Adjusting from commercial work to PhD

posted
17-Dec-16, 15:09
by kickem
Avatar for kickem
posted about 4 years ago
Hi,
I'm a first year PhD student, and i'm 4 months in. I was just wondering if others have any advice for adjusting from commercial work to the PhD? I'm feeling pretty isolated as unlike the majority of the new PhD cohort in my department I've been out of academia for several years,and I feel ostracized to some extent because I left academia. They all started the year by presenting and publishing articles on their masters while I haven't really got anything to show for my previous years of work in the same way. I'm worried about falling behind, but also the internal politics of the department are convoluted (lets not pretend they don't exist) and i'm struggling to navigate in the same waters as the other students who already know the politics as they have done a year or so at masters in the same institution. I'm already seeing them taking on additional roles and tasks that I don't even get to hear about.
I was fairly successful in industry and have many transferable skills but feel like at the moment they aren't recognized in the same way. To some extent i feel like I've been intentionally ostracized by certain people who feel threatened by my work experience and there's been lots of comments along the lines of "are you not presenting/publishing?..Shame". At the moment I've just kept to myself and got on with my work but i'm wondering if it is me imagining things, or if this is an experience that others have also had?
The pace of response (or lack thereof) to emails is also baffling to someone from industry, but I'm learning to adapt to that!
posted
18-Dec-16, 16:57
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 years ago
Nothing that these students published at Masters level matters so my advice is to ignore them. Unless you particularly want to get bogged down in side jobs which take you away from your PhD research I would forget that too. If you have industrial experience you will be much more employable at the end than any of the others so get your head down, get the PhD and dont get involved in this nonsense.
What is your research area?
posted
26-Dec-16, 07:57
Avatar for Mattfabb
posted about 4 years ago
I agree with pm133, research at the MA level doesent really count for the PhD. I was wondering: what do you mean about lack of response? And being ostracised? Can you make specific examples?

In my experience dept. Politics were not an issue for me. Make sure to be polite to all the secretaries and the admin people, because (maybe unlike in the commercial world?) if you make enemies with Uni admins you will be well and truly fucked. Apart for that, it seems to me you are taking this pretty badly, feeling insecure and projecting these insecurities onto others.

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