❎ 𝟑 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐦𝐞𝐝 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧 𝐰𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐯𝐞

🔴 𝐏𝐞𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐟𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐚𝐫 𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐤 𝐭𝐨 𝐚 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐩𝐚𝐭h 𝐨𝐟 𝐞𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐭-𝐞𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐫.

This is typical of most cultures in Asia. You must complete your graduation, go for a post-graduation, and get a job in the same exact field. The education is expected to be sufficient to ensure a lifelong career in the chosen field.

The thought process is understandable as a single career path is simpler when the motive is to begin work ASAP. Several people have done exceedingly well by doing exactly this. 

But some of you couldn’t or weren’t able to get a job and have doubted themselves and their life choices. That brings us to point#2.

🔴 🔴 𝐙𝐞𝐫𝐨 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰𝐥𝐞𝐝𝐠𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐞 𝐨𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐚𝐟𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐚 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐝𝐞𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐞

This primarily stems from point#1, where the you are not exposed to options and are conditioned to follow the known path. There are so many certifications and cross-functional courses that can serve as great options to the traditional path. However, neither are the teachers aware of them, nor are the industry people willing to share this knowledge.

These options are in fact immensely useful for those of you who couldn’t follow a traditional path for some reason.

But, there’s a bump, which is point#3.

🔴 🔴 🔴 𝐅𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐮𝐜𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐨𝐫 𝐟𝐢𝐞𝐥𝐝𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐬𝐞.

Whether you are on the traditional path or not, there comes a point when you have to let go of some or all parts of your education. You may do it by choice or by force. 

While you are aware that this is the right choice, you may be plagued by “𝐿𝑜𝑔 𝑘𝑦𝑎 𝑘𝑎ℎ𝑒𝑛𝑔𝑒?” “𝑊ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑝𝑒𝑜𝑝𝑙𝑒 𝑠𝑎𝑦” syndrome. “𝑊ℎ𝑦 𝑤𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑑 𝑠ℎ𝑒/ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑎𝑠𝑡𝑒 𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒 𝑖𝑛 𝑠𝑡𝑢𝑑𝑦𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝐴𝐵𝐶 𝑖𝑓 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑢𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑠ℎ𝑒/ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑔𝑜𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡𝑜 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑘 𝑖𝑛 𝑋𝑌𝑍 𝑓𝑖𝑒𝑙𝑑?” 

Do you know who says this? Those people who are hellbent on point#1.

This thought process stops you from progressing in your field wholeheartedly even if you know it is perfect for you.

Choose what’s good for you!

So, if you have ever felt hampered by any of these points, this is your sign to take the decision that is right for you. If you feel you wish to do more or change things, go for it. We have only so many years to be healthy enough to work full-time in a job of our liking!

#thoughtleadership #personaldevelopment #jobs #career #leadership #skillsdevelopment

3 LinkedIn tips for incoming graduate students (and a bonus tip)

Every year, several thousand students go on to study postgraduate courses.

Here are 3 tips to take your postgraduate journey from a great start to a stellar end!

TIP # 1

Build your online presence.

In today’s times of social media, the first thing everyone does is Google a person’s name. Hence, you must build a positive online presence that demonstrates your expertise in your field. People who type your name must find your professional social media accounts first.

So, if you already have a LinkedIn account, awesome! If you don’t, now is the time to make one. LinkedIn must be used to not only connect with your peers but also showcase your knowledge. Go to the next tips to know more about this.

If you are into research, you can also make a Google Scholar account and a ResearchGate account. Ensure that you definitely make an ORCID account.

TIP # 2

Post on LinkedIn regularly.

The most common mistake that all the students do is to become active on LinkedIn only when they are about to finish their course and are looking for a job.

This is too late in the day!

You have to become active from day one.

Post regularly on your profile. It can be small writeups on fundamentals, an interesting news or research article, or a great photo showcasing a concept.

Remember to use proper hashtags, but not too many.

AND FOR THE SAKE OF EVERYTHING HOLY, DO NOT USE AI! It takes the fun out of writing what you feel and you end up spewing content that is soulless, verbose, and irrelevant.

TIP #3

Explore career paths.

LinkedIn is not only for connecting with peers. It is also a tool to explore the various career paths of the experienced people in your field.

Check out the profiles of the middle and senior management. Go through their education and certifications.

Research and see if you find anything that you would want to pursue. Join groups to expand your network.

BONUS TIP!

Learn a language – native, foreign, or programming

Learning a language has multiple advantages. Programming languages introduce you to the world of technological advancements and software in your field.

Learning a native language expands your horizons in different parts of your country.

Learning a foreign language puts you on a global scale.

Ensure that you reach at least B1 or B2 level to be able to converse and understand the natives.

Wrapping up

The world is no more what it was when I graduated almost ten years ago. For us, postgraduation was the ultimate goal. We didn’t really think about what kind of job profile we would like, leaving us confused for several years.

However, today, you can narrow down the exact career path you wish to take. So, start early and make the most of LinkedIn to soar the heights of a stalwart career!

Thesis flowchart…aka…How to decide what to write first in your thesis?

