Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A word of encouragement for chemistry graduate students


7 comments:

  1. After getting my Ph.D., it dawned on me that the process was as much about survival as it was about science or smarts. CJ is right. If I did it, you can do it. We really are all rooting for you. And once you've earned that degree (because no one "gets" a Ph.D. - the degree is earned), you can remind yourself every time you face a seemingly intractable problem or personal challenge: "Hey, I can do this. I have a Ph.D."

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  2. That's the spirit-go get 'em tiger! And don't forget the ACS vision statement- "Let them eat cake (with extra whipped cream and a nice cherry on top)!"

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  3. I'll paraphrase a comment I once heard from a certain editor at C&EN: a PhD is much more a test of endurance than it is one of genius

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  4. "If I did it, you can do it."

    You should watch your generalities. Sometimes people enter impossible situations like having a PI that is bad, relocates, quits, or even dies during the time they are trying to get their PhD. These people may have the best work ethic and intelligence. A PhD is not only a test of endurance of the student, but their ability to avoid situations which are best described as "shit happens." This is perhaps the best test of whether someone will be doing the work in the lab (MS) or taking credit for the work they do in the lab (PhD) someday. PhDs should remember this and treat MS chemists with the respect they earn with years of industry experience. Instead, most PhDs demand a 'new grad' associate which they can train in order to develop their own careers. Experienced MS chemists who are more experienced and smarter than PhDs are discarded like yesterday's newspaper.

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    Replies
    1. Another bitter MS chemist.

      PhD's dont always have the best situations, I for one do not. As a PhD, Im poorly paid and work with a lot of academic jerks, and I am for the most part trapped, unless I retrain.

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    2. "PhDs should remember this and treat MS chemists with the respect they earn with years of industry experience."

      I agree with this 100%. I am sorry, Anon3:08, about what seems to be your experience.

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  5. Sometimes we need to be reminded that graduate school is not like pre-Aslan Narnia: "Always winter but never Christmas."

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