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Meganpsi

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About Meganpsi

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  • Application Season
    2013 Spring

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  1. Hi, I'm about to graduate from a PhD in life sciences in the United States in a total time of 4 years and 2 months (no masters, straight from bachelors). I feel bad about telling some friends that I'm graduating and thank god I have a job aligned in industry (no postdoc). In my department there a lot of students in their 5th, 6th, 7th years who still do not know when they will graduate. Those of my colleagues who know I'm graduating ask me why so early, and why so fast, etc. I do not even know what to answer without hurting their feelings or making enemies. The truth is that I have published more than the average PhD student in my field, but I don't want to say that. Any advice? I don't even feel like celebrating with my peers and colleagues because of that. I don't know what to do, maybe I feel like my PhD is not enough. Thanks!
  2. I got an offer for a summer internship in industry but I'm afraid my PI won't let me do it. My PI has never been supportive of the internship idea since my 1st year (I'm in my 4th year), no matter how well I perform, and how hard I try to convince him. Last year, he told another company that made me a summer internship offer that I couldn't do it because of my scholarship, which is false. The truth was that I was the only person in the lab and he needed someone to do research. According to my committee I can graduate any time of Fall 2016 depending on how fast I can find a job and write my thesis. This year I asked him if I could apply to another internship (I didn't tell him I applied) and he said no, and that an internship could delay my graduation. So, I'm pretty sure that if I tell him that I have an offer for this internship he will get upset and say no, even if I offer to delay my graduation. Although I have more than enough to put on my thesis (many publications too) he wants me to keep doing research just to get publications for him. Our lab has very little grant money and only a 1st year student works in the lab besides me. But I have a scholarship that pays for my tuition, half of my health insurance, and about 60% of my monthly stipend. So he only pays a little bit compared with what he has to pay to other students/postdocs. He rarely goes to the lab, and during the summer he tends to disappear for 1-2 months for vacation. Last year I talked with the graduate program director about this internship issue with my PI (and many other issues). He was supportive with other issues, but not with the internship idea.The graduate program director also thinks that an internship is a waste of time, so I know I can't get support from him. The graduate program director told me that I should do a postdoc instead, after graduating, and that a postdoc would be my "internship". What should I do? Should I do the internship without telling him? and hope he won't find out? Or should I tell him? Does anyone have experiences with this type of controlling PI? Thanks in advance!
  3. Meganpsi

