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.

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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 😉

How to Win Scholarships and How to maximize networking in your University?

In my experience of University, I was looking for people who had experience or can share insights of working in the laboratory or real projects. Everything is depended on your preferences of hanging out with different groups whose values tend to overlap with each other directly or indirectly. Always note and analyze the social groups that you hang out for work and outside work.  It ultimately depends on an individual about his choices to manage networks and time.  The benefit of extensive and diverse networking as it produces multiple results and lets you decide with whom you naturally connect conveniently.  These different inputs that come with diverse groups or networking can help you determine your personal and professional goals.  University is the best place to initiate investing time in your networking to grow your professional network at different levels. The important thing is to be present in small and large scale events and hold on to the networking part. It is better to invest time in both academic and non-academic affairs as it provides you the diverse picture of the professional world.

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Once you start initiating your independent projects along with other students or collaborators in the nearby communities, consider expanding your projects outside the known area. Interacting with like-minded online communities, bloggers and researchers can broaden your horizon. It will provide various other alternatives in return to your time invested in online communities. It is easy to create an online event or workshop and promote it alongside like-minded research students or entrepreneurs in the university.

Collaborating your fresh idea with someone who brings in another skill is something that can bring in a higher value. That`s what I did to improve my scientific writing skills by connecting with science blogs and portals with different areas of specialty. By Connecting in online platforms, I was aiming to write for new blogs either paid or not paid. I discovered that I was able to use my previous learnings and share it in simple words for which I got paid 75$ per post. Usually, most of the students find it difficult to understand that it depends on your continuous engagement with your talents and skills that creates more clarity in your vision. My aim for the next five years was to increase my practical experiences to broaden my view about everything and create maximum innovative ideas. The experiences should not have any conclusion but will be good if it overlaps with the next lesson that will take you a better position in your professional life.

The network that you make in University time while working in a social or cultural clubs, internships, conferences or community service will always add a definite point in your diverse experiences. Every experience in your university can help you and your team in various ways by developing your skills like imagination, originality, team-working, novelty, resilience, IT skills, and innovation. Diverse experiences come with understanding about the sense of commitment, responsibility, not using excuses and adaptability in a different working environment.  It will be the foundation of your personal and professional life, and sometimes it begins in the places you don`t imagine. The main point is to understand that networking is always improvising along with a consistent change in your social circle or relationships when needed. In any place, Being spontaneous in different channels will help you to make your future proof and keep your overall structure intact.

Recognizing the values that you gain from all your experience and fellow researchers, you can gain access to both right persons and the right place to execute next ideas on your career path. Perfect synchronization of your communication and networking will maximize the overall output of your decision. The quality of your communication and network is the most powerful ally for your ideas which is understood more if your communication is vital and impactful in every move you make. Now you know that communication is an essential factor for all the process and there is a need for a particular emphasis on the use of your networking and communication.

I do not recommend joining a course in communication or business because no school can teach communication and networking that work well for your weird and incredible imagination. Moreover, it will only add burden in your daily routine in addition to your degree programs. Instead, try to identify the networks that align with your area of interest.

Especially in today`s era, when you can express yourself and communicate in a million ways using words, videos, pictures, and animations and reach out to millions of people.

The only suggestion- Practice, Practice, Practice- It is understood that it is a little frightening or anxious while contacting an unknown person either professor or student. But ultimately with practice, you will cope with all the unexpected responses and gentle tweaks in your projects.

How To Win Scholarships? Classify your Interests

Classification is one of the easiest ways to narrow down your research projects or goals. Although it can also be a complex process considering that we have never ending options.  Knowing that you are an 18 or 19-year-old undergraduate student or even if you are a master student, there is no classification which could be complex because you have enough time if you use it wisely.

I am pretty sure that you have a wide range of ideas but are not able to find or choose the best one for you. If the whole thing is a mess, pick one goddamn thing and execute on it by reading, watching or practicing the thing with the best available resources. This will help you to identify your likes and dislikes appropriately.

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Let`s talk about academics either scientific or non-scientific.

