I encourage everyone to write a foreword after having finished a large piece of writing. Within this foreword you may be able to give general advice, introduce your topic, put your overall theme into a broader context, but most importantly it gives you the power to say thank you. It gives you the unique chance to say thank you to everyone involved in your journey. I encourage you to do so, because what has ultimately driven your courage (besides your enthusiasm for your topic) were the people around you that supported and inspired you. I may disappoint those of you that hoped for a list of smart and intelligent things that should be said in a foreword. But, in my opinion it's more simple than that.
Just write about the people you care.
So, instead I will provide you with a glimpse into how I wrote my PhD foreword. I will give you some insights who were these people that mattered during my PhD time. In the same vein, I share my foreword and say thank you to my dear friends and colleagues:
"Finishing my Phd makes me feel happily exhausted. I tasted the sweet bitterness of working as an academic and it remains the question, what did I learn? Indeed, I learned that the cup of science is not half empty, but instead half full. Science is so much fun. If you imagine life as a Phd student, you may think of nerf guns, kicker tables, reading and writing papers, teaching students, speaking at conferences, and yes, all of that is part of doing a PhD. But the PhD time becomes even better if you can share it with the people you care about. So, if you imagine the road to PhD, then you definitely need some good thoughts, a little bit of success, but most importantly many great people to join you on this journey.
I want to thank these people.
I want to honor these people that made this journey joyful and give some insights about what makes them so great. If you think about the PhD being about the people around you, you are going to have a great time. I promise you that...
I want to thank everyone, who has supported this dissertation with her and his thoughtful arguments, great humor, big entertainment and fun stories. Particularly and first of all, I want to thank my supervisor Prof. Dr. Gerhard Schewe. He is an excellent PhD supervisor, who has mastered the balance of providing space to develop my own ideas while thoroughly supporting my work during every major step. Second, I want to thank our secretary assistant Mrs. Semptner. Her great sense of humor has made me laugh many times. She is the soul of our institute.
Third, I owe a big thank you to my personal research assistant Richard Hossiep. His strong analytical and research skills have been of great help for my PhD. I also want to thank my former colleague Dr. Marcel Gölden. His positive spirit is an enrichment for every team he forms a part of.
He’s an exceptional athlete and a great friend.
Thanks also to my former colleague Dr. Bernd Liesenkötter, who has been my first mentor and friend at the institute. He has always encouraged me to continue my work promoting it within the institute. I also want to thank Sven-Olaf Gerdt for his positive and engaging attitude. His passion for entrepreneurship is very addictive. In the same breath, I want to thank Dr. Ansgar Buschmann for spreading the passion of entrepreneurship at our institute. Both personalities have been successfully running a family business and a PhD.
I would like to thank Philipp Borgstedt for adding his great sense of humor to the team. He always made me laugh with his funny jokes. I am also very happy that I met Daniel Westmattelmann. He is not only a fantastic athlete but also a great personality.
It is great to have him around with his infinite positive energy.
Finally, my brother-in-crime Dr. Philipp Romeike has to be thanked for going the entire PhD way together from the first written word until the submission, celebration and party. This has been an unforgettable memory that we now undeniably share together. I also want to say thank you to Dr. Oliver Elling. His magic and his excellent entertainment skills really make him a great addition to every team. I am also happy that I met Dr. Markus Borgstädt because of his down-to-earth and loyal character and his capability to spread a good mood anywhere where he is.
I also want to thank Dr. Frederick Röhder for his inspiring personality and his passion about entrepreneurship. His strong analytical skills and his great character have left a lasting impression on me. I thank Dr. Astrid Lenczyk, who has always been there to talk to and give advice. My dear colleague Bastian Neyer has to be thanked for his great organizational talent, his fine cooking skills and shared passion for compliance research. I also owe a big thanks to Dr. Christoph Brast, who is not only supporting the institute with his long-time experience and his excellence in teaching, but also with his loyal and wise character.
Special thanks to Maximilian Holtgrave, who has supported my journey in publishing articles and who was always there to answer methodological, logical and conceptual questions.
He is a great researcher and person.
I also say thanks to Carolin Neugebauer for having supported several sustainability projects of NGOs that I tried to support. Your work in this field needs to be recognized as very important. I finally say thank you to Dr. Stefan Becker and Stefan Sautmann for always spreading an amazing mood during the institute’s seminars and celebrations. I wish every new member of the institute who I just met, the best of luck with their thesis and lots of fun with these amazing people. You have a great time ahead.
I owe a special thanks to my co-authors Dr. Ann-Marie Nienaber, Professor Rosalind Searle, and Prof. Anders Dysvik.
Writing this thesis without you would have been only half the fun.
I also want to thank at this point the numerous anonymous reviewers who have improved the articles included in this thesis. You are the backbone of science and I am looking forward to give back by providing constructive reviews myself. I also want to say thank you to the co-supervisor of my thesis Prof. Dr. Thomas Ehrmann. I feel very fortunate that I met all of you on my PhD road.
My close friends Johannes and Thomas have to be thanked for their supporting attitude and enthusiasm for my topic. Finally, my wife Eliana and my little son Milo have to be thanked for their infinite patience during long working periods.
They have been my main source of energy.
In this vein, I also want to thank my sister Vanessa and my parents Brigitte and Hansfried Hofeditz for their long-time ideal and financial support. You are the ones who have made this time an unforgettable memory. I thank you for that.
Münster, September 2015
That has been my foreword. 32 people that I wanted to say thank you to. When else do we get the chance to appreciate the people around us? So take your foreword and write it about them.
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P.s.: I also have to thank Omid Scheybani for letting me use his gorgeous pictures for my blog. I am extremely amazed by the opportunity to join our creative forces. For more of his work, you can visit: www.omidscheybani.com