Things I’ve Learned So Far – Week 4 Edition

21 Sep

1. I heard someone say that you’re attracted to research that reflects your inner-self. What does that say about me if I voluntarily chose workplace abuse for my conceptual seminar paper? I’d like to explain it as “I dislike being mean to others and so I want to know why others would be.” We’ll see how that shakes out.

2. I am not only 1 of 3 ladies in the entering School of Management cohort, I am the only American and native English speaker. The others are from South Korea (8), China (1), Russia (1), and India (1).

3. I am atrocious at remembering South Korean names.

4. I am also the youngest.

5. I am so lucky to be 1 of 3 funded students in my School of Management cohort – meaning that I’m not paying a GD-thang to learn all that my brain can handle.

6. Workplace stress and work-family conflict is incredibly interesting to read about.

7. I think I have a better handle on what “prioritizing” means. I always thought I did, but now that I am under tight and aggressive deadlines, I know exactly how much work to put in and how long it will take me to do so. Don’t get me wrong – I will totally procrastinate and watch Breaking Bad instead, but I try to limit those events.

8. If you try to be an overachiever in PhD school, you will die. I have this insatiable urge to always be better. Not necessarily comparing myself to others, but knowing what I want to do and how much further past that point I can push myself. I have to beat my prior performance. I was always the student who had the pristine presentations and aesthetically pleasing term papers. Getting a PhD is not the place to worry about “above and beyond” because if you do, you’re always going to be behind. Actually, no matter how hard you work, there’s always something you’re supposed to be doing. If you don’t have something to do, it’s because you’ve gotten hit on the head, developed amnesia, and forgotten about the bazillion papers you have due. This being said, it is always appreciated by others if you do take the initiative to get sh*t done, but you have to map everything out and make sure you can do it with the resources you have available.

9. I’ve been in this program for 1 month, and I can already feel myself changing again. I’m becoming wiser – not necessarily book-smarter, but I’m really starting to uncover more of who I am. My fake advisor is really helpful in this effort. (I call him that because I’m 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 his criticisms of my ideas, and is teaching me a lot about life and what I deserve as a person. You’d think I would have figured this out earlier, but I had an interesting childhood that didn’t lend itself to much self-esteem-building. He’s also a nut, which makes for interesting conversation. He’ll never replace GSL [let’s be honest – who ever could?!], but I like to view him as my “proximal GSL.” The guy who I’m assigned to is “ok.” Nice guy, but not incredibly exciting, nor is he around a lot.)

10. The other gentleman in my OB cohort wants to get a PhD so that he can become “famous.” Apparently, this is a thing. While I guess that would be nice, that’s totally not what I’m about. I want to teach and contribute to science. Also, having summers off would be great for the future family I don’t have yet. 🙂



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