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iwan
Sunday, 6 November 2016 at 5:18am
Monday, 23 July 2018 at 9:03am
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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 3 weeks 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 3 weeks 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 2 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 2 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.

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

posted
21-Jun-18, 09:52
edited about 13 seconds later
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 2 months ago
Hi guys,

i hope everyone is doing great. It has been 2 weeks since I had dropped out of PhD. And I am happy to have gotten some good job offers. I am currently at a stage where I am planning what I should say if asked why I had dropped out of PhD. For those of you who did not know, I had gotten medically depressed as a result of several factors - toxic lab environment, lack of guidance etc.

In my resume, I had vaguely stated that i was a 'research scientist' for the past 2 years without going into the fact that i was a PhD student. But then, they asked for my recent payslip - which is a problem because stipend is not exactly a 'salary'. So I realise there is no other way than to mention that I had gone through training as a PhD student. And I did tell them this extra bit of information by email and the HR just mentioned that I leave that document out and submit the rest.

Now, i am pretty sure i will be asked during the interview why i had left my PhD program. To state medical depression would be a no-no as that would disqualify me for the job - this is how things work in singapore. I dont think I had the mental illness record in the public domain either so i was thinking of giving another reason. Maybe stating that I had lost interest in scientific research work. This would be a good reason for other non-science related jobs that i had applied for but for this specific job, which involves research work, it is not entirely a good reason to give. To state financial reasons would also be a weak reason for dropping out as i was paid quite a good stipend during my studies. I had thought about saying wanting a more work-life balance sort of job which would be understandable as it is known that PhD students work even on weekends. But i fear they might think i am unsuitable for this job if it indeed requires commitment.

What reasons do people give for dropping out during job interviews which does not harm their chances of getting the job?

Thread: PhD candidate withdrawal process

posted
05-Jun-18, 22:33
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
Congrats Iwan. It takes courage to do stuff like this. Great that you were reassured that you shouldn't have to pay - was that verbal or in writing? All best.


Thanks tudor. It wqs in verbal when i talked to her about it the first time. Hope the appeal can be made and a full waiver is possible.

Thread: PhD candidate withdrawal process

posted
05-Jun-18, 13:51
edited about 8 seconds later
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 2 months ago
I have finally spoken to my supervisor about desire to withdraw from a fully funded PhD scholarship. My reason is depression. I sneaked in a question if i will maade to pay back the stipend and tuition fees so far (120k). She said that for medical and health reasons, it will likely be possible to appeal for a full waiver. But since shes the chair of graduate education as well as my supervisor, she has her own interest as well. So she ttied to make me consider taking a semester leave of absence. Deep down i immediately did not want this as i have already made up my mind of quitting (im seriously done with this!) but to be polite i told her i will consider this.

On that day itself, i got a medical note from a general practitioner diagnosing me as depressed and i have made appointment to see a specialist doctor.

Today, my supervisor sent me an email asking how are things. So i dropped the ball and sent in the letter to request for withdrawal, along with doctor's memo. I also cc-ed the email to a professor that is of a higher appointment then her just in case she has her own interest.

My question is, can the school carry out plans to make sure that perhaps i take a leave of absence and then make a decision? I just want this part of my life to be over and done with. Any advise is much welcome!

Thread: Quitting PhD

posted
02-Jun-18, 04:43
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From tru:
You have already made up your mind.... just follow it through despite the backlash you may receive


and yes about a change in supervisors as well. i have thought about that. but the following reasons below made me decide against it..

1) I did FYP as an undergrad under another prof and i told him of my intention to pursue PhD, only to jump to my current lab at the start of my PhD because i wanted to study on a different field. That FYP supervisor bad mouthed about me to his cliques in my faculty. Now if i change again, i will just make more enemies.

2) im 2 years in.. and already passed my Quals. Any change in supervisor is usually done before the quals.

3) my heart is set on leaving.

Thread: Quitting PhD

posted
02-Jun-18, 04:29
edited about 12 seconds later
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From tru:
Just wondering, can you change supervsior (might be too late?) or write up as a master degree? The thing though is that if you decide to write up a master degree, there is potential bad treatment that will be thrown your way during the write up period... and you may also need to get his reference if you decide to do a PhD again in future. By just leaving, you don't have to get his reference and actually, no one ever has to know that you left a PhD unless you volunteer that info.


I have thought about getting a masters but its not a common practice in my institution to allow such a downgrade. Furthermore, i am aware that i might need to 'extend' my stay to facilitate the writeup as you mentioned, and given the toxic lab environment i am in, im sure it will get even worse if they know im in the process of dropping out. I just cant stand being in that isolating environment anymore.

