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tatjana
Monday, 26 May 2014 at 2:53pm
Thursday, 20 November 2014 at 10:35pm
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Thread: Informally reviewed unpublished papers

posted
20-Nov-14, 22:39
by tatjana
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posted about 6 years ago
I do not think in a job application you have to “show” that many documents or so much evidence .. It is about convincing them that YOU are the right candidate, that you can do and want to do the job. A 30 pages manuscript is not going to do that, and I really doubt that recruiters or managers are going to read 30 pages about a topic they probably do not know much about.

You need to do the job for them: explain them what you learned in these 4 years, what your strengths are, how this experience will help you in your new role ... They will not be able to see that from your manuscript.

Maybe when you are invited to an interview, you might bring your manuscript up ... but even then, unless you apply to a position where you are expected to write a lot, it will probably be not very relevant for them.

Do not justify yourself so much, you worked hard, worked a lot and decided a PhD was not for you. That’s fine, really... I think a self confident applicant who can explain his strengths and how well he fits the job will be much more successful than someone who is trying to show that he did something in the last 4 years... This might not leave such a good impression on them.

I do not know if I am explaining myself well, but I think getting a job of often much more about you behaviour and attitude than about ‘facts’... and I do not think that having or not that manuscript will make an important difference.

Good luck !

Thread: Informally reviewed unpublished papers

posted
20-Nov-14, 17:13
edited about 10 seconds later
by tatjana
Avatar for tatjana
posted about 6 years ago
I am not sure if posting such an ‘unofficial manuscript’ is a good idea. Potential employers might think (even if it is not the case!) that you are releasing confidential information or data that you are not allowed to release, which could rise questions about your integrity.

Before showing them your manuscript you should check that you are allowed to share the data it contains. Were you working on a grant of your supervisors, who owns the rights of the work? And if they contributed to you results, either helping you in finding, delimiting the topic, with discussions... etc. I would acknowledge that somehow and not present it just as my work. I think this might also be an issue for potential employers.

I quit a PhD where I was working on a project of my supervisor. Before leaving I wrote a summary of my findings, made some figures and summarized current knowledge on my area ... what you do at the beginning. I send it to all my supervisors and asked if I could show it to potential employers after leaving. They agreed and we both benefited from that: I had something to show to potential employers and they got a good summary that made the life of the students coming after me easier.

Another alternative would be to summarize in 1-2 pages what you did, what equipment you used, what you learnt, how you could apply it in another settings, etc... I think it is anyways unlikely that they would read a long manuscript, so a short nicely written and formatted summary might be as good!

Thread: Reference management software: which did / do you use?

posted
31-Jul-14, 12:17
by tatjana
Avatar for tatjana
posted about 6 years ago
I used Endnote during my masters, but then when I left university I did not have a licence anymore. I tried Mendeley and I really liked it, however, I heard from people who had serious problems (e.g. links to papers disappearing) and was a bit afraid on investing so much time into it.

I am now a happy use of Zotero, it is in some aspects not as nice as Mendeley, but I think it a much ‘safer’ system. Backups can be done fast and without problems, and reinstalling it just takes few minutes. The thing I most liked about Mendeley was that I could edit/read my pdfs there. I use the Foxit reader for it. When I click on a paper in Zotero it opens with Foxit which has many commenting and editing functions.

Thread: PhD project you are not sure about because it is funded?

posted
14-Jun-14, 10:58
by tatjana
Avatar for tatjana
posted about 6 years ago
I have often seen that proposals written by students and post-docs are “adapted” so that they agree better with the interests of the supervisors. This makes somehow sense, especially if they spend a lot of time helping their students. And they will also probably be able to provide more help when they are interested in the topic and therefore know more about it.

On the other hand, supervisors have often good suggestions and if they think their topic has a higher probability of succeeding than the topic you are suggesting, that is definitely something I would consider.

What I want to say is that often people do not work on their original topic even if they have their own proposal or funding. It is also often the case that you start with one topic and end up doing something very different, because the original topic does not work, you find something more interesting, you find out that you topic does not make sense ...

So I would try to be somehow flexible in the selection of my topic.

Thread: Feeling stuck

posted
29-May-14, 22:30
edited about 14 seconds later
by tatjana
Avatar for tatjana
posted about 6 years ago
I think it is common and normal not being motivated for some days, weeks, or even months while doing a PhD.

I had a long period at the end where I was not very motivated and everything was just painful and took very long.
I went every day to the uni and tried to do something, but if I was not able to focus on my work I just left and did something different (i.e. not sitting in front of a screen, but walking around, biking, reading). One day, after about 3 months, my motivation was back!

I think it was important to try everyday of doing something, so I kept the ‘contact’ to my thesis, colleagues, field of study, went to the seminar talks ... I did not work much, but still talked and thought about my work, so I just could start to work very productively once I was motivated again.

I think it is maybe contraproductive to sit at work when being unable to focus on it. It is just tiring and frustrating. Maybe it helps to acknowledge we are in a low-productivity phase and try to gain some perspective by doing other things...

Thread: Can't stop comparing myself to others and losing in comparison

posted
29-May-14, 21:41
by tatjana
Avatar for tatjana
posted about 6 years ago
I can totally relate to you post since I also started my PhD after working for many years in a different field. I think age is a factor that has an effect on what happens after our studies, but it is by no means the most important one. And there is nothing to do about it, so it only makes sense to concentrate on the factors we can control.

Besides, there will always be smarter, luckier, more popular, younger, more attractive ... colleagues. So I think it is healthy and reasonable not to have so high/unrealistic expectations for oneself. It is not a good idea to be frustrated because, for example “I am not the smartest person in the department, or I do not have the highest number of publications and awards (or any award for that case) or I did not gain my PhD in my twenties ...”. The only thing that we should expect from us is to try our best. That might not be good enough, but it is all we can do.

Thinking A BIT about the future, once in a while, has its justification... but overdoing it is no good. Maybe things do not work out as we want or expect it, but at least we tried it and enjoyed the journey.

Comparing us with others can make us unhappy and “ruin” an otherwise positive experience. Just don’t stress out about things outside of your control.
Do your best! Enjoy what you do! Enjoy your studies! Enjoy your life!
Who knows what the future will bring?

Thread: Seriously considering "suing" ex-supervisor

posted
26-May-14, 21:47
by tatjana
Avatar for tatjana
posted about 6 years ago
I wouldn' t sue ...
Many students get major revisions; I see it just as a part of getting the PhD.
Besides, that would cost you a lot of time and energy. I would use my resources to finish the revisions instead.
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