I’ve been thinking of the question that “who is right for academic world’ and “what makes someone stand out in that field”. I did the research and found following advices very helpful.
First and the most important is to be persevere. 4~5 years for a PhD is a big commitment in time and efforts. And getting a PhD degree isn’t the end but the start. Soon you’ll enter into tenure-track (keep in mind that the job market for PhD graduate is full of competition) and is likely to spend your whole life in academic world. So it’s really a long-run and you need to demonstrate your perseverance. But what forms your perseverance. The answer is interest and enthusiasm of knowledge and research.
Ask following questions before you make up your mind to go for PhD and even during the whole study period.
“Are You Motivated to Do This . . . .
Does a research and teaching career appeal to you?
Does the idea of generating and disseminating knowledge excite you?
Keep asking these two questions again and again and answer them without thinking. Yes! I like it and i feel energic every monring when i know the whole day i’ll be busy with teaching, research and exploring knowledge. A slight smile shows and you even not notice.
But what techniques will make you stand out from a pool of greatest talent. Following are some suggestions gaven by different faculties.
1. Prepare a plan and set goal earlier.
2. Learn from others (professors, dissertation advisors, PhD fellows in and out of the institutions)
3. Be know for your work. Focus on an unified stream of research rather than dabbling in a veriaty of unrealted areas.
4. Find the right balance and set a delibrate pace.
None of above is related to intellectual capability because after careful process of screening and selecting new Phd studnets, there is little variance in all cadidates’ intellect. So what you really matter is your interest and commitment in research and some wisdom to get things done better and faster.
Hope everyone “can accept that what cann’t be changed, has the encourage to change that what can be changed and the wisdom to know the difference “.
Two articles that i recomment to read.
I. “Being Successful in a Ph.D. Program” http://www.decisionsciences.org/DecisionLine/Vol40/40_1/dsi-dl40_1phd.pdf
II. “How Am I Doing? Checklist for Doctoral Students at Various Stages of Their Program” http://www.decisionsciences.org/DecisionLine/Vol37/37_2/37_2phd.pdf