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Considering leaving after 3 months

I have been keeping weekly reports and have reported issues to my academic supervisors. I am very surprised that I have raised the same issue three times within the first three months of my PhD. We have a big meeting every after I “complain”. The CEO (my industrial supervisor) of the company agreed he would change the situation, and promised that I have the right to say no to the non research related work. From my experience, he forgets what’s been agreed after two weeks and just keeps asking for 40% of my work time.

I had the third meeting regarding the same issue with them this afternoon. From my point of view, what the CEO said today was pretty much the same as the last 2 times. What I remember the most from the chat today is the CEO mentioned even the tight deadline could be changed when needed, we have to keep both internal and external communication running. However, this is a little bit different comparing to his actions. Last month, he didn’t even consider pushing back the deadline but requested me to finish the limited demo in 2 days, which put me under great pressure and ruined my schedule, I had no time to prepare the conference presentation. He told my supervisor things are flexible and not seeing me as a developer. But what I’m feeling is he treats me like a full time product developer, leave me no time for research, and nothing can be changed after he decided.

For my academic supervisor, he is 50% helpful in this case to be fair. He guides me how to exploit the company’s project to finish my PhD. He also listens to me carefully when I need help. However, it seems that he doesn’t want to touch the internal issues of the company, I feel like he has no such power to change the situation I’m facing.

Let me know what you guys think.


Considering leaving after 3 months


I am a PhD student sponsored by a company and considering leaving after three months.

This is a opportunity offered by my supervisor because he has a good relationship with the company and the company started a meaningful project. Right after I graduated my master degree, my supervisor suggested the company to offer my a three month pre-PhD summer job that I could start the project earlier while waiting the start date of my PhD.

To be honest, I found myself under pressure during the three months summer job because I was assigned heavy workload and something I’m not familiar with. This is a tiny size company (less than 10 people), I would say it is very not organised too. The development team has only one full time employee but he’s also working like a part time on this project. Even the project manager is a part time employee. Thus, everything relied on me. I did consider not starting the PhD and just let go the “golden” opportunity.

I thought that I would be protected by the uni once I officially started my PhD. But I am afraid this is not correct. After I started, things even got worse, the company lost 2 managers in a very short period. As I am a full time PhD student working on the research part of the company’s project, I don’t think I’m supposed to be assigned operational work. I was happy to accept this kind of workload as I think the company is paying real money for sponsoring my PhD. They requested 40% of my work time, which means 2 work days to focus on the company work. They kept adding workload, sudden meetings and very tight deadlines, I was under great pressure and that ruined my schedule.