I was in grad school for a rather long time, beyond the traditional 2-3 years of masters/4-6 years for PhD. I was enrolled in the PhD program in grad school, all was going great until I got [cancer].
I did not wish to let my advisor or coworkers know about it, but my constant absence is a bit obvious in a rather small group and eventually I had to tell my advisor [that I was sick, and in treatment]. While [they were] supportive, [they] simply suggested that I leave with a masters as I was quite late in the program...
I would like to know if firstly, is it appropriate to address that one was enrolled and completed PhD coursework on a resume? A relatively new coworker had that listed on his resume but never earned his degree either and seemed kind of awkward to me.
Additionally, on a cover letter, should I explain this situation? I do not want any sort of pity or mercy from a potential employer, but I also do not want to get passed over because I was sick and the potential for it to return is probably higher than a healthy, never-had-cancer potential employee....
Lastly, if I am choosing to omit all of these things in my resume and cover letter and I field a question in a phone interview asking "why were you in grad school so long for a masters?", is it appropriate to bring up here? I have always lied in this spot and sort of danced around the question with varying degrees of success. I don't like to lie, but I also don't want any of the aforementioned to occur.DF, I am going to assume that you're in industry now. I certainly know that people do wonder when they see stints in graduate school that are longer than usual; in addition, I know that people begin to wonder what those extended times in graduate school are about.
That said, I think most hiring managers can put these questions aside and ask much more simpler questions, i.e. "is this person a good fit for the position?" or "did this person learn chemistry skills sufficiently in graduate school?" I doubt that the amount of time you're in graduate school will be a major driver of decision making, but I could be wrong.
In regards to being directly asked about it, I don't really think there's any shame in telling the truth, i.e. "I was sick and I needed to get better before I could finish my program."
Readers, I have no experience with this - what is your opinion?