Tag Archives: Phd

Leaving a PhD Program: Part 3 – From Stress to Success

It wasn’t too long ago when it felt like my world was spinning out of control; when the pressures of life turned the mumbo-jumbo in my head into a full fledged jambalaya.  It happened when the initial rush of leaving my PhD program subsided and my eyes got tired of staring into the unknown.  It happened when I spent two long and lonely months in my apartment updating my resume, filling out endless cover letters, and writing freelance while coming dangerously close to developing a mild case of agoraphobia.  It happened when my stint working part time with the Census was over and the reality of my empty piggy bank confronted me; or when I realized I was alone in my journey and

“Standing on a hill in the mountain of dreams, telling myself it’s not as hard, hard, hard as it seems.” – Robert Plant

the problems I would have to solve were my own.  I made the decision to leave grad school so I lived with the consequences.  Still, the instability I lived under was threatening my sanity.  Here I was, in Boston, barely covering rent, without a job, and few friends to turn to.  The pressure was slowly building upon me.  I wondered, was I heading for a catastrophic collapse?

Continue reading

Advertisements

7 Comments

Filed under Inspiration, My Personal Journey

Leaving a PhD Program: Part 2 – Pursuing the American Dream

It’s been a little over a month since I’ve left neuroscience graduate school to pursue a new career.  My journey is currently facing the double edge sword brought about by change.  Early on, I quickly realized that with avid support comes great cynicism.  Handshakes and hugs are equaled by looks of misunderstanding and intimidation, and admiration is met with jealousy.  And yet every morning I face the world with a smile, my head held high as I keep on truckin’, because after all, America assures us that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” -Bobby Kennedy

My biography is about as unorthodox as the trail that I’m currently blazing.  Born in Moscow (Russia), my family and I moved to Munich (Germany) at the age of 4.  I spent my golden years of childhood there, years that pass too quickly we can all agree.  Before my 10th birthday I was back in a foreign land, finding myself outcast, deaf and mute to my English speaking surroundings – welcome to America! Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Inspiration, My Personal Journey

Leaving a PhD program: Part 1 – Are you crazy???

On March 19th, 2010, I finally parted ways with the world of science and academia.  After 8 months of doubt, deliberation, and debilitation, the chains of an unpleasant and unhappy future were broken.  For the first time, I find myself in the great unknown, but my dreams are in sight.  I hope my story inspires lost souls to look up at the stars and believe it’s possible to pursue their passion.

Flash back to spring 2009.  I am 21 years old, about to graduate college, and I’m looking ahead at the fork in the road of my life.  Where to go?  What to do?  At the time, attending graduate school in neuroscience made perfect sense.  I was graduating from Indiana University with a degree in psychology and a certificate in neuroscience. I worked in a cocaine addiction lab at IU, and I also interned in the pharmaceutical industry at Eli Lilly.  I had the experience.  On top of that, graduate programs in medical sciences typically pay PhD candidates to go to school.  It’s a great deal; they pay full tuition, offer a healthy stipend, and provide free health insurance.  Lastly, and maybe most importantly, I needed financial stability because my girlfriend and I decided that we would remain together as we moved to a new place.

I never did much soul searching in college.  Maybe the social life of a Big 10 school kept me distracted from figuring myself out, maybe I wasn’t far enough away from home Continue reading

11 Comments

Filed under Inspiration, My Personal Journey