You can classify your interests by keeping yourself updated with the scientific and social development projects that you can find in excess in various digital platforms completely free. Keeping an eye on incoming funded projects in your university could lead you to follow the idea in detail by discussing the possibilities with the supervisor or leader of the project. This information can be attained easily from your administration department or webpage of the department.

Since you have spent significant hours in reading and listening to the stuff that you think you might like, try to choose your much-loved topics which should be broad enough rather than specific for ex: food, energy, management, family or transportation. Selecting a problem right now does not mean that you will work or conduct research in this area for your next 20 years.

The next step should be finding your potential supervisor or laboratory where you can learn the process of working in a laboratory. Mentors and senior students will help you define your ideas into experiments or essential objectives.  Looking for a supervisor in a department you are studying is the best place to start as you have many chances to interact with your professors during your day to day premises.

You can also contact the possible supervisors via email, and I tell you that most of them will happily attend you and listen to your proposal especially if you are from the same University.  But make sure that you have conducted an in-depth study of your proposition. The whole talk will be more productive if you are aware of the supervisor work and how you are going to link prospects in his/her team. And even if you don’t have any planned ideas, you can always propose your curiosity to join the team. This is where you sow the seed of your project

As Tibetan Buddhist Master Chogyam said, “ There is no such thing as talent, only awareness” if you have developed the habit of being aware and reading, you will always be driven to work while traveling in trains or any possible free time slots to increase the maximum output with maximum joy. The undergraduate years are indeed critical, and it will yield positive results if you invest your time strategically and try to maximize the output.

There are other university proposed courses or events such as term paper, internships or secondary research project which are the golden opportunities to design your project and improvise on skills where you are lacking.  The best strategy will be to work in 4 different projects or different disciplines to explore maximum domains of research in your undergraduate years.

How To Win Scholarships? Enjoy The Process

It is in continuation of my last blog where I am sharing the detailed importance of conducting independent research projects in your University.

How To Win Scholarships? Undergraduate Research Experience 1

The broader goal is to maximize your learning and try different ideas in your School or University years. The technology and science are developing so fast that you cannot stick with just one plan and one strategy. But instead it should be one idea and multiple strategies or multiple ideas and numerous strategies. Undergraduate school is the best time to try your random ideas which will later help you to find your research interest or innovative venture which could either be academic or non-academic.

But ideas always stay as ideas if you do not execute on them. Therefore, you should plan your daily goals and work with a mindset to extract the maximum from the present moment according to the availability of resources.

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Talking about the resources, I realized while I was interacting with students from around the world that undergraduate research is promoted mainly through long-term research internships or research-based course structure. Not only this, but they also have the right amount of funds for undergraduate students in terms of research, exchange semesters or travel grants. But how students from developing nations can get involved in undergraduate research with limited time and resources?

There are specific competitive summer research programs which have a limited number of seats with a tough selection process.

Although things have changed a lot with the rise in digital technologies and free resources that can be exploited to conduct detailed secondary research at the undergraduate level.

Connecting with students from a final year or doctorate program can lead you to the favorable outcome as interaction with last year graduates or PhDs are more frequent than the supervisor. The undergraduate research experience can add a lot to the innovation sector of developing nations which is much needed.

The initial doubts of a student are identifying research interest or approaching the professor. It can be confusing, but it should not be a difficult decision if you are using the Internet the right way. Isn`t it?

The goal is to consume information from research articles and other resources from the broad theme that you enjoy exploring. Everything you can get the hands-on topics that fascinate you and gives you the sheer pleasure of doing it. This step could be a little frustrating if you are already worried about the result. Therefore, you got to stay focused and invest hours in reading blogs, listening to a podcast or any other digital tools where you can extract valuable content. If you have already been pursuing this strategy and narrowed down your interest, it’s better to consume more in-depth scientific content from publications that are available for free. The same thing holds for other undergraduate students who are pursuing other fields either business, sales or marketing. The idea of undergraduate research or developing an independent project is to learn the process without thinking about the final product.

How to Win Scholarships? Share your Ideas

Don`t be scared to share your ideas with people especially when you are studying at a University. Testing and trying different things build the attitude of solving problems and makes you sensitive to handle problems effectively.

