Overview of iwan

Overview

Avatar placeholder
iwan
Sunday, 6 November 2016 at 5:18am
Saturday, 29 September 2018 at 5:36am
55
Login to send a private message to iwan
page 1 of 4 recent posts

Thread: Reasons to give for PhD voluntarybwithdrawal

posted
29-Sep-18, 16:05
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 3 months ago
Quote From tru:
Hi, iwan,

Maybe remove the bit about academia then.

About mentioning financial stuff, I really can't quite comment on it. I guess you would be best to judge the local and cultural perception on talking about that. However, would the interviewer then question why you bother starting a 3-4 year knowing full well that you wanted to settle down and buy a house in the very near future? Just a thought.


If I am probed further, i might just say that my priorities had changed during the course of my PhD and thus i had to take in those financial considerations in mind.

Thanks for your help tru. I will be happy to get more suggestions.

Thread: Still no research question after a year

posted
29-Sep-18, 11:33
edited about 15 seconds later
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 3 months ago
Hi there. Sounds like your PI wants you to be independent. I was exactly in your shoes when i started. I was told to read up in the literature and to come up with a topic of my own. Any topic under the sun in cancer biology. I felt lost initially as i wasnt used to this sort of supervision - my undergrad FYP supervisor on the other hand was more "hands on" so i had to adapt. My first meeting with PI was three weeks into my literature reading but my research gaps were said to be not practically feasible to research on given limitations of the expertise in the lab-on hindsight o just felt that she wasnt comfortable with topics outside her comfort zone but whatever. I evenyually came up with a solid topic 3 months into it but made a rookie mistake of being excited and designing a device which was found to be flawed.

It doesnt matter of your current progress is slow. What matters is you occupy a niche that can be researched on and within interest of you and your supervisor's. Dont ever make my mistake of rushing through things.! At the same time, do you perhaps have a thesis comitee that you can consult woth for expert advise? That will be something you can tap on.

Thread: Reasons to give for PhD voluntarybwithdrawal

posted
29-Sep-18, 11:12
edited about 3 minutes later
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 3 months ago
Quote From tru:
Hi, iwan,

Perhaps you can consider: "I accepted the PhD offer with the understanding I was going to work on a particular topic. However, upon starting, my supervisor changed my topic to something completely different and unrelated. I was determined to continue my PhD despite this major set back and gave my best to work on this new topic hoping my interest will grow with time. Unfortunately, despite all my efforts, it was not meant to be. I also strongly considered about whether I would like to pursue a life long career in academia. After much thought, I decided that I did not want a career in academia and therefore decided to cut my losses and left my PhD for a different future."

Your original response has negative elements including words like "don't enjoy" and "got depressed". These words should never be used in an interview. Your future employer may interpret this as you having mental health issues or that you have difficulty staying focused and interested in a role for long. All your responses to an interviewer must be in a positive light.


Hi tru. I really like your suggestion and it would be a good answer to give for an industry job in my field. But the research assistant job (deg level) is still in a research institution So its still in academia?

I have long given up about giving honest answers as employers here are a judgemental lot. Do you have a suggestion in mind for this context?

What if i mention about my financial situation? "i am thinking of settling down and getting a house of my own in a few years time so i have thought about it and I have decided that getting a full time job for now would mean the best option for me "

The above would seem understandable because singapore is the most expensivr country to live in the world.The only slight negative impression it might create is that i will be a "family man" soon and thus i cant fit the mould of a slave labour. But im sure most employers are pretty decent people.

Thread: Reasons to give for PhD voluntarybwithdrawal

posted
29-Sep-18, 05:39
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 3 months ago
I voluntary quit PhD in june after two years into it. Been having trouble answering "why u left phd" interview qns during job search. I cant state the real reasons of toxic lab environment and depression without it been seen as negative by prospective employers.

I have been shortlisted for an interview this Thursday for a science position but in a different field so the "im not into research anymore" excuse wont work. What about the above post answer?

Thread: Reasons to give for PhD voluntarybwithdrawal

posted
29-Sep-18, 05:37
edited about 41 seconds later
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 3 months ago
I voluntary quit PhD in june after two years into it. Been having trouble answering "why u left phd" interview qns during job search. I cant state the real reasons of toxic lab environment and depression without it been seen as negative by prospective employers.

I have been shortlisted for an interview this Thursday for a science position but in a different field so the "im not into research anymore" excuse wont work. What about the below answer?

"I find that it just wasn’t for me and I only decided to do something about it 2 years into the program. i chose my previous lab because it specialises in a protein that i was interested in, POPX2. But after i had entered the lab, i was told to research something on mechanobiology. At first, I tried to stick with it hoping my interest will grow with time but it didnt turn out that way.

