As one of the most basic disciplines, chemistry is a popular major chosen by students studying in the United States. However, many people have questions about potential careers. As a broad subject, students ask “Will I need a doctorate?” or “What are common jobs?”. As a frequently asked question, we found answers provided by a doctoral student who is studying chemistry in the United States to bring his own experience of studying abroad.
1. Why did you choose to study chemistry?
The choice of studying chemistry was mainly because both junior high and high schools participated in the chemistry competitions and also achieved some results. The teacher in charge of the class is a chemistry teacher. It was very helpful to me. It is also a teacher I like and admire. Although I can’t talk about all of the contributions to the scientific cause of chemistry and human science, I am very interested in the wonders and beauty of chemistry. And so far, I am relatively good at this subject. So the choice feel particularly hard.
2. Why do you want to go abroad to study PhD in chemistry?
The idea of going abroad is actually very simple and straightforward. When I was a freshman, I once dreamed of studying for graduate students in Qing Dynasty. But when I was a sophomore, I met a friend. He was a junior. He was already preparing to go abroad, and he worked very hard in the laboratory. Because I wanted to enter the lab, I had contacted him, and then I felt that had opened a new world. In addition to the regular methods of postgraduate research, insurance research, job hunting, etc., there are such roads.
I was a little ignorant at the time, I didn’t know too much. I felt that I don’t want to graduate and go to work, I want to go to the United States to get a good job, and the Ph.D. is worth the money because I don’t have to pay for it myself. So, I went.
3. The earning a doctoral degree in the United States
My doctorate was not really difficult (after all, I got a degree), but it wasn’t until the third year that I felt that the subject was totally familiar (and it was similar for others). I felt that I had failed to see the end of the road. After a while, everything becomes natural. Slowly, I wrote some papers. After the conversation with the boss became regular, I felt that I could face challenges calmly.
I thought about it for a long time when I was about to graduate. What did I get in the past five years? Did I publish anything big? It seems that there is no big usage of my research. Did I develop proficiency in English? It seemed that the cost was too high.
But a five-year doctor can really make people change. It helps you become knowledgeable, profound, rational and calm. Most importantly, you have seen more landscapes and understand the circle of research from a higher perspective. I was the same as the 22-year-old boy who had just set foot on the land of the United States five years ago and now I continue to develop personally, professionally, and academically.
4. What is the life of a Ph.D. in Chemistry?
I want to say that most Ph.D lifestyles are the same, that is boring, difficult, with a mix of BBQ and free pizza. Some students are hooked on photography, indulging in landscapes; playing DOTA; some fishing, etc. In short, people need to find something to vent when they are stressed. If you want to study abroad, especially if you are a Ph.D. student, please don’t imagine that you will live a fast life in the city.
Is chemistry so hard? This is hard to answer. First, the directions are different. Organic nature is a lot more time consuming than for those who run simulation in front of the fume hood, but it doesn’t need a line of code. Second, people are different. Some people work hard, they get up early every day, run around in the lab for a day, and at night look at papers to write articles and enjoy it. Some, go back from three o’clock to 10 o’clock every day, come back to the play xbox, and then go for a nice dinner.
Ph.D. lives are very subjective and not necessarily controlled by you. Choosing something you are interested in and choosing something useful is better than choosing something that is easy. After all, we are not going to play.
Editing Manager Translation by Philip Park