    Career change desire or post-quals slump

    Thank you rising_star and TakeruK for your useful feedback and advice. I am already going to therapy but I am still feeling depressed. I will definitely consider other animal related careers if I still want to go that way. I agree with you Takeruk academics do not help you to get non-academic jobs or non-research related jobs. In my school is worse, my advisor would judge if I tell him I want to do other that is non-research related, he will even kick me out of his lab because he will think I'm a waste of his time. For him there is only research in industry or research in academia that is all. I have been treating the Ph.D like a "real job"after I passed my orals, with a few exceptions, but I still do not feel motivated. I also do not feel I have requirements for graduation, in my school is when your advisor and committee members say it (after you pass the orals). Even If I already have a good amount of first author papers and more research to be finished, I do not know when my hungry advisor will stop pushing me for more useless research. I will follow your advise to just do the minimum amount of work possible and I hope I can graduate in 4.5 years or 5 years at the most, and also hope I figure out what to do afterwards.
  4. Dear all, I am a Ph.D Candidate on Life Sciences starting my 4th year this August. Although I have made significant progress (good number of publications, good grades). However, I am terrible unhappy with what I am doing: I do not like the research, I do not even want to do research anymore and honestly I do not know what I want to do when I graduate (since I do not want to do research). Everything started after I passed my orals, maybe is this post-quals slump. I have been seriously thinking about quitting and changing to veterinary schools (I am only happy around dogs and animals), but I am not sure if I have the motivation to put at least more 4 years of studying before I get a real job, plus the potential debt I would have if I do not get a good scholarship (so far no debt for anything yet). What should I do? Should I just quit with a Masters and jump on something else? Thanks
  5. Hi, I am 3rd year Ph.D Candidate working in natural sciences, I have been making progress (3 first author papers and one book chapter) and I am writing other two first author papers. I also have a strong fellowship which covers almost everything, except about 1/4-1/5 part of the stipend. I would like to do an internship in industry this summer but my adviser does not want me to. He thinks it is a waste of time, and I will delay my graduation. That I will not gain anything through this internships, he is coming from industry and he says he never pay attention to internships when hiring. To me it sounds like he only wants to take advantage of me, and neglect me that opportunity which will only be 2-2.5 months. I try to tell him I can write a review or papers or my thesis during that time or even come during the weekends but there is no way to change his mind. I am the only member of my lab (short story: full tenured professor run out of money and reduced his group from 12 to 1). What can I do? I really want to do an internship to gain some insight of how is industry like, and if I will like it. Also I think it can help me to get some contacts and/or recommendation letters for the future. Thanks in advance
  6. I am avoiding switching with my adviser's friends because if we end up bad he will still be able to influence my graduation, life, etc. I also do not want to swtich with his enemies (believe this is real, he has many issues specially with one professor) because I do not want to burn any bridge (if any left). He already apply to at least two different professor positions in other universities. If he move he plans to leave me in someone else lab but still be working for him. I just know that if his mentor skills are already bad I cannot imagine that relationship from the distance. I will stay I guess and try to finish as soon as I can, I know if it will be worth it or not. I am not sure if my motivation levels will increase with no one working around me in the lab, but I guess I do not have other choice. Thanks
  7. Thanks for replying my long-term career goals is to work in industry. I do not want to do a post-doc but apparently is required in my field. So I will try to get an industry post-doc or a big name professor/big university post-doc.
  8. I am Ph.D candidate in an US university in natural sciences and I have been in school for 2.5 years (I am in my 3rd year). My current PI is running out of funding, and I am the only person working in the lab, my PI was a big professor once with money, postdocs, etc; but then he stopped applying for grants and caring about everything. He only comes to lab once a week when he comes, but usually he does not reply emails and he is gone for months, he has tenure though. He is looking for positions in other American university and he said if he leaves he will leave me in the lab of one of his friends, since I am not willing to follow him anywhere (family).I have a strong fellowship so he can really afford paying me less than 20% of my monthly stipend (not tuition). What should I do? I do not like my research but it gives me fast medium quality publications. Currently I have 3 first author and one second author publication, and still have three more papers in preparation. I also would like to graduate in 4.5 years and do an internship in industry, which my adviser does not agree on that. My options are: a)Stay here and hope he does not leave soon, or the funding does not run out, and he will publish my papers soon (he can take from 1 week to 1 year to submit papers because he almost never works). This will be the easiest and fastest decision, since I am familiar with the research I can graduate in 4.5 years. The other positive thing is that I am my own boss and I am pretty good at managing my time, proposing my ideas and getting this done, and still have a life at the same time. I am highly independent. Switch to a new assistant professor in my department. I like his research but he pushes his students to work 12 hours daily Monday to Sunday, which I do not want to since I have a family. He has strong connections with someone I would like to do a postdoc with. I also suspect he will not allow me to graduate in 4.5 years even if I have enough papers already. Also he is new so he may not get funding and he does not have many lab equipment, like we do now. c) Switch to a professor in other department, I do not like his reseach, but at least is more useful than the research I am doing now. He is very nice, well recognized, student oriented, has lots of funding and many students talk very well of him, he gives you freedom and does not obligates you to work crazy hours. Any advice? which three options would be better for me? I cannot switch to another lab since the other or do not have funding, or are enemies or friends of my PI. I am afraid that if I leave him I will delay in graduation, it would look bad in resume, he will not give me any more recommendation letters or he will get so mad with me. To make things worst we have to change to a worst smaller lab space in the summer for the second time and is pain to pack everything by myself.
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