Digital Profile Will Help All Students

As I realize after working in the different laboratories with outstanding master and Ph.D. students who have incredible ideas and profound knowledge of the subject but lack the communication skills and networking skill either real or digital.  I am getting the impression that students coming from different generations are getting confused with the sudden change in the communication pattern. Some are struggling to adopt this change and some have accepted easily within the flow.  I can be wrong but if in 2018 you are not communicating digitally even if you have equal attention of 4 billion people, through digital platforms is a big mistake.  I want to bring the attention of all the aspiring students from different backgrounds to lay your foundation in today`s digital platforms to create the fundamental blueprint of your vision which will take years to develop. In some lucky cases, you will be able to see results in just a few months.  As I continue to understand and communicate with students using social media and personal interviews, I have started to notice the amount of stress, anxiety, and misunderstanding in them is at an extreme high.

As most of the aspiring and passionate students are stressing in the early stages by navigating their life by other people and there personal experiences which is not right.

Especially in 2019, it should not be the strategy where graduate students are trying to get hold on to the title to secure a job in industry or academics.

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What is the need for Digital foundations?

In today`s low digital drive, it is a requisite to create a robust digital foundation. For some or most students, digital networking and content creation could be a boring field, but if you want to stay in the information and digital world game, then content creation and digital networking is the most important subject.

Aspiring young researchers, students, and innovators should take this digital chance to create their style and stand out from the crowd. It could have been accepted if you are not able to improve your communication or networking in the 1980s, but in 2019 the things and opportunities we have do not leave us with one excuse. The chances are unlimited right there on your phone. It is also something that gives you the attention of 4 billion people if you are upright and unique in your work. Does not mean that you will be on the top in just four months as you are competing with many people with the same baseline and passion for sharing their ideas. It is worth noting that, if the travel and fitness content creators can create such a buzz in the market, then why not the students from other backgrounds? I am pretty sure; this digital profile will help you to build your confidence, creativity, leadership and networking skills. There is no harm in understanding the digital platforms and putting them to good use for the betterment of society.

Taking initiatives for the community in addition to academics is indeed useful to build up your communication skills and networking that can be done through; scientific podcast, setting up a talk show in your society or among different colleges, a scientific journal among the undergraduate or graduate students. It’s one of many ways to network with researchers and interact with fellow student researchers.

Back in 2013, when I was in 2nd year, I became an associate editor with an undergraduate research journal of Colorado State University, undergraduate students ran that for undergraduate students. This gave a whole new idea about the power of digital tools for coming undergraduate and aspiring students.

Have you wondered how your CV would look in the next 10-15 years? Have you ever wondered how people used to communicate or collaborate back in the 1970s or 1980s? The things and method of communication are never the same and so as the student life and its trend have wholly changed globally. Companies and the academic institutions will see their potential candidate digital profile as a standard requirement- I believe that it worth doing it now to develop your digital profile in every sort of platform available because all the platforms are completely different and need in-depth research to get your whole command on it.

All the elements that are revolved around scientific and technological research are not the same anymore. Therefore, I would advise you to develop or use tools that enhance your communication with people from a different background such as media, IT, digital marketing, video creators or editors which will add significant value in your planned projects.

Even academicians and researchers look for the people to work for them who can perform well in more than one domain. The future and even present entirely belong to the digital world. Getting out of your comfort box and connecting with people from all the background especially who understand the domains like digital, machine learning and artificial intelligence more than you. These interactions and networking skills will be life-changing moments and will help you to grow and reinvent yourself in so many ways.

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Importance of Workshops, Symposiums and networking events in Graduate Student Life?

Exchange programs or summer/winter schools are practical opportunities to improve your business skills and human relations. Attending these events is the platforms to work on your networking skills, learn about different ways of working and adapting in a fast-changing world. I always try to apply for winter or summer schools to improve my cross-cultural communication and diversify my overall profile in order to know more. It is a chance to reflect on changes, think on your feet and express your ideas in an interdisciplinary group.

In 2015, I grabbed one fully funded opportunity of Indo-German Winter School on water management issues in urban areas in IIT Madras, India. It was an exciting program of 2 weeks that selected 15 students each from both India and Germany.

