“The PhD process gives you the confidence to take on any task, no matter how big and to persevere and get it done. It teaches you how to break largescale problems into smaller pieces. This in turn assists in making better decisions at work and provides more provoking thoughts on topics,” reckons Dr Adél Bosch, one of 16 candidates who recently received PhDs from UP at the virtual graduation ceremony on 15 April 2020.
Q: What was the topic of your PhD thesis and why did you specifically select it?
Reason for selecting: After the adverse impact of the global financial crisis on debt levels, the question of household deleveraging became a key discussion point that warranted a deeper understanding of the South African financial cycle and the heterogeneity of deleveraging across South African households.
Q: In your opinion, to what extent does a PhD ensure/boost business/career success?
A: The PhD process gives you the confidence to take on any task, no matter how big and to persevere and get it done. It teaches you how to break largescale problems into smaller pieces. This in turn assists in making better decisions at work and provides more provoking thoughts on topics.
Q: Are you happy with the way your career has evolved?
A: Yes, I am.
Q: What are the most compelling/rewarding aspects of your current job?
A: I recently started a new job, where my previous work experience and my studies will allow me to make a real difference in terms of advising on economic matters and playing a part in sustainable development in South Africa.
Q: To what extent did your studies at UP benefit you in your career and contribute to your success?
A: My studies at UP enabled me to do an in-depth study of a topic that was very relevant in the economic field at the time and will be for some time to come. This broadened my knowledge of financial cycles and household debt and deleveraging, which allowed me to provide insights to my peers in my immediate work area on the topic. Completing my studies at UP further gave me the skill-set to become a better researcher and publish quality work that is well thought through from an academic perspective.
Q: What are some of the most valuable lessons you’ve learnt from your studies/lecturers at the University of Pretoria?
A: Endurance. Completing any field of study is an investment in your future and it takes time and hard work. Perseverance, endurance and always asking the question “why is that important?” is something that I have learned from my studies. I also learnt that there is no such thing as a perfect answer.
Q: What is your “golden guideline” in life, in other words what keeps you on track?
A: Always give your best. Work hard and keep going. If it was easy, everyone would have done it.
Q: Going forward, what are your career and personal goals?
A: As I just started in a new position, I hope to be able to contribute in the field of data and economic analysis, while advising on smart investment decisions that will contribute to growth and development in South Africa. My personal goal is to live by example and to lead my team in such a way that they will one day reach their every goal.
Q: How is the SA economy, and business in general, likely to be reshaped post COVID-19?
A: The impact of COVID-19 on the South African economy and business in general is unprecedented. The world has not seen such a widespread economic event, since probably the great depression. No model or estimates can fully predict the impact of the lockdown, the disruption in supply chains or the strain on hospitals and medical personnel. In South Africa the lockdown exacerbated the already weak demand conditions in the domestic economy. Going forward, things will be very different. Businesses will have to change the way they define risk and prepare for these types of events in future. Movement within South Africa and across the globe will not be as easy as before and social distancing and hygiene will likely become a new normal.