Jenny Arntzen PhD

My degree was confirmed in February, 2016. I chose not to attend the graduation celebration. I did attend a closing lunch with my thesis supervisor who managed to get me through the final stages of defending and graduating.

For may reasons, and not unusual in the field of higher education, I graduated without any hope or prospect of actually finding work in my field of study. Also, in common with other recent graduates, I left the academy desperate to for income generating work. I had laboured for 10 years contributing my unpaid time and effort to researching and writing up various topics. I graduated with a deep need to work and be fairly compensated for my time.

I had started work in carpentry as a means to renovate and repair my dilapidated heritage house. By the time I graduated I was working full time as a carpenter apprentice. I thoroughly enjoy building and being ‘on the tools’.

However, my training in graduate studies does not go quietly into an abyss after graduation. My propensity to seek out the absence, the missing piece that operates like a whirlpool vortex – unseen but affecting everything in its sphere of influence, re-surfaced like an irrepressible cork. My experiences being a homeowner, being part of a renovation that careened out of control, being a carpenter, and witnessing inept or non-existent project management practices leading other homeowners to the precipice, have converged into seeking yet one more formal certification: Project Management Professional.

In this endeavour I seek to specialize in residential renovations. Luckily I have my own pre- and post- action research on the go: my own residential renovations identified as Phase 1 (out of control) and Phase 2 (project management best practices).

At present I would like to propose and seek funding for a study of residential renovations: how, when, where, why construction professionals and homeowners (who) use project management best practices in residential renovations.

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