Welcome to my 8th blog for the FoodSmarphone project! This time, I would like to talk about the typical PhD student life, here in the Netherlands they are called PhD candidates what does not change significantly the type of the position, the tasks and other things that come with it. So, do you dare to do a PhD? This is a story of two sides an awesome one and a challenging one.
Let’s talks first about the positive side of the story, which is genuinely cool. A PhD position is funded by different governmental, non-governmental or commercial organizations with one and only goal to do research. Thus, one of the most awesome things during a PhD study is to do research. PhD students do not repeat numerous tasks day after day as is typically done in any other job. His/her job is to go beyond the box to suggest different solution to a problem, design or organization. Thus one of the main benefits during a PhD study is to have freedom of creativity, resources and time to change the world for better or worse in some cases. The possibility to work with expensive equipment and costly materials to polish and prove your theories and discoveries is another awesome advantage.
The second side is like a story of a traveler with 100 euro and 10 destination to visit in 4 hours. Let’s just a moment imagine that you are traveler, you have 100 euros in your pocket, you need to visit 10 different destination in 4 hours. It seems it is impossible but it is a reality of many PhD projects. The problem of many directions, lack of resources, and time is quite common in PhD life. Time, in many cases, is the most precious of resources for any researcher, but is extremely scarce for PhD students as they require to complete their PhD in 4 years. So, is there a solution to this riddle? I would say there are numerous approaches to solving it. You can become a juggler who will juggle 10 flaming torches at once. You will say: that is dangerous, dangerous yes, but possible. 😊 Alternatively, you can be stubborn and formidable with many of your influencers and chose only some destinations and stand with your decision. There is also an approach of compromises, this is, using the language of original metaphor, when you chose a destination that is between 2 or 3 desirable targets.
The ability to navigate the strange forest of your network and entities that influence your research and your possibilities with in your PhD is probably one of the trickiest tasks that PhD students face, apart from fixing and finding out why your research does not work as you think it should. But at the same time provides PhD candidates with a unique set of skills that you will not obtain in any other job. Although, here needs to be point out that some skills that you will acquire during your research career will prove to be absolutely useless in places outside of research and academia. 😊
Being a researcher is a challenging job, and starting a PhD as the first step in research life is even more challenging. However, the opportunity to acquire unique skills and abilities, as well as the true joy of doing a never boring job proves daring a PhD worth trying.
P.S. : The PhD as an ability to juggle is a truly awesome skill but sometimes seems to be redundant in real world outside the circus 😊
Thank you joining my discussion!
Till next blog!