Thursday, December 15, 2016

Graduate school blues

Not that I ever had any followers, but just in case someone reads this....

I am going to start blogging again. I have taken a 5 year hiatus. This blog is not meant to rehash that time, however, at some point I may share some things I did in the last 5 years....

So I just defended a Master's of Ecology degree last friday.  My project was focused on Bonneville cutthroat trout habitat - which I think sounds extremely boring, but it wasn't.

The ONE and ONLY Bonneville cutthroat trout! (made by using image trace in illustrator)

The bonneville cutthroat holds special place in my heart.  I spent 50+ hours underwater, snorkeling, and spending time with these magnificent fish.  I have so many fond memories of the fish allowing me to spend time with them in their habitat.  It turns out, fish are not scared of humans when you are below water with them.  Rather, they are very curious of humans.  I had quite a few fish approach me and try to get a better look.  At times, it was a bit creepy when one of the larger fish (20" +) approached me and wanted to get a better look!  So, the best thing (besides the awesome fish) was that, my project was fully funded - meaning I didn't pay a dollar for tuition and I was reimbursed a stipend each month.  In that time, I was also given the opportunity to become a skilled cartographer which I have fully embraced.

As for my thoughts on graduate school -- Unless you are young (and not 37 like me), it is simply not worth it.  I have lots of GIS/analytical/creative skills, but I haven't even received a single call back from potential employers.  I don't know if my resume is not telling the whole story, but I feel if the employers met me, we would hit it off! Also the process of getting a masters degree is no fun.  The process involves tracking down advisors who have no time, making them read your work, getting unconstructive feedback.... I don't really have anything pleasant to say about graduate school, especially as a women.  Tons of times, I felt like I was in an abusive relationship, where I just wanted my advisor to notice my work and my work ethic for one tiny moment.   I don't mean for this to sound like  graduate school isn't worth it for everyone.  However, I think the whole process is meant for 20 year olds -- when you are nearing 40 and have a family, it's just not worth it.  So in a nutshell, if I could, I would not go to graduate school.  I would pursue a career much sooner. 

Here is a pretty river I made while attending graduate school

And here is a bug (also made with image trace)

No comments:

Post a Comment