It Took Me 3 Classes

11 Sep

The first week of seminar was scary and exciting. I didn’t really know what to expect but I was so proud to be starting a PhD program in an area that I wanted to know more about. I had reading due the first class and we talked about a broad overview of the field of OB. There are 3 of us in the class so it really lends itself to some cool discussion. It was a pretty awesome first class.

The second week of seminar was a little bit more intimidating. I knew more about what was expected of me as a doctoral student and we talked about contextual icing research: what factors do you need to take into account when designing a study and interpreting the data? That’s a very high-level definition, but you get the point.

Class 3, I started to feel the pressure. I was prepared for class, but I feel intimidated by the other students. They’re much older and experienced than me. I try not to let it bother me, but I think I push myself harder knowing that I need to keep up with everyone else.

Class 3 did not end the same as the others.
My seminar professor asked to see me after class. I had a really cool topic that I’m exploring, so I thought that’s what he wanted to talk to me about. At first glance, he seems to be low on agreeableness, so I tried to prepare myself accordingly for the office visit.

I did not plan what happened next. “Why are you so quiet in my class? Is everything ok?”
“Well,” I said, “yes, I’m fine. I’m prepared for class, but I think I’m still trying to adjust to everything. I’m just trying to find my voice and where I can contribute to the discussion. I think I’m a bit intimidated of the other students. They’re older than me and-”
“What the hell does that have to do with anything? You’re doing fine. Is there anything I can do to help you feel better?”

And then it happened. I cried. In my professor’s office. Not like a character in a Lifetime movie, but a few tears ran down my face. I was so embarrassed at first. I had broken. I thought I would last longer.
But then, I realized that I was crying because a professor really cared about my ideas in class, tried to challenge me, and wanted to know how I’m adjusting. Only two other professors I’ve ever had truly did that, and I hold them in very high regard.

My first thought of my seminar professor was that he didn’t really care about other people. I was so totally wrong and I’m really glad that I was.

I’m going to be just fine here 🙂


One Response to “It Took Me 3 Classes”


  1. Things I’ve Learned So Far – Week 4 Edition « beezypedia - September 21, 2012

    […] not technically assigned to him, but he is an incredible role model. He’s the professor whose office I cried in. I subsequently had a beer with him afterwards. He’s fascinating, supportive, very direct in […]

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