IAmInYourShoes Written Interview
“I could see the flawless harmony and the math of the universe.”
What is your job title?
What is your educational background?
BSc, MSc – Physics, PhD – Material Science and Eng.
How long have you been doing this job for?
I have been doing scientific research for 6 years.
What Is your job description? Your duties?
Experimental scientific research and teaching assistantship.
Why/How did you choose to be a PhD candidate in Applied Sciences?
The first goal was being a professional football player for me, even in the freshman year. I had decided to study physics unless I managed to become a professional. However, I have not been permitted to push the limits because of my father. He was a real killer of my dream…
By the junior year, I had decided to be a physicist because I met with the courses such as Quantum mechanics, Thin film coating(nano-fabrication) and Semiconductor physics. I have been insanely impressed by this immense world. This world has almost all kind of essence in nature and the technology. This is the land I could challenge myself for my entire life. After I see this, I could not make an effort for anything but physics.
Does your family have a role in choosing this career?
Yes and no. Yes, because if I became a professional, I would not study physics.
And I can say no because nobody pushed me to study physics.
Did this career meet your expectations mentally and financially?
Absolutely. Financially, we do not earn much but anyway, my goal was nothing to do with the money when I chose my career.
What mistakes did you do in your PhD candidate career path?
I did not do a mistake in my career path. I had lots of trouble, inevitably. But I have always tried to take a lesson from the hard times. If I did not, and see myself in the same difficult situation again, then it would be a mistake.
Do you sometimes question being a PhD Candidate? Why?
Never ever. This is the best life for me. Because I always wonder, learn, explore, and teach…Therefore, I go beyond myself day by day. This makes me alive.
How hard is it for you to change your career?
I did not think of it. It would be very difficult because I am really happy about that…
Can you describe what makes you happy/satisfied with your PhD candidate career now?
It would be a book but I will try here as short as possible… After physics became a major part of my life, remarkable transformations happened. First, I started to question everything, in depth.
Second, I read more and more; philosophy, anthropology, world history, neuroscience…Third, I overcome any prejudice in my life.
Last but not least, I could see the flawless harmony and the math of the universe, and meet with the power behind this so that the life became a meaningful process/period. The gap I had always met in my soul at the end of anyway, any effort, any relationship, any happiness, any success, any worry etc. had been lost.
Now, I am a man, still keep working hard but, who becomes slightly happy and slightly worried, has neither any dream nor something to face the past, lives in the present.
10 years from now?
Assistant/Associate professor in a university or a senior research scientist in an accelerator center.
What motivates you to get out of your bed and start working every day?
So many things. I perform 2-3 different spectroscopy experiments, I work on a code which is related to the data of major experimental work, and I keep studying theoretically. To me, an experimentalist must try hard to digest the theory behind his work.
What makes you sad in your PhD candidate career? Why?
Working with wrong people and/or in a wrong place. Because these are not under my control otherwise I can change them and deal with it. In such cases I would not stay there for a long time, I can immediately take action.
How do you keep on learning? What is your secret to continuous learning?
I can not keep on learning. The secret is that I had seen a point; the human brain is a “goal-oriented” organ. If you do not fill yourself, it will be filled by the society, the social media, politics etc., none of them is under your control. I can not give the control of my brain power to such manipulators.
Can you recommend a book, Ted talk/YouTube video/blog post/Twitter account for people who need inspiration/information?
Gordon Childe – Man makes himself,
Montaigne – Essays,
Great Physicists: The Life and Times of Leading Physicists from Galileo to Hawking,
Michio Kaku – Physics of the Future,
Nietzsche – Thus Spoke Zarathustra,
Clive Ponting – World History: A New Perspective,
Tai Lopez (TEDx talks) – Why I read a book a day (and why you should too): the law of 33%
Leonard Susskind’s advanced physics courses on Stanford Youtube page,
How do you make today better than yesterday?
By being grateful and hopeful, and focusing on only today… simple as that!
Any pieces of advice to the people who will pick the same career as you?
Get ready to have the patience of a saint (: But, in fact, this is valid for any occupation or life…
Focus on the fundamental problems/phenomena of your research line and do your research based on this. Otherwise, you will be one of the hundreds who spend his time to publish papers answering the question of “how”, rather than “why”. And, my friend, this is not the essence of the science.
Read philosophy, it will help to expand your visions. It will help you to become a real scientist.
Do not be ambitious, try to have fun, otherwise it is pointless to become a scientist.
Do not work hard, work efficiently; wake up early which is the best time to digest difficult (new things to the brain) phenomena.
This is general, but for the job requires significant mental effort as in science, it is an important advice. Do not spend more than 30-45 min on social media/smartphone.
Sleep early and sufficiently, have a healthy diet, do exercise and/or swim, and walk.