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barny
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March 26th, 2012, 1:57 pm

I'm 6 months into my PhD and it's beyond shit. I am essentially a lone-ranger in an effort to use a 40,000 line FORTRAN program and try to get some results for it. There is a development team at a University on the other side of the world which I have little contact with. I have no support from my supervisor who hasn't done science in 5 years (he is just a manager now) or my post-doc who spends his time doing whatever post-docs do to try and get a job. Recently I've thought about quitting, since there is no way I can cope with another 2.5 years of this shit. The plan would be to enter teaching since there are lots of holidays and not horrific hours so I can do a part-time PhD with a supervisor and a project I'm sure I'll like. Do you think this sort of route would be looked upon favourably or badly in banking?
Last edited by barny on March 25th, 2012, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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katastrofa
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March 26th, 2012, 2:20 pm

Yeah, banks love quitters.
 
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traderjoe1976
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March 26th, 2012, 2:33 pm

Stick it out dude. The 3 year UK PhD is like a picnic. Just be grateful that you did not start your PhD in USA which would be a six year PhD and not 3 year PhD. 40,000 LOC of Fortran is peanuts.
 
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EscapeArtist999
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March 26th, 2012, 2:33 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: barnyI'm 6 months into my PhD and it's beyond shit. I am essentially a lone-ranger in an effort to use a 40,000 line FORTRAN program and try to get some results for it. There is a development team at a University on the other side of the world which I have little contact with. I have no support from my supervisor who hasn't done science in 5 years (he is just a manager now) or my post-doc who spends his time doing whatever post-docs do to try and get a job. Recently I've thought about quitting, since there is no way I can cope with another 2.5 years of this shit. The plan would be to enter teaching since there are lots of holidays and not horrific hours so I can do a part-time PhD with a supervisor and a project I'm sure I'll like. Do you think this sort of route would be looked upon favourably or badly in banking?have you gone mad?
 
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quantmeh
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March 26th, 2012, 2:55 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: traderjoe1976 40,000 LOC of Fortran is peanuts.yeah, he's a girlie man.
 
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frenchX
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March 26th, 2012, 4:10 pm

I would say that 80 % of the PhD students find that their PhD sucks at the first year. Instead of quitting try to make your subject evolve.
 
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quantmeh
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March 26th, 2012, 4:49 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: frenchXI would say that 80 % of the PhD students find that their PhD sucks at the first year. i liked mine
 
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spv205
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March 26th, 2012, 5:47 pm

I definitely would change topic/supervisor (but not do what you are suggesting). I don't understand why you can't change supervisor/topic/uni, and poss start over. I know a couple of people that have done that.part time is a bad way to do a phd. nor can i see it working the way you expect...your supervisor will be away on conferences in your holidays...( of course you have to decide whether you're just temporarily depressed! as frenchx suggested)as far as banking or anything else goes - you have to get publications not just stay in the PhD program
 
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SierpinskyJanitor
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March 26th, 2012, 5:49 pm

What´s more valuable: a PhD degree obtained with no papers published or an MSc with articles in peer reviewed journals?
 
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bearish
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March 26th, 2012, 8:28 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: quantmehQuoteOriginally posted by: frenchXI would say that 80 % of the PhD students find that their PhD sucks at the first year. i liked mineMe too, actually, although it helps a lot being in a nice place.
 
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croot
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March 26th, 2012, 9:06 pm

QuoteWhat´s more valuable: a PhD degree obtained with no papers published or an MSc with articles in peer reviewed journals?OR... OR ... a PhD with a paper published in a peer reviewed journal is your main claim to the job you have, but then you realize that your main result is completely false and there is absolutely no chance of salvaging it , ie maybe there is a chance of salvaging it but that would require several times the amount of work you did to get that one paper published, and up to now it's been 2 years and the editors haven't caught on to it or requested you write an erratum, but then one rainy thursday evening this guy in a felt hat turns up at your door and tells you he's found it, the flaw in your paper, and he's gonna tell the editors unless you pay up, and this is one smart cookie, he's got your salary right to 3% precision and he's taking all he can while leaving you a chance to live, so he's not killing you just going to milk you as bad as he can for all your life and then you think about your little twins one of which has the defective liver and you can't bear to think of bringing them up on cheap wholesale frankfurter sausages and the like and so while you talk to him about the estimation of risk premia and the new architectures for efficient cva computation, you pick up your global derivatives 2004: Ibiza bookweight and give him a good blow to the occipital lobe. He collapses in a wet slump of felt. It's only beginning to dawn on you what you did when your blackberry beeps: you'd forgotten the Dean of your college is coming over for dinner tonight . He's now dating the ex-wife of your advisor. And he's beeping you on your blackberry: he's only 5 minutes away, should he bring some chips? Quickly, you ply the huddled wet slump of felt into your antique harpsichord and slam shut the lid. As you are setting out the drinks the bell rings. Then as you're sitting and chatting you realize: 1) the dean's dog is fidgeting nervously around the harpsichord. 2) the guy in the felt hat was clutching a printout of your erroneous paper as you snuffed him: though he is safely tucked inside the harpichord, you can see the paper sticking out, spank on the page with the false theorem. A fat guy is serving the drinks: he's doing a cameo. 3) gosh the advisor is now dating this buxom Spanish woman who looks smashing in that 16th style ruff.Drinks and dinner go fine, but before leaving the Dean tells you he's found you out: he's seen the paper sticking out from the harpsichord and put 2+2 together (he didn't become Dean by mistake, he really has his shit down). He hints that he doesn't like scandal, and hush hush he won't tell the fuzz if only you quietly resign. Do you a) quietly resignb) schedule an appointment for later tonight 3 am at the docks, with the dean and your best bludgeon.c) suggest that maybe you could resign, or maybe he could write you a glowing recommendation for a job at <competitor>.I'm only asking for a friend, of course my theorems are always correct. But please help quickly, we are about to serve dessert and the Dean is hinting really insistently now. Tyvm.
 
