An analytical mind-set simply put, is the breakdown of read literatures (in your own words) into meaningful bits as it relates to your subject area. Being analytical enhances problem-solving and simplicity.
c. Be Solution driven (Problem-solving): one of the key reasons research is carried out is to identify a problem and aim to proffer solution to the problem Identified. More often the problem is obvious or apparent but the solution isn’t, this is where you and I come in with a mind-set to bring a solution. Research is not research until you’re able to solve a problem with your result. ‘Think research, think solution’.
d. Be Inquisitive: as a researcher questioning the status quo (existing literatures, theories & result) is important, being inquisitive sometimes leads you to the light at the end of the tunnel. Having an inquisitive mind-set stimulates the uniqueness of your work and gets you to think outside the box thus bringing ‘something new to the table’ (originality). One of the beauty of research result is finding what people do not know existed, you feel as an ‘inventor’, trust me, it feels good. This is quite similar to being critical.
Embrace these mind-sets at every phase, starting from ‘topic selection’ phase.
Perhaps you have engaged other mind-sets while carrying out your research that are not discussed in this post, Please share in the comment box below. ‘Learning never ends’
I am positive that CAPI/CASI mind-sets will work for you as you engage them in your next research. Excelling in academics and research is the goal.

Having said all, ‘ for who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ’. – 1Corithians2:16

Till I come your way again,
Stay Winning,
Wunmi Kayode

Please leave your comments, suggestions, or questions in the comment box below or mail me at wunmi.kayode@gmail.com

The Education segment of the blog is one where you can find resources as a student/prospective one to help you succeed academically. Periodic posts would be published ranging from advice to questions and resources, all of which readily available to help you. I wish you all the best in your academic endeavours- Tosin Alabi( editor)

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