In a quest to grow and recover

PhDs of India
5 min readMay 15, 2022

“I was a pretty average student in school and like most other students, I wanted to pursue medicine. I actually dreaded computer science and felt if I took it up, I would flunk in my exams. So biology was the best option for me. However, I didn’t qualify for MBBS. I thought I would take a break for a year and prepare better for the medical entrance examination. But many told me that was a huge risk. I didn’t have very good grades in my boards and there wasn’t any guarantee that I would make the cut for MBBS the following year. After contemplating quite a lot, I eventually opted for a Bachelor’s in Microbiology. The course was very regressive and there was very limited scope of asking questions. I didn’t feel connected to the subject at all. But we had a course in Biotechnology which particularly interested me especially because of the teacher who taught the subject. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t continue with microbiology for my Master’s and was more inclined towards biotechnology.

I however didn’t get a good rank for my Master’s in many of the competitive exams that I applied for. Somehow, the JNU entrance examination clicked for me. But I wanted to go to Pune University for some unknown reason and put Pune as my first preference. My grandfather passed away when I was about to shift to Pune. It was a difficult time for my family and I did feel guilty about going to Pune during that period. But till date, I think it was the best academic decision I ever made in my life. I was exposed to a culturally diverse environment and it was in Pune, I developed an inquisitiveness to do Science.

I got an opportunity to go for an internship in an experimental neuroscience laboratory at IIT Kharagpur for a couple of months during my Master’s which shifted my inclination from biotechnology to neurosciences. My supervisor there offered to give me a PhD position if I were willing to join his laboratory later. I had a good rank in the GATE exam but since I applied to only the neurosciences department in most of the institutes, I got an interview call from only a few places. I cleared the first round of interviews for two departments at IISc. However, my second round at one of them went terribly and I just wanted to go back home after that. The other interview was around 9 at night. I was too tired and heartbroken by then and didn’t feel that I would make it in…

PhDs of India

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