• Question: What was your biggest obstacle you faced in reaching your career?

    Asked by Kate to Sylvia, Sumit, Martin, Kate, Bryony, Aryanne on 11 Mar 2019.
    • Photo: Sumit Konar

      Sumit Konar answered on 11 Mar 2019:


      I was born in a small village in India. I was avery ambitious from the very young age. You can see my english is not great, but I still can communicate with you. I studied in different parts of the world (United states, Sweden, Scotland). I always faced some language/cultural issues in the beginning; that was the biggest obstacle. However, I enjoyed learning from different scientists across the world.

    • Photo: Kate McGonagle

      Kate McGonagle answered on 11 Mar 2019:


      The biggest obstacle I have faced in my career is probably my own confidence. After I got my degree I started applying for jobs – you have to go through tough interview processes with “technicals” – where it’s a bit like a live exam and you are stood up at a whiteboard with a pen and people ask you questions. I found that really difficult, I was always so nervous and worried before that I would mess up and embarrass myself, I never had a lot of faith that I’d pass any and get a good job. But, since uni, I’ve applied for 3 jobs and I’ve got every one! It’s probably only now that I am starting to believe in myself more. It’s so important to back yourself!

    • Photo: Martin McCoustra

      Martin McCoustra answered on 11 Mar 2019:


      The biggest obstacle for any aspiring academic scientist is getting you first academic position and that was probably my biggest obstacle. But, it was one that I was very lucky to get over very early in my career at 25.

    • Photo: Sylvia Soldatou

      Sylvia Soldatou answered on 12 Mar 2019:


      My biggest obstacle was having supervisors that wouldn’t encourage me enough during my PhD and that made me question my potentials. Luckily I had great mentors from teh academic environment that encouraged me to continue and made me believe in my capabilities more and not to be afraid to believe that I’m good in what I’m doing!

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