Emily Lam

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Decisions! Decisions! Decisions!

Full-time Job or Graduate School?

Master's or Professional Master's Program or PhD Program?

And what is my path?

There are a lot of decisions I need to make, and I need to make them soon. When I first composed this post, I was going to write about those three questions and that I needed to make decisions soon. But I never got around to fully writing the post, and well, it's November 23rd now, and graduate school applications are due IN LESS THAN A MONTH!

Fortunately, I have made a few decisions. I've decided that I wanted to pursue more education. So the answer to the first question is no to full-time job and yes to graduate school. This decision came to me while I was interviewing for jobs. I found that I wanted to be at the forefront of a project, the cutting edge. I like discussing ideas. And the feel I was getting from Industry was a kind of stale for entry level jobs. I wanted to be a part of innovation and if not at least surrounded by it like I am in the lab. From my interviews, I got the feeling that if I entered the industry now I'd probably get stuck in a rut. I always knew I would at least get my Master's but now, I feel like getting it sooner rather than later would be a more fun option, probably not the best option economically though. I could always wander down the exciting and difficult startup path if I crave innovation, but I don't think that's for me just yet. Maybe in the future. I'm still young!

So the second question? I'm leaning more toward a research Master's now. And a PhD will come if I can manage to convince people to accept me for one. The PhD students in my lab are brilliant. The professors with PhDs are brilliant. I am not brilliant yet. I think though if I keep learning, I'll get there.

And what about my path? Well, that's the question I've been contemplating since this blog started, actually earlier, since senior year of high school. I've matured . . . All I know is that my path is unique to me. It's not mapped out. There are no checklists. I will just have play it by heart until it becomes clearer.

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