Thread: Quitting PhD

posted
02-Jun-18, 03:50
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From tru:
Hi, iwan,

Your decision to quit is not completely unexpected given all the issues that you have been facing since the start of your PhD in 2016.

You have invested a lot of time and effort and sufferred much anguish over your PhD project.

Do what is right for you and let your professor sort out the rest of the issues after you have left. If your project has been a big interest to him, he would have given you far more support than he had. And he is a "professor" after all... He has the brains to sort things out.

How to quit? Hmmm, tell him in person, send an email immediately after to have it in writing, cc your postgrad coordinator/school administrator/grad school officer, if there is a form - fill it, pack up your stuff in your lab (shouldn't take too long, max 3 days if you really do have that much crap), and leave and never look back. Oh, and don't badmouth anyone.... Just go.

Note: Expect the brainwashing to make you feel guilty and absolutely worthless as a PhD student to have quitted your project. In all honestly, you don't owe them anything when you have not been supervised properly and have been treated poorly, so do not succumb to their tricks....

Oh, and take a nice break somewhere... You need to detoxify. Take good care of yourself from here onwards...


Thanks tru. Thank you for reading through my previous posts. Ive had so many bad experiences in this lab. Being ostracised just because i am not chinese (singapore is dominantly chinese). Being given insufficient guidance and everything else. Will soldier on and make this decision eventhougb my parents want me to have an open talk with my professor because they dont want me to quit just yet

Thread: Quitting PhD

posted
02-Jun-18, 00:28
edited about 2 minutes later
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 2 months ago
Im getting very anxious over the entire thing. Today is saturday, and on monday i will be telling my advisor of my decision to quit. It will seem like its a sudden decision from me as i am good at keeping my problems under wraps (poker face). But the truth is i am overwhelmed and am no longer enjoying my work.

And it may anger my prof as my project is something that i came up with. That is nobody in the lab has the expertise to carry out my set of experiments. Thus continuing on the project after my withdrawal will be a hard thing to do.

Has anyone here gone through the process of quitting a graduate program before? How did you do it?

Thread: PhD stipend repayment

posted
31-May-18, 12:00
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 3 months ago
Im left wondering for my case as well. I wrote in an enquiry to the school regarding this same issue and here is their reply,

''if the student voluntarily withdraws, the student is required to pay the total enoluments up to the total amount received. Unless for special reasons such as health, family, financial etc'

this sounds very vague. and im curious to know how the school will go about chasing the stipend money as stipend is not technically a bond.

Thread: Worse case scenario: Fail PhD

posted
16-Mar-18, 04:31
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 5 months ago
Hi guys

hope you are all doing well.

I am 1.5 years into my PhD and just recently passed my QE confirming my candidacy. But I would like to know in terms of worst case scenario, what happens if someone fails a PhD? Like the exam at the end of the 4 years. I am under a scholarship. What will happen if somehow i have nothing significant to show after 4 years and during the oral defense, i failed it? Will they 'force' me into extending my stay until i get a phd or in other case will they just fail to award me a degree? For the latter, if that happens do i need to repay back the stipend i have been receiving?

Thread: Supervisor annoyed with me wanting to discuss future experiments

posted
24-Dec-17, 10:02
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 8 months ago
Quote From tru:
Hi, iwan,

Your posts on this website has mainly been on your PhD supervisor and lab environment. You have repeatedly questioned whether the supervisor, project, lab environment were worth you staying on.

Are you still with the same supervisor? I think you have to make a choice and accept the style of your supervisor, which may be less friendly (and maybe even less knowledgeable in your area) than you desire. This is especially since you have decided to continue on with her. Your pattern of constantly questioning whether relationships are healthy/ project is working will only cause you worry and can't be good for your mental health for the entire length of your PhD. Accept and focus on your results and future data rather than whether she likes / dislikes you.

Good luck.


I like your advise. Thats a fresh perspective. I will try this. Merry xmas to you!

Thread: Supervisor annoyed with me wanting to discuss future experiments

posted
24-Dec-17, 07:18
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 8 months ago
hi i am feeling kind of down. Recently i requested a discussion with my supervisor on future investigations with regards to my project. She gave sound advise (basically a green light) on my first proposal but when i shifted the discussion to a second one, she gave out a huge sigh which is something you would hear from someone annoyed at you.

Then she started questioning me on my choice of method for the second proposal, before shooting it down as something that is not very useful - with a harsh tone. This despite the fact that she does not know anything about this method (its a very well established method published in papers, and used by many researchers in my institute). Am i over-interpreting this or is the relation with advisor not very healthy?
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