Sunday, June 6, 2010

Keeping an Open Mind

Beatriz E. Rios - Grad Student, Southern Methodist University

When I came to graduate school, I knew what I wanted to do. I was sure of where my career would lead me, and I loved the field in which I was going to work. I began my research right away in my first semester and was excited about all the possibilities I had in front of me.

By the end of my first year, things had changed dramatically. My adviser was leaving. I was faced with a big decision: find a new adviser, or find a new Ph.D. program. I never thought I would be faced with this decision; I had everything planned perfectly and I had worked hard to succeed in my field.

At first I was devastated and unmotivated, but I finally decided to stay in the program I was in and to pick a new adviser in a new field. I went from bioorganic chemistry to inorganic chemistry, and today I could not be happier with the choice I made. I was forced to look at options I would have never considered in the past; in retrospect, these options were opportunities.

The best advice I can offer anyone for graduate school is to keep an open mind and to jump on opportunities as they present themselves to you. You never know where change might lead, and you never know what great things change can bring along the way.

Beatriz E. Rios is a 4th-year graduate student at Southern Methodist University where her research focuses on phosphorus-based calix[5]arene ligands and their transition metal complexes.

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