Vivek Kumar Sundriyal defended his thesis “Entrepreneurship as a career: An investigation into the pre-entrepreneurship antecedents and post-entrepreneurship outcomes among the Science and Technology Labor Force (STLF) in Sweden” on 4 November 2019. Below you can find out more about Vivek and his research, described in his own words.
To scrupulously describe what I feel like recently – overwhelmed, exhausted, and my head about to burst. However, when I look back over the years of my PhD, I feel extremely happy and satisfied that I am finishing soon. Prior to this journey, I was told (and some even warned) of the challenges that lie ahead in a PhD student life. After intense brainstorming and self-debates, I decided to take the plunge.
September 2015 I arrived in Sweden with little clues about what life would be for the next four years. A new country, a new student life – it was a challenge on the personal as well as professional front. Prior to my PhD, I worked extensively in the IT industry for about 10 years across various roles such as software development, technology consulting and people management. I also had research as a part of my assignments. And this is the part of my corporate life that I enjoyed the most. I felt excited and motivated reading and learning newer ways of developing complex software algorithms for efficient performance of Integrated Circuits (ICs). This was the primary motivation for me to pursue my PhD – to do something that I liked and felt motivated about. After working in the industry for about 10 years, I was an entrepreneur for a very short period of time. This experience and my interest in research made me pursue a PhD with a focus on entrepreneurship. I felt my real-life experience would help me better appreciate and understand the nuances of academic literature in entrepreneurship. And I guess it did to large extent.
My research lies at understanding entrepreneurship as a career among individuals educated in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It lies at the intersection of organizations and entrepreneurship where I seek to examine the impact of organizational contexts such as bureaucracy and income inequality on an employee’s propensity to venture into entrepreneurship. Additionally, my research examines entrepreneurial outcomes, namely, the returns from entrepreneurship during and on re-entry into paid employment. I mainly examine my research through the sociology of entrepreneurship. It advances our current understanding of entrepreneurship as a career by investigating not only the antecedents to entrepreneurship but also the consequences of entrepreneurship. Methodologically, my research uses quantitative methods mainly drawing on Swedish labor market data provided by Statistics Sweden (SCB).
To sum it up, the four years of PhD have been a fun, roller coaster ride with its ups and downs. I learned a lot over the years. It was a total package experience that teaches one several things. In addition to research, I learned to manage time, balance work and life, appreciate science, accept failures, weaknesses and strengths, experienced several countries, and most importantly (the fun side of the PhD!) to drink loads of wine. I now look forward to my post PhD life where I aim to submit my PhD papers in journals with the hope of my work being published and appreciated by the scholarly community. My long term goal is to apply computational social science methods such as Simulation (e.g. Agent Based Modeling (ABM)), Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Big Data into entrepreneurship research.