27 and a PhD

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Daily Archives: February 19, 2010

Story and song meme

I was tagged by the awesome MomRomp. She’s my new fave blogger and she was tagged in a meme about the story of your fave song, the one that no matter where you are will have you pause, transport back in time and take you to a happy place, if only for 3 or 4 minutes … awww bliss.

Since here at 27 and a PhD (more like, 28 in the process of 29 BUT with a PhD) it’s not all about serious stuff like grad school, jobs, postdoc’ing, etc, we’re going to be chill, casual, and talk a little about a song that transports me to my happy place, even in the most awful days.

The song is “Breathless” by an Irish group called The Corrs. Back when I was in college (late 90’s early 2000’s) I was watching the news, when all of a sudden a very melodic voice comes up and a really catchy song is playing. I look, and it’s a foursome of lovely irish gals and a guy. Turns out they’re siblings and they’re promoting their new album.

A few days after I caught myself humming the little bit of the tune I could remember, and since I wasn’t internet savvy at the time (I’m not much still, but I try to do my best), it didn’t occur to me to look them up on the web. Gladly, grad-school induced Alzheimer’s hadn’t set in yet, so I went to a generic record shop a few days after and got 2 CD’s from the group, the current one (In Blue) and a previous one. I was SO taken by their music, their lyrics, their power to influence my emotions and change my mood.

I was hooked. The song, Breathless is lovely, and is about falling in love and leaving the other person breathless by flirting and catching their attention. Is such a happy, lovely song. I was converted instantly.

Years later I fell in love and had my heart broken to that tune. And I thought I’d hate it forever. I couldn’t listen to it for a while. But as time passed I fell in love with it again, and again, and again. And now, every time I hear it I’m immediately transported to my happy place, of college years, of being carefree and not thinking about tomorrow, just today, now. My current BF loves it to, and although he’s not a fan of the group, he likes to listen to the song with me because he knows how happy it makes me, he hums the music and watches me make a bit of a fool when I think I can sing, hehe.

What’s your story and song ?

Which PhD is needed in the market the most – Search terms, short answers

This is a really interesting, and not easy question to answer. Not easy because it’s hard to predict, in my opinion. It depends somewhat on what and where you see yourself at the end of your grad school run. And it also depends on what’s “hot” out there in terms of science. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and just mention some cases I’ve seen happen through the years.

In a way science might be a bit like fashion, it has its seasons where certain things are super hot. Ten, probably 15 years ago PCR and yeast genetics were “da bomb.” Don’t get me wrong, because these techniques and organisms are important and are  still  key in today’s science. But 10-15 years ago it seemed as if everything people wanted to do was work on yeast and/or do PCR, that was their thesis and their life. Before that was DNA,  before that hemoglobin … you see a pattern here. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong studying problems and solving them using yeast or PCR, but today it seems as if pharmacology, bioinformatics, neuroscience and some cell bio are the “it kids” in terms of topics and techniques tto do or know, thus today if you had your PhD in those topics you’d probably stand a better chance of finding a job and a project you like within your geographical area. I think (from what I’ve seen at job postings which I’ve been monitoring closely for the last year) that universities are actively recruiting in those areas. Now, will those areas will still be hot in 4-7 years, by the time you’ll be done if you were to start your PhD today? There’s no way to predict what will happen, but from experience, even though my topic and technique are highly valued and super interesting (and a rare gem in my opinion), they’re not in demand in the geographical areas where I’m interested in pursuing a long term career. So, this just serves to say that you need to consider your options carefully. Go to a lab where you not only enjoy the topic, and research, but also where you’ll be equipped with transferable skills in case you’re stuck in a situation like mine, or explore your geographical options and see what’s needed more and how you can train in those areas so that you (hopefully) stand a better chance of getting your desired job. I partly blame my choice of lab and topic for why I didn’t keep up with some of the “hot” techniques used in say … 75% of labs, and why I’m doing a postdoc where I’m doing it and in what I’m doing it. I want to get in contact with my cell bio and biochem side, so that my lack of knowledge will not impede my future success.

As always, leave a comment or send an email if you have any questions or want to talk about your experience and want some insight.