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After learning from many conferences, workshops and symposiums of while participating in many the lectures and activities, I learned that the happiest and successful person in the future world would be the one who can adapt and adjust quickly with global and multicultural teams.  The person with such an ability will be the natural winner in any group and will have a higher potential to win in any long version game.  And we don`t develop this ability in school or University

The best part of this Indo-German school was that the theme of the school was completed new and was also surprised when I got selected for this program. The broad topic of the school was to discuss sustainable water management in urban areas in an interdisciplinary approach.  But I had the practical experience of working in wastewater treatment, and I thought this program would diversify my knowledge in the subject of water.

In this program, I gained ample knowledge of water management issues and treatment problems in urban and rural societies of India. Further, there were comparative discussions about water issues in both India and Germany to share research and development. Mostly, I was listening about the policies, different systems, stakeholders and economy related to water projects.  I was astonished by the knowledge and leisure I gained in those 15 days which is infinitely different compared to what I had learned in my university or other internships.

The sole purpose of attending this school which was completely unrelated to my academics was to develop the untouched ability to work in a team with a different process of working. The more I attended these events, school, and conferences, I lost all my fear of the opposite party, and I learned to enjoy talking to multiple people and people from different backgrounds.

The diverse and multicultural the group, the bigger the output of the whole session. As a result, I was able to communicate and express my ideas in different domains with competence.

The way to enhance your chances to win scholarships globally is to do things that can enrich your soft skill sets and do things you feel uncomfortable which will ultimately diversify your experiences.

The digital presence of Graduate Students have increased Significantly

If you do not have a digital presence especially when you are trying to find or create an impact in your desired field, you are not taking your first steps. Increasing your digital presence is the foundation of your future career. The kind of information either personal or professional that you share on social media tends to create a notion in peoples mind which further creates your network.

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How can you increase your digital presence while you are pursuing your undergraduate or graduate studies? I googled and found out that the relative percentage of researchers, graduate students, and scientists sharing there both personal and work life have increased significantly. This is exciting as more and more researchers are promoting open science which indeed increases the chances of collaboration.

The thought-provoking catch is that it is possible in today`s digital world to use your blog as an open publication. A blog is a tool that can be made available to a huge number of students as a source of free knowledge to a large number of people who have simple access to the internet. Knowledge and experiencing new things is the basic human right. With the present technology, it is definitely possible to make all the knowledge or information available to a maximum number of people. This is of fundamental change that needs to happen in most student cases around the world. And the Internet can make this change at a lightning speed. There is no doubt about it.

I started my blog and writing guest post to expand my digital presence and improve my writing skills which I think took me in many finalist lists and ultimately winning International Scholarships. If you are writing it professionally and have given proper attention to the quality of content, I believe that it should have a positive impact on your proposition to the supervisor.

The blog is so powerful that you are allowed to share both positive and negative results without confirming it from any authority until and unless you have not signed a nondisclosure agreement. If you can not share the results, you are allowed to share your personal experience of conducting any particular task in your workplace just the way fitness or travel bloggers are doing.  But remember that if you want to use your blog in your application package while applying for any job, project or scholarship,  it should be up to date, authentic and original. Writing a blog will expose you to another set of challenges which will further enhance your new skills and knowledge about digital media. Identify the most influential blogger in your field and observe the important points of each of them or subscribe to there channel to get the beneficial content.  This can help you to channelize your ideas in a direction with an optimistic future and strategic plan.

But note that a blog should not be written with a temptation of receiving something in return otherwise, it will become an endless and not so fun run.  Use the blog as a source of supporting and providing free knowledge to the people who are not exposed to the information like you for one or the other reasons.

As an aspiring researcher or undergraduate student, blogging is one of the most productive things that you can do. This platform indeed has the potential to become a professional tool in the academic world. Open publications have been supported by many renowned researchers globally considering its social and economic benefits.

Open knowledge or blog gives you an opportunity to publish your observations without any restrictions including short notes or negative results. If more researchers come and support and accept this open science, it will be the most valuable tool for human development. And it allows all the independent researchers especially from low-income countries or students with fewer resources to publish their data and analysis. It is astounding.

How to Win Scholarships? My First Publication

Many doubts will raise with time when you will prepare the manuscript for the first publication. It is another big challenge that can come up in your undergraduate, Master, Ph.D. and in your lifetime of research. But if you are lucky enough to get some results or have prepared detailed secondary research manuscripts such as a review or a chapter which can be published in a good journal. Writing a manuscript will take time if you have no previous experience in writing specifically scientific writing.  To manage all this additional work along with your coursework is indeed challenging.