It was that moment in my thesis writing when I had received a terrible feedback and was asked to overhaul the entire document. It was time to take a break from the screen and go back to basics. I printed out my document and went home. Then I took a break that evening, because it is one of the most underrated but essential things to get everything into perspective.


The next day I proceeded to lay out the pages of my thesis chapter-wise on the table. Then I took a blank paper and pad. I thought, “How will I explain my work to my family members in my native language?” So I decided to write down my work in my native language in the form of an algorithm and then rearrange my thesis.


I answered the following questions to do so –

  1. What is the issue?
  2. Where is it encountered?
  3. Is it very common?
  4. What makes it so very important?
  5. What are the steps that people have already taken to solve it?
  6. Why have they not been that effective?
  7. What is it that I did to solve the issue?
  8. How did I do it?
  9. What were the exact steps that I followed?
  10. What did I observe?
  11. How were these observations different or similar to what the literature states?
  12. What did I learn?
  13. What will I do in future?


Put the answers to these questions in the form of a flowchart.

NOW, Are you ready to test your corrosion knowledge? 

Click here for the first quiz!



😀Happy learning!😀

3 steps to begin experiments…aka…I am lost in this lab!

 All the students in the first few days of research are faced with the dilemma of the right time and way to begin experimentation.


There are as many ways and thought processes to do so as there are people. I will share my learnings here.

The problem is that the literature review tends to become so vast that it is difficult to decide what the exact problem is.

1. The best way is to NOT WAIT for the literature review to get over. Begin with the experiments simultaneously. Gain experience on as many new techniques as possible.

2. Start with that research paper which will most likely form the basis of your work. Attempt to reproduce the experiments in the paper. Try to see what other experiments can corroborate those results.

3. Select the correct research papers to continue the literature review.

P.S. All the experiments should have a reason for doing them. You should be able to answer the question

‘Why should I do this experiment? What will I learn?’



3 Stages of the beginning of your PhD…aka…OMG what the H am I doing here?

PhD is not a goal, PhD is a journey, and a mighty transformative one at that. That it has different stages is a known fact. However, just the beginning of the PhD has different sub-stages.



The pre-beginning

the admit and preparation to leave

There is fear of the unknown as well as the excited anticipation of new places and people. Specifically in case of Indian students, the flurry of bag packing is accompanied with homemade pickles and snacks.


The beginning

orientation and settling in

The students at this point in time are faced with a bit of anxiety and struggle while searching for accommodation (for overseas universities). There is the factor of being so far away from the family for the first time. Then there also is the undercurrent of being able to manage finances and household chores. A very busy phase indeed.


The post-beginning

where the students settle into their research groups and begin the literature review.

Some may also begin small experiments. There is the enthusiasm of learning a new topic. I remember this being a relatively light phase when the focus was more on learning about not just the academics but also the country and the city.


OR Watch the video here!


Self-plagiarism..aka..Can I copy paste my own stuff in my research paper?

As students and professionals, report/thesis writing is an important task that requires quite a bit of effort. If we are into publishing our work, we have to be more careful as to how we arrnage and present out work.
Usually we tend to write several reports and some of the material may overlap.
With the new plagiarism software, one may doubt whether we can directly use our work. After all we wrote it.
Plagiarism can be a direct copy-paste from your own previous work or from literature. It is a serious issue especially because it is now easy to do it using software.

There are two main points to remember in this case.
Point # 1Copying from your own previous work.
When writing a manuscript which has experimental, theoretical, or mathematical components from a previous work of your own, avoid using entire sections verbatim.
Such instances may show up as plagiarism during checks by the publishers. There is also a noticeable difference between the language of these sections and that of the rest of the new manuscript. Hence, ensure that at least the sentence construction is modified, even if the procedure and explanation are supposed to be identical to those in the previous publication.

Point # 2 – Copying from other sections in the same manuscript

Avoid copy-pasting sentences from the main text to make up the abstract and the conclusions. Such copy-pasting is very easy to detect and it indicates two things –
(1) The author does not know the difference between abstract, main text, and conclusions.
(2) The author is too lazy to actually use different sentence structures to rephrase their ideas.
These points are very evident and reviewers are quick to notice them. Hence, it is better to find a way around these errors.
Check out the video for a detailed explanation! –

FREE RESEARCH CHECKLIST TEMPLATE AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD!

CLICK HERE!!

For the DESKTOP EXCEL version of the template, comment on this post!

Comment your questions and feedback!

How many pages long should my research paper/thesis be?

In this post, I would like to address an issue that is encountered by many undergraduates and postgraduates who are doing their very first research project.

In my experience of designing and managing projects for undergraduates, interns, and postgraduates, I so often get asked two questions –

1) “How many pages should my research report/thesis/paper be?”
2)”How many references should I put at the end of the paper?”

My answer is stop focusing on the number unless it is a strict requirement. Base your report on what you have learnt in the research work. Concentrate  on describing the amazing new things that you have got acquainted with.

At each step of the project, you will come across a small question leading to reading of new references, and you will not need to find more just for the sake of it.

Enjoy the process of writing something you found amazing.

Check out the detailed video below!

FREE RESEARCH CHECKLIST TEMPLATE AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD!

CLICK HERE!!

For the DESKTOP EXCEL version of the template, comment on this post!