I do like research but I find myself doing something that i dont enjoy. I got depressed. I reached a point where I had to choose between sticking with something i dont enjoy or move on to something else and here I am."

Thread: How to cope with depression

posted
29-Aug-18, 05:56
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 4 months ago
Hi Nino. Its good to know you sought help for your depression. Apart from this, please do have additional layers of support - school counselling, network of friends who are really close to you so you can vent out your frustrations when you need to.

It sounds to me that you cannot see this potential supervisor as a good fit for your personality. This is no fault of your own. Different students prefer different kinds of advisors but having said that, that potential supervisor sounds like an asshole who sees his students as less of a human being. Its not very nice to berate at someone in public. This shows a lack of EQ in my opinion.

Will it be possible to request for a different advisor? If you have no other choice, it is imperative that you get real close to the students in his lab. This will help you to best prepare with that advisor - what are things that annoy him etc, what are his tendencies. If youbare in that lab under him, all the students need to band up and help each other out When working with the advisor.

Lastly, if possible please apply for a break. A postgraduate study is already hard. It is even harder when you are besieged with so much self doubt and depression. That long break will help you feel rejuvenated and focused on your future tasks. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

Thread: PhD dropout - finding jobs :(

posted
29-Aug-18, 05:32
edited about 23 seconds later
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 4 months ago
Thanks a lot to everyone here for giving me constant encouragement. I admit that i can be pretty pessimistic at times. I now have hope that its just a matter of time and in the meantime, i should just enjoy the process of it all. All the best with your postgraduate studies. Will keep you all updated with good news when it happens.

Ps: i will keep on giving advise in this forum to those in difficult situations during their postgrad studies as i feel i have a lot to offer having gone through a rough tide myself during my PhD candidacy.

Thread: PhD dropout - finding jobs :(

posted
28-Aug-18, 09:29
edited about 12 seconds later
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 4 months ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
Keep it short (but do elaborate a bit if asked so that it doesn't make them think you are hiding something) and keep it positive. Getting rejections doesn't mean that you are doing something wrong. My friend had 7 interviews and got a job, another friend had 15 interviews and got a job. Some have many more interviews. It doesn't mean they are doing things wrong. Actually it means that you are doing something right because they are getting asked to interview. It means that you are competitive.

You could even go back to the ones you were rejected from and ask them for specific feedback.


I dont even know anymore tudorqueen. Immediately after each interview i have a good vibe that i did well based on how interviewer reacted/said but the moment i got the rejection email, it felt like a crushing blow and i go on an over analysis as to why i got rejected. Now that you have mentioned those, it is entirely possible that maybe they have seen other candidates as a better fit for the role.

Will keep on trying.

Thread: PhD dropout - finding jobs :(

posted
28-Aug-18, 04:00
edited about 56 seconds later
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 4 months ago
Ps: i thank all the valuable advise i have gotten in my previous thread. I have put all these in consideration by stating what skills i have gained during my PhD program. I just need to further refine how i answer this question.

Thread: PhD dropout - finding jobs :(

posted
28-Aug-18, 03:54
edited about 5 minutes later
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 4 months ago
I might add that for the chief interviewer in the first company has a Masters degree and is a head researcher. So im guessing she probably knows the hardships involved in getting a postgrad degree. OR does it always pay to be honest??

The interviewer from the 4th company is a HR who acted like a know-it-all. Pretty judgemental but the immediate feedback she gave once the interview was over suggested i was in it - like for instance she reminded me to update them should i get any concrete offers from other jobs i applied for, and asking me what other positions i applied for etc. So i was pretty disappointed to get rejected after this initial HR screening phase.

Im someone who is not very good with words and im really not quick on my feet. I have several interviews coming up and i need to get this right! Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different outcome is insanity.

Thread: PhD dropout - finding jobs :(

posted
28-Aug-18, 03:29
edited about 1 minute later
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 4 months ago
Hello everyone, i hope you are all doing great in your postgraduate studies. For those of you who might not have known me here, i withdrew from a biology PhD program in june 2018, after almost two years into my PhD program.

Job opportunities are scarce but for the interviews that i have got called up so far, i cant help to think that my failed PhD has got something to do with it, especially so when the interviewers decided to keep having follow up questions on it. I have probably reached a point where i feel that i should also consider making my replies to these as politically-correct as possible.

So below are my actual reasons for leaving:

1) The first project that i had for the first 6 months or so failed to take off. The subsequent project that i was made to come up with also failed 2 years into my program. I was fed up.

