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Deutschland bound

For those of you that have been unfortunate enough to be around me for the past few months would have been following a personal life-decision saga that I've been tormenting myself with. So for those of you who are sick of it already, you can stop reading. For those of you unfamiliar with my saga, read on.

I've been gainfully employed by Protoeme Systems now for four and a half years. That's a long time (for me) to be in one job, so sometime last year I had this crazy idea that I wanted to go and do a PhD somewhere in Europe. Crazy for two reasons - the first being that no-one in their right mind chooses to do a PhD, and secondly, I was most likely going to end up in a country where English wasn't the primary language (and God knows I have enough trouble getting people to understand me in English already). So it only makes sense that I decided to start researching the options for doing a PhD. I have long since given up trying to understand the reasoning behind me choices, and spend more time dealing with the fallout from my choices.

Really dumb decisions seem to come in clumps for me, and I decided to go on holiday to Cuba at the same time as cementing my resolve to do a PhD. I visited MIT, Imperial College and DKFZ in my search for a PhD position. The forerunner for a PhD position after this trip was the DKFZ, located in sunny Heidelberg. The PhD position was part of the EuroCarbDB consortium, which covered a number of institutions in Europe.

During this time, a job opportunity came up with the EMBL at Cambridge, working in the same project, so I naturally applied for it. After a lot of to and fro, I didn't end up getting the job - it ended up going to Matt. Given that the job wasn't going to materialise, I focused my efforts on getting the PhD up and running. A few months later, I'm now in a position to say that I'm definitely going to Heidelberg. I've handed in my resignation letter, about to book some flights, and set a date to go to Germany. It's all getting quite scarily real now.

Interspersed with this logistical work to get my PhD happening, I spent a fair bit of time thinking about running with the money. It seems that finance pays really well - like really well. As Andrew puts it "You want to be close to the money". However, there seems to be something irrational about those people who undertake science as a profession. Either people are in it for the love of science (and an innate curiosity), or there is some hand-waving about how somehow having a PhD makes you immediately richer. Right now, I'm not too sure which of those two (or even a fictional third) camps I'm in.

So anyway, now that I've finally come to a decision - this is a big thanks to everyone who sat down and listened to my whinging and questioning, and helping me to get to my decision.

And as a special bonus - your new word of the day: Lexicolon (Update - The definition has been approved now! Update x2 - This word was coined by international man of mystery, Liquidcoooled).

6 comments

butercup *

Matt's groovefillet link is a 404.

Anyways - goodonya.

Hiren Joshi *

Yeah, I can't find a real link to his site that works any more.

benjamin *

can't wait to visit hiren the foxy moron in 'sunny Heidelberg'

liquidcoooled *

Lexicolon.

A very interesting word.
especially considering I invented it last week!

Upon creating it, google and others listed no references, now I get yours as well as the slash article.

Are you perhaps a slashdotter in disguise :P

Hiren Joshi *

Guilty as charged! It's just too good a word not to be defined in some dictionary somewhere.

liquidcoooled *

It freaked me out a little when I realised I have around 100 pages of google content related entirely to myself!

I'm not mysterious though, I am just an ordinary joe getting through life as best I can :)

this lexicolon thing is cool, I'm going to monitor it now for as long as necessary. I have never had a googlewhack before. It will be interesting to see how far it can go.

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