For the academic generalist. “Celebrate the little win(e)s”, JollyGens!
The great part of being a generalist is learning about what others find interesting. And what better type of person to speak to, who loves learning and is an expert in their field, than the Ph.D. student. We interviewed a Health Sciences student to tell us a bit about how they got into and became a specialist in their area of study.
1. What lead you to want to do your Ph.D.?
After graduating undergrad and doing research for a year I realized that I still had a lot of questions about my area of research. In order to explore those questions deeper, I decided to do my Masters and then pursue my Ph.D.
2. What did you do your undergrad and Masters in?
I completed my undergrad in Health Sciences and my Masters in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.
3. Did you enjoy your Masters more than your undergrad?
I was more interested in what I was learning in my Masters because my undergrad was quite broad so I had to take courses that I wasn’t particularly interested in. My Masters, on the other hand, focused more specifically on my areas of interest.
4. Did you know you wanted to do your Ph.D. before started your Masters?
No, I decided to pursue my Ph.D. while completing my Masters.
5. What are you doing your Ph.D. in?
Speech Language Pathology.
5. How many years is your Ph.D. and how far along are you?
It is a five-year program and I’m about two years in.
5. Did the number of years of schooling ever intimidate you?
Yes. I still find it sometimes intimidating but for different reasons.
6. How so?
Now that I’ve begun exploring my subject, I no longer worry about how many years I still have to go. Instead, I have a hard time figuring out how to fit everything I want and need to do into the next three years.
7. How do you plan to use your Ph.D. after graduation?
I would like to do clinical research in my field. A lot of school boards are now starting to hire researchers since there is interest in initiating new programs that are more helpful for students. I’d like to be a part of creating and implementing programs that work.
8. Any words of advice for other students looking to pursue their Ph.D.?
It takes a lot of commitment but is really satisfying to study something that you love every day. Create a support network with other people in academia that understand what you are going through because it is very different from the working world.
9. Do you need to be passionate about what you study?
Yes. It would be hard to commit to something that requires so much time and energy if you weren’t passionate about it.
10. Any last words?
Celebrate the little wins… and find a good wine!