2) The reason why i wanted to join my PI's lab is because she is an expert of a protein that interests me. But when i came in, my PI told me that she wants to start on a new project and i will be the person to headstart it.

3) My PI lacked expertise on the work i was in. I was a lost puppy. When i did ask for guidance, she would seem annoyed (always busy holding important appointments)

4) Toxic lab environment. A lot of backstabbing and alienation.

So far in three months i have attended 4 interviews. I will only state the ones which i believe my failed PhD was the cause of the rejection

1st company (STEM): i mentioned about lack of guidance and ironically i was called in for second interview. I later declined it because i find that i dont have the chemistry-related lab expertise to perform well on the job. (is this a legit better reason to give- i was told to not state any negative aspects of my time there but for this situation, i went with my gut feeling).

4th company (research-related but more on corporate side): when asked why i quit my PhD program, i mentioned that i felt that pursuing a PhD was no longer a career goal of mine. It was a safe answer to give until the interviewer tried to dig deeper. She then went on to ask can you elaborate more on this? I screwed up by saying although i liked the research aspect of my work, i had to do other things such as teaching, nurturing students, marking and that i was overwhelmed. OVERWHELMED - this is where i screwed up but i had to expand on the spot why PhD was no longer part of my career goal. On hindsight i shouldnt have said that because the interviewer told me they are looking for someone with resilience.

For jobs not related to research, it will be just easy to state that research is no longer what i want to do. But for research related jobs, i may need to give a slightly different reason. I really need help on this part, hope i can get valuable feedback on this.

Thread: The cost of quitting a PhD

posted
23-Jul-18, 16:32
edited about 24 seconds later
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 5 months ago
I Did just that. But here in singapore, they can always tell if i did a postgraduate or not and it has got somethimg to do with employer contributions to a retirement sum. Employers in singapore can check this up. So yes i did put it as a job experience in my CV but they asks me was i doing a postgrad during thr interview itself.

Probably no hope for me unless i come across an employer who doesnt give a hoot about this matter.

Thread: The cost of quitting a PhD

posted
23-Jul-18, 08:14
edited about 53 minutes later
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 5 months ago
Its been two months since i had quit my PhD. Hasnt been going all that well so far. To those of you who are thinking of quitting, think again. I was asked why i had quit in so many interviews. Eventhough i gave an answer like, "i realise a PhD is not a thing for me", i was met with a myriad of replies, from "why would you quit at at such an opportunity? to "do you give up easily?".. Some even had the cheek to say " arent you wasting your time? If it was me, i would have soldiered on"

I was a four time dean lister during my undergrad days. If i hadnt decided to pursue a PhD,i wouldn't have faced so many job rejections. So yeah just ranting here. Dropping out of a phd program seems like a criminal record for me now. I cant even get a decent job. In fact the only job i was ever offered was for an admin position which required an N level cert.

Thread: Seeking employment post-PhD dropout (stating reasons)

posted
21-Jun-18, 13:40
edited about 11 seconds later
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 6 months ago
Quote From tru:
Great that you are ok and having job offers.


Why did you leave your PhD? Well, you could say that you realised that PhD wasn't for you, that you didn't want to have a career in academia any longer and wanted to work in the industry. So you decided to cut your losses and leave your PhD. My friend answered that after leaving her PhD, got a job with a mega firm, and has never looked back since.


The civil service sector that i am considering to work under deals with pesticide management regulations and it involves some research and analyses as well. Is this considered an industry in itself?

Thread: Seeking employment post-PhD dropout (stating reasons)

posted
21-Jun-18, 13:37
edited about 14 seconds later
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 6 months ago
Quote From tru:
Great that you are ok and having job offers.

However, it is NEVER ok for companies to ask for your recent pay slips. This is inappropriate, and the only reason they ask for this is to see the lowest salary they can offer you based on your previous pay. Never give this info. They could have asked for reference as proof of employment instead of payslip. If they insist on pay slip, think twice whether the company with such awful work ettique is the right one for you.



The company i am working for is under the civil service (goverment). I have always thought asking for a payslip is commin practice in my country until you told me that. Guess im left with little choice.
page 1 of 4 recent posts

Postgraduate
Forum

Copyright ©2018
All rights reserved

Postgraduate Forum

Masters Degrees

PhD Opportunities

PostgraduateForum is a trading name of FindAUniversity Ltd
FindAUniversity Ltd, 77 Sidney St, Sheffield, S1 4RG, UK. Tel +44 (0) 114 268 4940 Fax: +44 (0) 114 268 5766