But scientific writing and content creation is a valuable asset in today`s market.

It is also crucial to understand a bit about Journals and online publishing platform which is already a billion dollar industry and are also categorized in several brands that are valued according to their impact factor ore reputation in the scientific society.

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Prepare your mind ready to receive high-level criticism from the editors because most probably, you will send your paper to a high-end journal. It is a good strategy because the comment and recommendations from the editors of high impact factor journal can help you to improvise your research article or chapter in many ways. There could be many reasons for the rejection which you will understand more with experience and time. But most common roadblocks in your publication could be the novelty of the project, poor writing skills, lack of supplementary data and so on.

I had to face specific rejections from journals with an impact factor of 5 or 6. After rejections from a few journals, I was fed up for a moment, but I kept working on improving the paper with my supervisor. Before I submitted the publication again, I shortlisted the journals along with subject-specific journals where my writing can contribute or demonstrate something relevant in the specific field of bioenergy and environment sustainability. Ultimately the manuscript was accepted in 2015 in a good enough journal for an undergraduate student. It was the result of 3 years of undergraduate research which involved working in the laboratory, learning from teammates, improving scientific writing, meeting people in conference and workshops. In this course of constant rejections and improvisation, you cultivate more strength and fluidity in your nature for more strong challenges.

Writing a scientific paper requires a proper understanding of paper structure and writing style. Therefore, to learn deeply about scientific writing and publication, I was regularly working with my supervisor throughout the paper. It was indeed an upgrade in my overall skills which helped me a long way in the journey.

At some point in your life, you will do specific important professional tasks which include writing and publications either academic or non-academic where you will be thanking your undergraduate research experience.

Scientific publication in your undergraduate or master program will undeniably strengthen your profile for global scholarships. On the other hand, Open science and science blogs have made things so easy and efficient that experts are sharing their precise tips and detailed strategies to write and publish your scientific paper.

Writing and Publishing will always remain as an essential pillar, that affects your overall scientific career extensively.

Can you use your blog as Publication??

Stay tuned for my next blog 😉

Cheers

How To win Scholarships? Publications & Journals.

You got to learn a simple mind strategy of not thinking about the final product, in this case, it is your publication. The publication is the final result of all your hard work and hours that you are putting in reading, reviewing, experimenting and communicating with people in your undergraduate school? Is it possible to get a publication in your undergraduate school? It`s not impossible if you are working consistently in your communication both personal and professional, attending regular public meetings and designing precise experiments after multiple failures over the time period of 3-4 years of your Undergraduate school.

If you are in Undergraduate school, Masters and even after reaching the Ph.D. school, do not think about the publication because it is the end fruit.  Let me explain it in simple words. If you want a flower or a fruit, do not think about the colorful flower, instead think about the soil, manure, seed, regular watering, and daily maintenance. Similarly, think and act about your daily activities such as communication, networking, writing, reading, and editing again and again until you get your final publication.

The reality of students in undergraduate, master’s program even Ph.D. is that they are anxious and impatient about the publications considering its influence in their overall CV. Of course, this gives a positive impression, but it should not be a big concern if you are actively sharing your research and finding on open science platforms which can be mentioned in the cover letter to grab the attention of your supervisor.

Therefore, the desire for publication in undergraduate school should be minimal, and the willingness of learning the process should be maximum. The method of learning is not always enjoyable but be conscious and aware of your vision and outcome. Surviving and adapting through this process can transform your personality. But one can parallelly work on there academic and non-academic writing skills in 4-5 years of University time to produce a piece of content either a review, research or survey-based article. This can be published in various online platforms in addition to academic journals. It might sound a bit difficult, but it is not.

You have almost 1000-1500 days in your undergraduate school, and even if you write 200-300 words on a topic you want to research about, you will have around 10,000 words which can be edited and proofread to be published as a chapter or review article. This is one of the best ways to improve the impression of your profile.

Recognize the moments in your life when you are impatient about the results, instead discuss the process of publication with your supervisor to gather deep insights and put the next steps in action. All these actions are the best ways to learn and know things that are out of systematic university routine. It keeps the flow of new learnings continuous and fresh. The bottom line is that you don’t know about anything or possible opportunities in your University period. So ask from your seniors and supervisors.

