So, it’s been a while since my first post but I’m back with a little story about my first application.
While preparing for my final set of exams of undergrad, I received an email about a very interesting post available as a PhD scheme. It was based in parasitology and sounded like something I’d really enjoy. With encouragement from my family I decided to apply and was thrilled when I received an invitation for an informal interview. After learning more about the position I started to get really excited about the prospect of the research. Later that day I got invited to a second formal interview with both supervisors present. During this meeting we began discussing my interest in the project, the experience I have and future plans. Both the supervisors were extremely nice and very encouraging while being completely honest about the requirements of a PhD. At the end of the meeting it was made clear that we were a good fit and I was offered the position- with the condition of my pass rate (and if the university accepted the proposal).
After a few weeks of waiting I received an email stating that the university would not be able to fund the project. Understandably I was pretty upset about this. The supervisors informed me that if I could find funding it may still be an option, or alternatively I could continue my education via an MSc. They encouraged me to pursue research and to further my education, for which I am grateful.
Though initially I was disheartened when receiving the news, when I looked back at things a few days later with more of a clear head, I saw things I didn’t before. The encouragement from the supervisors – this was so beneficial for my confidence that I do (hopefully) have the ability to work in a research lab or institution. When the option of doing this project was essentially taken away, it made me even more sure that research and gaining further education is something I really want to (even if it means doing a PhD later on in life, rather than right now).
I see this particular process as a success and failure – both of which have helped me to keep putting myself out there for different opportunities.