Academic career.

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Oct 23, 2019 03:54
There is a question that students applying for PhD and young PhD students are asked quite often. The question is why do you want to pursue a PhD?
I had to answer the question on an interview for PhD position (I got the position I wanted finally) and I will have been answering it applying for grants, etc. until I defend my PhD.
The question is easy and difficult for me at the same time. It is easy because everything is quite clear to me, I know why I am doing it, I know what I want. It is also difficult because I suppose it has to be obvious for everyone especially inside academia, but it isn't for some reason. However, I assume, professors and other important people in academia just want to distinguish students who decide to do PhD because they are interested in science and students who just go with the flow. I know it sounds weird because doing PhD is difficult (as doing science in general) and it seems to be impossible for someone to do PhD just because a person cannot figure what else to do. I hadn't been able to imagine such people until I met many of them personally.
Returning to the topic, my answer is always almost the same. I want to pursue a PhD because I'm going to work in science while I can and PhD is the next logical step in my scientific way. I don't really like the term "academic career", but obviously, if you didn't get a huge inheritance or your husband/wife isn't extremely rich, you need to build your academic career to be able to research. So in my case, it is quite clear, I have to work as an official scientist to have enough money for researches and life. What else can I say? Sure, I know the academic world nowadays has many issues (frankly, it always had issues, but different in different periods of time), but science is cool enough for me to accept them and do my best.
Well, again, doing PhD is logical for me and I enjoy it. This time is the best period when I can start the project in a new field and study everything from scratch by more experienced colleagues. I'm educated enough to learn even difficult things really fast. Moreover, usually, supervisors do not expect complete independence from the PhD students. Thus I've been going through a crucial and exciting period when I have to study a lot but not only theoretically, but doing actual research that can yield fruit in the form of new scientific knowledge.
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