Day 141: PI meeting result
Well I’ve had my first meeting with my main PI (vs my Co-PI). It went well, I’m very happy with the result and while I’m not at the end of my PhD (yet), it seemed like we were in agreement with my progress. I still have the meeting with my PI and Co-PI coming up, but let’s go over some of the things that we talked about in this meeting.
First, as with most meetings with my PI, there are a few new things on my to-do list now thanks to the meeting, mostly working on refining my writing ability. As an early career researcher, there are techniques I need to learn, skills I need to have, and I am expected to learn the major players in my field. Specifically because my research is so far out from the rest of the lab.
When I made the jump from engineering design to (basically) signal processing, I knew it was going to be a big change. The tools changed, the methods changed, even the way we talk about the work has changed. I’ve been at it for a year now (a year and three months to be exact) and there is still a lot of the basic things that I need to learn. Passing my QE helped give me an introduction to the way we do things in my new lab, but these were just the basics.
The essence of my meeting was to highlight some of the things I really need to understand, but also to plan out my time in the lab. I had a good conversation about the work we are currently doing and the work I wanted to do. Per my PI by the end of the year (or the end of the spring term at the latest) I will be defending my PhD defense proposal. A rather large milestone because that will dictate the work I am doing for the next 2-3 years.
This means there are a few things I need to do to prepare, namely be first author on a paper in our lab. I have several conference papers and one journal paper that is currently in review, but all of that was from my old lab. This is a bit of a different ball game. Thankfully the work I am currently doing should be the first authorship that I need before my proposal defense.
We also went over what I wanted out of the program, namely where I wanted work when I am done with my PhD. That was easy, DARPA is my dream job, unfortunately they are a tight knit group with very few openings, especially for a recently graduated PhD. We agreed that there are several other government agencies that would be a good fit, or there is always academia which I could use to springboard to the work.
At the end of the day, it was a great conversation and I look forward to the things coming up. I have to admit I love my program and my PI is awesome. I’ve been very lucky getting to this point and I cannot wait to take the next steps. This year should be a good one for me if all things go according to plan.