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DevonFangs
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March 26th, 2012, 9:50 pm

have you considered applying for a quanty job while you're doing such a shitty PhD? if you really want to quit your only chance to get into this mess would be to already have a foot into it
 
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CrashedMint
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March 26th, 2012, 10:17 pm

Last edited by CrashedMint on March 26th, 2012, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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CrashedMint
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March 26th, 2012, 10:18 pm

Ahh, my favorite topic. So, surprise!, you hate your PhD. Well, that pretty much applies to every single last PhD student I have ever met. Ever. But to save you some time here's even more info for your next epiphany: A good, even very good, Phd does in know way guarantee you that six-figures entry-level quant job you may dream about. In fact getting that probably would be like a lottery win, as your research will be really far away from the money and to great extend very very specific and theoretical (it's scholarly research. it's supposed to be like that). Also, you will probably lose your sanity along the way (I did.) and you will wonder why you spend the time when you should actually be living the life eating Ramen. In a nutshell: Doing a PhD is the second worst thing you could be doing.But here's the one thing that sucks even more: Quitting a PhD. I bet you anything that if you do this, you will always look back on it and become weirdly self-reflective. Every single misfortune that happens to you, your mind will be cognitively biased to blame it on you quitting. You will be the guy who, after a couple of drinks, starts a carefully-worded, somewhat rehearsed rant about how it was -not- a bad decision to leave your Phd and how it was your advisors fault and how everything could be better now had you just done it, but you couldn't know and now it's fine the way it is and really what counts is happiness, and you are happy and blablabla. Of course you lie. And everyone knows which is why this is when the other guys in the rooms will carefully make really brief eye-contact and without anyone saying a word it will be decided that it's probably more fun to go out without you and then you will find out that somehow people are really busy and kinda had bad reception etc. This of course will make you more weary and weird. As your friends left you, you are left with your wife. She will never have thought about anything other than some Bachelor's in literature, but she's fine with it. She listened to you for like a year or longer whining, but it's kinda wearing her out, also she would really like to get fucked, but you have that headache all the time now. Did I mention you're bald?Bottom line: You might wanna stick it out.
 
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croot
Posts: 104
Joined: July 23rd, 2006, 8:30 pm

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March 26th, 2012, 10:39 pm

barny, my purple friend, -you have a "my post-doc" ? What kind of fairy-tale lab do you live in? Where I was we could only dream of licking a postdoc's boot's soles, and here you are flaunting your "my post-doc": classic greener lawn.-"so I can do a part-time PhD with a supervisor and a project I'm sure I'll like. " is my favorite part, because with astounding probability this is exactly what you thought about the PhD you are in right now when going into it, "making the same mistake twice" ?-"Do you think this sort of route would be looked upon favourably or badly in banking?" : have you no dream at all of being an academic, are they not somehow your personal heroes? I think unless you're in a business school economics program (and maybe even then), not caring for the research area you are sounds like a warning sign. 6 months into your PhD, you don't think one day you will spread your wings and maybe in due course you could be that post doc getting all those teaching hours and food stamps? Is your research /department about banking?This to even with CrashedMint's advice: If you care about banking now, throw your books out the window, rip your shirt off, then put on your best skin cream and and handcuffs , rehearse saying "yes" to yourself in the mirror and apply for all and any sales positions you can find. There is money. Other roads, too treacherous they are. we quants have a deep understanding of the world , at the risk of being snooty I will share with you a quote "what do YOU care what bankers and other people think".gtg, problems of my own:after dinner the dean wants to do some Schubert lieder with his date on the harpsichord. I'm thinking of "accidentally" spilling scalding hot coffee on her hands to forestall this dangerous endeavour. But I'm pretty sure he knows alright.
Last edited by croot on March 26th, 2012, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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