June 4, 2020 is the graduation day for all KI master’s students who have finished their thesis project in the spring 2020. I am so happy that almost all my classmates and I graduated as Master of Medical Science with a Major in Nutrition Science in that day. Yeay! 🙂
Yet, it was not the end. It was a beginning of the future! I remember the last day when the students, the programme director, and the course leaders met via zoom, we were sharing our plans after graduation. Some of us were going to pursue a PhD, work as research assistant, plan to work in industry, and many more. I could see a bright future ahead!
I am so grateful for an opportunity to interview two of my classmates who pursue a PhD after graduation. They are Anne and Naima.
After completing your master degree, why did you choose to pursue a PhD rather than to work clinically?
Anne: The master’s in Nutrition Science made me eager to conduct research myself, as a lot is still unknown in this research area. Moreover, I spotted a very interesting PhD position in childhood nutrition and lifestyle, so 1 + 1 = 2. 🙂 Next to that, I wanted a little more life experience before (maybe) working clinically again.
Naima: I have always been hungry for knowledge so getting paid to learn is probably the ultimate job for me. Moreover, I truly enjoyed my time at university and I guess I didn’t want to leave. There’s an inspiring feeling of hope for the future amongst university students. From the time I started my undergraduate studies, the goal was always to go into research one day. However, since I will be doing clinical research the plan is to continue working clinically as a pediatric dietitian during my doctoral studies.
How did the master’s programme of nutrition science at KI help you to pursue a PhD?
Anne: It gave me a huge interest in nutrition science, even more than I had before. In addition it gave me confidence in doing research myself.
Naima: Apart from making me eligible to apply for a PhD, my time at KI really prepared me for a career in research. The program offered plenty of opportunities to develop skills like project planning, literature search techniques, scientific writing, presentation and how to apply for research grants. I think KI is a great option if you’re interested in pursuing a research career.
Do you have any suggestions for new students who want to find a PhD program after graduation?
Anne: Let your thesis supervisors know about your plans, because they usually have a big network, search on job vacancy websites, use LinkedIn.
Naima: Don’t wait for a PhD position to be advertised but actively reach out to research groups within your field of interest. Talk about your ambition to pursue a PhD with everyone. In my experience, professors and researchers are often very helpful and you never know, a casual conversation might just land you the position of your dreams. Also, if you have the possibility, choose your degree project with care as it may lead to a PhD offer in the end.
Inspiring, isn’t it? I hope this interview would enlighten you on deciding your future goals!