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getting a PhD or not

Aimee Yermish ayermish at leland.Stanford.EDU
Tue Dec 22 18:20:47 EST 1992


I've got to echo what other people have said about that PhD being a
legitimizing degree.  You've already put 4 years into it, if you can
force yourself through another year or two, you'll save yourself a lot
of time and trouble later if you realize that you really did want a
PhD.

That said, let me make a suggestion.

When your advisor tells you to get a new career, get a new advisor.
Two years ago, I was miserable and unhappy and seriously considering
punting my own science career because I was having such problems with
my advisor.  Personality conflicts are very real, and they can make
even the most fascinating work horrible.  I worked very hard on
choosing a new lab where I was not only interested in the science, but
also confident that I would get along well with the PI.  Don't let one
bad apple ruin your life -- there are probably plenty of other PIs
around who would be thrilled to have someone with the skills you have
undoubtedly built up over the past four years, and with whom you would
enjoy the cooperative effort and build a productive, pleasant
relationship.

I wrote an article for my program's grad student handbook on how to
choose an advisor, based on my experience and the various stories I
heard from the grapevine.  If people would like, I'd be happy to post
it.

--Aimee
ayermish at leland.stanford.edu



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