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Coming back to publications—

The fast growth on the internet has changed the face of publishing industry especially in developing countries where there are so many journals that are not recognized and promises you to publish your article in 3 days in return small fees. If you want to test this, try to post your worst written paper in a non-reputed journal. They will accept it quickly, and you will figure out the real game. It has become like a small scale business.

According to statistics and surveys, these publications receive minimum attention in the academic world. Most of the researchers won`t give much credit to these publications while considering you for the position in their laboratory.

When it comes to highly reputed journals, one cannot publish the article if the author cannot convince the editor of its quality as the publications in high-end journals are reviewed and edited by the researchers who have extraordinary experience in the similar research field. Therefore, to get published in these journals requires repeated attempts, experimentation, and collaboration.

Considering the present situation, thousands of students and young researchers are losing patience and publishing papers in non-reputed journals to get ahead of everyone, but it is not happening instead it is creating unnecessary stress in young researcher’s mind. They count these quick publications or any quick solutions as a ray of hope, a ticket to the well-funded laboratory or well-paid research position which is not true.  The writings in these journals are unreported and do not contribute positively to your profile as there are many other candidates with similar publications. There is no real quick fix in professional life.

Here, I recall one of my personal experiences while we were trying to publish in a reputed journal with an impact factor of around 3. According to the leading author including me made sure that all the work has been appropriately concluded. The article was rejected by the first journal stating that they already have enough content and similar research data available in their Journal.

Ultimately, it got accepted but after a single repeated attempt.  Sometimes, collaborating with a foreign team increases the impact of the paper considering the collaboration between two countries. The partnership is always a good sign in every domain of professional life.

The number one reason for students failing in their mission of getting published is the lack of patience and desire for quick success. This strategy makes you miss the most critical step is thoroughly enjoy and learn the process of working in a  team.

Stay tuned for more 😉

Water Thinking Stages

In my first post about water thinking, I deeply focused on water thinking and developing educational programs to develop an intimate relationship with water. Water Thinking

All the alternative, eco-friendly, public-private relationship prototype that we have tried in all geographical locations to solve the issue of water has failed. But a whole new approach of water thinking can help us and the future generation to question our choice of consuming as everything in your life from wearing fancy and clothes to eating water-intensive food are produced and manufactured on the most fundamental and abundant solvent in the planet “WATER”.

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Water thinking will help in questioning, challenge assumptions and redefine our policies about water. It will question the Humanity to drink or consume any food or beverage that is produced by 5-10 liters of water or even more. Most of the single serving of junk food cost the planed more than 600 gallons of water.

There are many variants and challenges to implementing the process of water thinking which will have to go through different stages and modes of channel either political or non-political. However, both political and non-political changes will have to implement similar fundamentals of water thinking to all the stakeholders either producer or consumer.

Is Water Thinking Process bad for the capitalist world which is indeed water intensive and water-dependent? Not at all. Because all the industries are now aware of the depleting or extensive polluted water resources.

Can we define the water thinking stages? It is important to note that water thinking stages cannot be sequential at the moment as all the methods of conserving or saving water have been human-centric which has failed to succeed. The approach of water thinking will completely reframe the present water policies and put humans in the equation parallel to nature rather than in the center.

To help you understand water thinking process, try to break down every single material or food that you buy into the amount of water it has taken to produce it. What is special about water thinking that this process can help humans understand the water with empathy and gratitude.

The problem of with existing water policies that it does not help students or common people to understand their daily consumption (food, beverage, clothes, etc) in terms of “What it is not”.

We have developed a tendency to think about everything in a human-centric approach and so did our inventions and scientific technologies have progressed in a similar manner. Therefore, there is no linear approach that can be used to understand an intangible concept of Water Thinking. The first most thing for accepting and adapting to water thinking approach is to break out from the repetitive process of consuming and buying just because of your compulsive behavior. Once we have achieved a significant control over our behavior along with the basic understanding of water thinking, these principles will assist the humans quickly in applying the same knowledge and ideas towards other natural resources.

Indeed, it is hard to sell just “Water Thinking” but imagine labeling the amount of water that is being used to produce every packed product in the supermarket, every fabric that being converted to final fashion product. 

