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Hindi and English

33 | Married | Material researcher & Entrepreneur

I have been a focused individual since childhood, always dreaming of becoming a scientist. I knew that the path to becoming a scientist involved pursuing a PhD and eventually becoming a professor. Therefore, I decided to pursue my master's and PhD degrees abroad, believing it would increase my chances of an academic career in India.
However, after completing my master's, I realized that securing a PhD position of my choice was quite challenging. Still determined to pursue my own research idea, I spent nine months traveling across India in search of an interesting topic. Eventually, I found one, wrote a proposal and secured funding to work on my chosen project. However, this marked my entry into the world of academia, which proved to be very different from my childhood aspirations.
I came to understand that the competitive academic environment and the pressure to publish heavily influenced research. Moreover, unconventional approaches were discouraged. Although I had excellent supervisors, I witnessed many of my colleagues struggling due to conflicts and differences in viewpoints with their advisors. As I gained a deeper understanding of the academic system, I found myself demotivated to the extent that I couldn't engage with anything related to my PhD for a continuous five to six months. I realized that while I loved academia, it might not be the right fit for me. My dream of an academic career became clouded by uncertainty, confusion, financial constraints, and doubts about the future by the end of my PhD journey. Eventually, I made the difficult decision to leave academia but continued to pursue research and education.
LinkedIn became a valuable platform for connecting with students facing similar challenges, allowing me to offer guidance based on my experiences. I am currently exploring a different career path, giving my best to my second entrepreneurial journey. Things are falling into place, and I can reflect on my journey with a smile. I am now in the process of unlearning, a journey I believe many with a PhD experience must undertake, especially when they are not pursuing an academic path.

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Sreyash Gupta


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