I'm now "The Graduate!!" :) - RC Groups
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Mar 20, 2002, 10:59 PM
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davidfee's Avatar

I'm now "The Graduate!!" :)

I finally did it... I turned in my last final exam. Whew!!

Now I'll have a BS in Chemistry... but my PI (boss in the research lab) won't be satisfied until I have a PhD. I think I'd like to bask in my "done-ness" for a while first...

Thanks for letting me vent... I really don't know how to feel or react... I've been in school for as long as I can remember.

Now I can build and fly MODELS!! YAY!!!

Mar 20, 2002, 11:04 PM
Registered User

Great feeling isn't it? Congradulations and good luck. Hope someday to call you Dr. Dave.

Mar 20, 2002, 11:21 PM
Almost a Pilot
Mauilvr's Avatar
Congratulations David!!! That's a great accomplishment, especially having other responsibilities.
Now you can kick back, enjoy life and relax a bit.........
OK, that's long enough. Now get to work on the Masters.

(hint: it'll never get easier than it is right now.......)

Good Luck!
Mar 21, 2002, 06:03 AM
Mr Mootsie
Mr Mootsie's Avatar
Chemistry...pretty impressive.

My undergrad was in English, which we all lovingly called "Pre-Unemployment"...
Mar 21, 2002, 08:54 AM
Balsa Flies Better!

In terms of a Ph.D- the simple answer of whether or not to go get the degree is based on how much you enjoy going to the library to find an answer, versus how much do you enjoy figuring something out on your lonesome. After a while it dawned on me that I really enjoyed not being able to go look up the answer to a question- that in some very minute piece of the universe- I was THE RESOURCE on a particular problem. That did feel pretty good and actually still does.

If that's your personality type, and you've got lots of determination, then you may enjoy (?) a Ph.D program where at least they pay you to go to school. I would also advise you to go in with the attitude that grad school is a job in and of itself, since you may or may not wind up with a research position which makes good use of your training. Spare me the lofty academic ideals- at the end of the day, the bills have to be paid. Your stipend should be enough to support you without loans.

If this is your route- then let me offer the following advice.

1) Do pick a research problem that you will enjoy. Research is very frustrating, you will have to really like the problem you're working on. I got this advice from a professor while deciding on an advisor, and it was good advice.
2) Brauer's codacil. In the current research funding environment- make sure that your advisor has a decent track record at placing his/her students in industry/academe. Industry is more important- funding for research now comes predominantly from industry (and we won't get into a discussion of long term versus short term) and you will need your advisor's help to get a job in industry. Also academe, but that's somewhat different. I made this mistake, and I'm still somewhat angry about it. I did decent work (I'm not a rock star, but I had publications in JACs and Inorg. Chem.) but I could never even land an interview in industry, and I had little/no interest in academe. To be fair to my advisor, the landscape changed dramatically from when she graduated to when I did- many faculty members have been caught flatfooted by this shift in funding. When I started in 1983, most research funding came from the feds- Reagan fixed that one but good. As far as I'm concerned, science never recovered. Also, don't believe the nonsense that there will always be a need for scientists. Industry enjoys having the oversupply so they can cherry pick people for particular projects. Unfortunately, there is no way to anticipate what type of scientist will be in demand when you graduate, thus there is a terrible element of risk in this choice. It's really annoying after going through all the hoops that a Ph.D entails to not be able to find a job.

Best of luck on your choices,

Mar 21, 2002, 11:29 AM
Master Nursery Builder
The_Giver's Avatar

(gag, snort,) he he he

-O Geoffrey
Mar 21, 2002, 12:53 PM
Mr Mootsie
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good....I was hoping to get a snicker from someone out there!
Mar 21, 2002, 01:32 PM
Registered User
Congrats on the BS,,great job.