Okay, I design children’s dresses and a PhD in biological sciences does not go with it. I totally agree but I think there are many skills that I learned which have been subconsciously transferred in the process. When I was a student, there were a few famous actors and singers who came from an engineering or similar background and wondered, why would someone do that? Why waste a space and so many years pursuing something that you will not end up doing? I am sure most of my family and friends think similarly.
What I have understood so far is that nothing in life goes to waste, especially education and failures. I feel honoured to get the opportunity to pursue higher education that many may have not got. I firmly believe never to regret about any step that I have taken in the past, as each and every step leads to something positive. As a result I am doing something that I thoroughly enjoy now.
So here are a few things that I may have picked up as a result of my higher education.
1. Be very focussed – I am able to remain focussed most of the time till my three-year old Mini Edition (THE BOSS) wants me to.
2. Be very persistent and patient – This is a virtue I have to say thanks to those laboratory days, when I had to repeat the same experiment a number of times to draw an inference.
3. Be able to burn the midnight oil a.k.a. the ability to work hard
4. Be able to try new things and not be scared of failures – I am shy but not scared. I love a unique thing, whether a painting or fabric. What can go wrong?
5. Be able to carry on despite people saying you can’t do – Not everybody really understands a PhD student, but they carry on. So I can still ignore such comments in the present context.
6. Be able to write a proposal, some sort of budgeting, plan of action etc. In short I have some organising ability to say the least.
7. Be able to have a Plan B – I want to believe that I had a Plan B during my PhD as well as now, but in all honesty there wasn’t ever one. I have included this as many graduates do have one and it is indeed good for business too.
8. Be very passionate in what you believe in – the passion comes through quite easily in a research fellow and also an entrepreneur
9. Be able to give a presentation – even though very technical and therefore quite boring in the past, I am sure that stands in good stead for me.
10. Be a bit clever and smart – I wish!! But definitely be able to walk the walk in a man’s world (it won’t be a man’s world for long though).
11. Be able to multitask – The last 3 years of being a mum has made me a good multitask-er like any other mum, the PhD definitely introduced me to it.
12. Be able to time manage – again it helps to be a mum really. A research fellow was expected to have some idea of time but we all write our thesis in the last-minute to be honest.
P.S. What I did not necessarily learn were to
1. Be able to deal with real life challenges and earning money
2. Be able to sell – I spent a good part of my life cooped up in a laboratory, selling was never something I had to do.
3. Be able to network with people other than the scientific world. It is definitely very important to be able to converse to people across all walks of life.
P.S. We are launching our Tomato and Olive Collection next week. Please register in the website to get our newsletter. www.minoredition.co.uk
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