elb's hovel of thoughts

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Torn between two loves

"If you are really interested doing this, we can offer you a PhD as well"

Those words are ringing in my ears right now. The offer was pitched at me by a lecturer at the end of a discussion I had with him about choices for my final research project.

Its so tempting. I love experiments. Its something I had in me since the days of primary school, when during Grade 5 we made blue crystals of copper (II) suphate and watched a blue solution turn colourless. I was almost always able to obtain one of the best experimental results during Grade 10 & 11, as well as in A levels. Unfortunately it kind of died off a little during the stressful past two years; learning non stop theory so complex you felt like puking just looking at the equations.

All this has been starting to change the past week. I spent a few hours with various lecturers, letting them explain to me the various projects that they had in mind. My love for chemistry / engineering was reignited. And getting stronger, that I am considering not doing the financial research project (which I am reliably told had never been offered in the previous couple of years, plus it was offered by the lecturer who knows that I have a strong affinity for business) in favour of an experimental/modelling one.

I mean, Wow. Modelling structures of powder complexes until the fifth dimension. Researching what possibly could be the next generation of chromatographs; discovering new possible methods for creating membranes. Getting involved in new methods of drug delivery to patients. Getting your name mentioned in a prestigious journal for your work in modelling advanced air purification systems.

Unfortunately its in conflict with another of my interests: business/ finance. Something I had gotten interested in probably from playing too many Tycoon games as a kid and a teenager; fuelled by observing my father's job. A good chance at a lifestyle many would die for (the money doesn't hurt), although I could always invent something new and patent the process and get royalties.

On one hand, my parents would only fund my studies for one more year, i.e. my Masters. A PhD requires three years. I need money from somewhere! And its very unlikely my university would be able to sponsor me, unless I'm involved in something a company has interests in :/ Then the problem with overqualification in Malaysia, et cetera.

Sigh.

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