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Paul Winter, PhD Candidate

Image of Paul WinterBA, MIntSt (Otago)

If you are considering doing a PhD you may be interested in some advice from a current student, Paul Winter. ‘Don’t get tunnel vision’, says Paul, “focusing on the minutia of a topic – instead of broadening your personal aperture – is going to mean you just regurgitate the same old, same old.”

This is advice you can trust as Paul knows a thing or two about ‘everything in moderation’. With a BA and MIntSt from Otago, a Teacher Aide certificate, a certificate in sheep shearing and working towards a Certificate of Proficiency in German, as well as a PhD, Paul Winter may appear to collect qualifications.

But that doesn’t mean he is sitting in his office studying. His current adventure is carrying out research at Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA. In 2014 Paul was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship that enabled him to work on his Otago thesis in the US capital. He is currently in the midst of 9 months of delving into the NARA, Library of Congress, and other large archival troves, whilst exploring the diverse city of Washington DC, indulging in Ethiopian food, and make the most of the steady stream of world class speakers.

Washington DC has been the perfect place to explore his PhD topic which asks what the implications are of the current system whereby large countries defend smaller countries with nuclear weapons. Will this system last? What will the world look like if it doesn’t? And will we all survive? These are hardly small questions, but the support of Otago staff has given him the confidence to tackle them. “There’s value in having people behind you who believe in you. Otago’s staff always put faith in their students”.

With the right people behind you and everything in moderation, anything is possible!