Friday, March 14, 2008

1st year grad student: some reflections

I have completed almost 75% of my first year in the PhD program. Lots of thing to read, think, and write. This would continue till end of Dec 2008, before I take my qualifiers.

Looking at the last 1.5 semesters that I have taken, I must say that the coursework has been really challenging. Some have also been quite interesting and enriching. Thankfully, I think I have done relatively well in terms of the grades. What I realized is that the main "burden" is really on the research. What is the research question? What are the research motivation? What exactly am I trying to study? What has been done before? Why should I do it now? How should I approach it? Where to get the data? Seriously, these things just come naturally to my mind when my mind is not set on other things.

Anyway, I have spent the last week trying to do a preliminary analysis of some data that I have. And I'm a little disappointed and demoralize by the analysis... Before it turns into a "file-away" idea, I would try to see if there are other ways to work the data. I guess this is why it is call research - we just have to keeping search and searching again.

One challenge that I'm facing is having someone to talk and discuss my ideas with. While the profs are pretty brilliant, open and helpful, none of them are exactly doing what I'm intending to do... Sometimes it just seems like I'm isolated on an intellectual island...

Other than these, I'm surviving well for my 1st year. Thank God. -SDG-


Anonymous said...

hey... I feel the same on the other side of PA. you can always email and we could alo chat for a bit and exchane ideas. you know how to reach me :)


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Anonymous said...

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Alison said...

I just wanted say thank you for your blog.
I am a 29.75 year old engineer. I had always wanted to get a PhD and pursue an academic career, but family pressures got in the way. I always thought I was too old and out of touch with academia to return to school and follow my original dreams, but as I close in on 30, I think that it would be a shame to wake up at 35 and think that I still could have done it when I was 30.
You have shown me that it is possible, and maybe I’m not quite too old. I too am planning to pursue a business PhD, but I am at the beginning of my process for fall of 2009, so we’ll see how the whole game plays out.
Thank you again for the inspiration, as well as the practical advice.

josh478 said...

I just finished my first year PhD (OB) and have many of the same feelings and thoughts. Hang in there! You are not alone!