Alumni portrait - Marius Herberg
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- It's just a doctoral degree, Marius
- It's just a doctoral degree, Marius
Marius Herberg, Lieutenant Colonel in the Defense Forces and Head lecturer in Leadership at the Norwegian Defence University College, explored in his doctoral thesis how one can prepare for the unforeseen. Through his work, he aims to understand how to handle surprising, unlikely, and unknown events without prior knowledge.
Lieutenant Colonel with a doctoral degree – Head lecturer in Leadership at the Norwegian Defence University College
Doctoral degree in psychology from NTNU. Title: "Competence for the Unforeseen: The Importance of Individual, Social and Organizational Factors"
Marius completed his doctoral degree in unpredictability and leadership at NTNU in 2022.
- It was a choice that came naturally to me, as it provided me with the freedom and flexibility to research something that was very relevant interested me a lot. The primary focus was on the human dimension, whether at the individual, group, or organizational level within strategic competence management.
- I had broad experience in this field through previous education and work, without consciously pursuing a doctoral degree. However, I gradually developed an increased research interest before being introduced to a doctoral scholarship in strategic competence management. I finally applied and gained admission as a doctoral candidate at the Norwegian Defence University College and NTNU.
What is your doctoral thesis about?
- My doctoral thesis is about competence for the unforeseen. It can range from everyday events affecting individuals to large-scale global or national extreme events. How can one prepare for something unknown? Is it possible? And if so, what type of competence is required? What kind of knowledge do organizations, leaders, and professional experts need to develop in order to address unknown, surprising, and unpredictable events?
Why did you choose to pursue a doctoral degree?
- One thing about pursuing a doctoral degree is that it provides a sense of security while also being highly developing both academically and personally.
- It also opens other career opportunities. Along the way, I have tried to be conscious of not heading down a particular path too early but taking the time to pause and reflect. I don't exactly know where it will lead next, but that has also been the case throughout my career so far. Still, I do know that it will involve working with people in organizations or leadership.
A meaningful mission
- Having the opportunity to do something on my own, work independently, and in many ways also work for others was motivating for me.
- Throughout my career and education I have felt a strong connection to the human dimension in various roles and functions, which is something I find meaningful.
- It is important to conduct research both broadly and deeply to create a solid foundation for one’s profession, and for being able to work across borders and sectors.
How has NTNU supported you along the way?
- Being able to work independently is nice, but having good colleagues and supervisors from NTNU has also been crucial for me. Becoming part of the research group drove the project forward and provided me with a valuable professional network to collaborate with.
- They have provided both academic support and personal motivation, as well as a reality check regarding conducting the task.
- I have also enjoyed some of the benefits that come with being part of a research group, such as being invited to events. It was nice to be pulled out of my “research bubble” every now and then to join a professional networking event or simply engage in social activities with the research group. This made the work much more manageable.
"Knowledge for a better world"
- The vision of NTNU is truly something to strive for.
- I remember the feeling I had after submitting my doctoral thesis. It felt significant knowing I had contributed to creating results and data that become knowledge for others, thereby help making improvements.
Just a doctoral degree
- To alleviate some of the pressure of completing such a major task, one of the supervisors advised breaking it down into smaller pieces. "Today, I will only read this chapter," or "Tomorrow, I will only write this paragraph," helping me approach it bit by bit.
- And the supervisor concluded with a reassuring statement: "It's just a doctoral degree, you know!". This helped ease the tension a bit and allowed me to deliver a better result. This can serve as inspiration for others who are "afraid" to embark on something as comprehensive as a doctoral degree because, ultimately, it's nothing more than just that.