A label of the amount of water is used in producing a kg of beef, a kg of ice cream, choco cream, a fancy polyester fiber that you are wearing, and all the daily products that you can provide a consistent reminder to the individual about the amount of water he/she is using.

It is our natural tendency to challenge assumptions and technology because our complete life is dependent on them and it is not easy to start from scratch again. Even the top-notch researchers, leaders or managers rely on the same kind of routine although, it looks like they are more productive to the economy or society, the fact is water quality is degrading and even in the world richest and developed countries have to drink water packed in a plastic bottle.

Stay tuned to more stories on Water Thinking 🙂

 

How To Win Scholarships? Choosing, Documenting and Observing your Internship details.

Utilizing your time to observe the seniors students planning their experiments or workflow of the day will give you deep insights about real work life which is completely different from what you learn in your University.  This is the best strategy to learn and easily integrate into the laboratory or any new workplace. Different researchers have different abilities and attitude of working. I am sure that most of the people have read the books which share knowledge of achieving something in a short period and easily. The real fact is when you are trying to get something top-notch, you are trying to make things easy for others but not for yourself. And you will only enjoy this if you are passionate about the process of creating your project from scratch.

Another important thing that you can do to maximize the output from your internships is to document every detail of your internships in the form of pictures, words or videos. It can also be an initiation of your blog which is indeed an upside in today`s digital world. Having a professional and personal blog will increase your visibility in the market as compared to others who do not have a blog. It takes time for the people who are not sure about their likes to find the niche of their blogging.  As an intern, all this time that you have invested will take you to the right path and people.

Searching and choosing internships could be the hot topics among undergraduate. I was taking out the maximum amount of time to apply and search for the opportunities that will fall perfectly with my interests. Internships are the window where you can always count to get a different experience if you are willing to take a step in an unknown direction.

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I was asked a lot about how to choose or apply for internships. It is a situation where you must put a lot of time, thought and own strategy for your goals.  A perfect combination of different internships can increase chances of winning competitive scholarships and fellowships. Different internships and different places will always get you the new tasks and challenges that defines as a productive and diverse candidate for the position. This theme of choosing different internships can help you prepare a comprehensive motivation or cover letter which is the most critical part of your application.

Unfortunately, you might or might not have the luxury to choose for internships if you are studying in a country with fewer opportunities for student jobs. But where do you find and narrow down your research to the best option?

Referring to this situation, if you have a confusing picture about your goals or the organization that matches your career path, it will be better to segregate the choice of your internships in different sectors such as marketing, health, and fitness, communication or research. I also had a bit fuzzy picture of my goals, so I worked in different laboratories and volunteered in different Non-profit organizations.

So, it is essential to segregate and determine the percentage of your different interests so that you can plan your internships accordingly.

I will make things clearer by sharing my internship experiences.

During my second year, I had an official eight weeks summer internship in my course structure, which I think was the beginning of the most important phase in my undergraduate school. I was fortunate enough to strike the summer fellowship program by Indian Academy of Sciences to work in the top-notch laboratory of India. Ecstatic to be accepted in one of the best laboratories of India for which I moved to Mysore, Karnataka in May 2013. I did not have a detailed idea about my work responsibilities, but I knew that the team was working widely in lipid metabolism and the nutritional value of various food crops. The lab was working in different subprojects dealing with increasing the healthy oil content of seeds which are edible and can be used for multiple industrial and pharmaceutical purpose.

Again, I was assigned a Ph.D. student to teach me the work and lab rules. I invested quality time in my relationships with lab members or outside the lab. This way I was able to learn from different researchers and work on my communication and social behavior.

I learned a whole new set of things along with the working culture of Ph.D. and research students. Most students think that it is their scores that holds the most important in career either academics or non-academics. This could hold true for some students but not for all.

Your Research Experience section will generate more output and more questions that keep your moving and seeking. Remember that your time for internships is limited with the immense potential outcome; therefore, you should use this excellent chance with the right attention. You must be attentive to the things you don’t know either in the laboratory or administration.

Doing so, you will be able to eliminate the things or subjects that you don’t want to pursue further. Finally, try to go deeper and utilize digital tools to express your ideas in different ways. The easiest way to start is to create a blog of your interest which can be done at no cost.