So much life has happened since my last post 3 years ago. The short summary is: My beloved Grandaddy passed away; I finally PhinisheD grad school; I lost my road dog Missy to cancer; I started my career! But to shorten those 3 years to a few bullet points and just move forward from this new starting point would be a disservice to those trying to decide/enter/navigate the terrain of the road less traveled.
I will do my best to recount my experiences with a series of blogs. But my goal today is simply to restart the conversation.
The past 3 years did not simply fly by. I battled with depression, suffered grave losses, experienced many failures, moved to a new city, and basically started life over. Why did I keep going? I knew a PhD would be life-changing for me as a Black Woman in the world. I knew it was attainable, as plenty others more mediocre than I had received their letters. I knew it would qualify and validate my core values and characteristics in a tangible way [See Black Woman in the world]. Not that I needed the validation, but down the road someone else might [See Black Woman in the world]. But above all, I knew it was necessary for the life I decided on creating for myself.
When I had to start over at year 4 (of a 5 year program), I sat alone in a room (🎤it’s just me and Youuuuu🎶. . .I digress) and took a hard look at the career path I wanted to take, with and without a PhD. Stay in academia? Transition to industry? Become a teacher? Audition for Bill Nye? Nothing seemed to feel right. What did I even like about grad school to put in the form of a job and pursue as a career??? Presentations, conferences, travel, free lunches, scientific banter. . . If only there was a job that allowed me to learn and talk about the latest science breakthroughs without the writing, pressure, and judgment (grants/publications rat race). . .ya know, be “The Face” of science! Le sigh. . .
Well, a few Google searches later, I experienced divine intervention. I found my dream job: Medical Science Liaison (MSL)! MSLs are healthcare consulting professionals that communicate information about new research developments, clinical trial activities, and therapeutic approaches (<<<<literally the job I made up alone in that room. . .it really was me and You #blessed).
There was just one caveat: I had to have a PhD. This was my why.
©2018 by Ayana Martin, PhD