Most of the students believe that their ideas are not perfect but perfection is a subjective theme. So, don’t use perfection as an excuse.  Proposing and expressing your ideas independently allows you to initiate at a small level to apply the wisdom and experiences of others in multiple ways if you can follow the potential opportunities where you can express your ideas precisely and clearly can contribute hugely in the world along with personal success

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I will share a very small example from my personal experience—

I proposed a few simple experiments to my supervisor which aligned perfectly with the ongoing research in the laboratory.  My supervisor permitted me to execute the idea. The objective of the idea was to replace the standard nutrient or food solution of algae by the cattle waste to reduce the cost of producing algae. If you are a biologist or studying the related field, you might understand it more. Just imagine that you are trying to replace the plastic with bioplastic.

It is usual if you feel a bit anxious in the early stage of research or start-up because of inconsistency and setbacks. You must keep your concentration and consistency in your project where it belongs and learn to respond with a conscious and calm mind. There will be moments when you will think to quit your project which is mostly due to compulsive behavior or desire for quick results. Let them pass as most of the present problems won’t matter in the coming five months. And remind yourself about consistency or any positive experience that you have read will help you overcome the hurdles. These small choices that you will make for your project will be eventful and culture you to become a problem solver. It is your responsibility, but if you quit the project then your responsibility is over, so make your progress. This is why a student should utilize his University time effectively to have that an extra edge among the cream students.

I was learning and unlearning quickly because I was setting up experiments and failing regularly; therefore, I was producing more data and eliminating the things that were not working. Eliminating things in work or research is one of the best ways to increase the efficiency in your decision making and reaching your final professional goal.

Well, the idea of working in a laboratory is different as compared to attending classes as it is not the standard way of learning in the day to day life.  Occasionally, you will have doubts in your strategy as working on a project without any hope of getting a quick reward is not the way the regular school or university teaches you, but it shows you that it takes time to create something new. It will guide you to respect the audacity of your dreams. You will need to strengthen the ideas by diversifying the experiments or conditions.

The experience of undergraduate research will always have a lot to teach you and will give you important questions to think about.

There is always something to learn in every failure which teaches you to create your problem-solving equation. This attitude of working makes you an extended and better version of yourself by developing your planning, long term patients, and communications skills. More importantly, enjoying the experience of science or creating an independent project is the most rewarding feeling. Consistent trying improves your persuading skills which always give you a prejudicial advantage as you will learn to express better.

I made frequent mistakes which caused me to repeat the whole experiment from the starting. Sometimes, it was taking two months to repeat the complete test because of one small error. The results will depend on your efforts and positive mindset to embrace the passion for science and learning from every mistake.

To win scholarships or convince the selection committee, you need to build a strong foundation which will only progress with time and consistent efforts. You need to understand expressing your ideas in words is very critical for your application to be shortlisted for final selection. It gives you the edge over other applicants and increases your success rate in various forms.

Stay tuned. it is about to get more interesting 😉

How to Win Scholarships? Consistent Interaction with scientists, investors or leaders.

In my last blog, I shared the importance of networking in University and high school to build your diverse networks that have Huge impact in your profile to Win INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS.

Today, I am going to share one of the important networks that I made in my University time which has helped me in every step of the journey to winning International Scholarships.

Here is the link

https://talkwithnik.com/2019/05/09/how-to-win-scholarships-work-on-your-networking/

Continuing the Journey after the director of the department introduced me to one of the Young Scientist working in the area of Algae Biotechnology.

When I first met the scientist, I didn’t have any clear idea about what I am going to say. So, I explained to her my broad interests and shared the past research projects that I had done in High school. She said that her funding is for a specific project but, I will get to learn everything new. Getting a chance to be a part authentic laboratory is an excellent opportunity. I got introduced to various projects about industrial applications of algae which have now booming industry.  I was ecstatic. My supervisor introduced me to a Ph.D. student who was my instructor in the laboratory. It was just six months past of my 1st year of undergraduate school, and I have already landed an excellent place to work.

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Some of you might call it luck, but It was the constant communication with seniors, professors, and director of the department that led me to this lab. Reaching out all the possible options will increase your overall value and chances of being a part of something bigger than you, and as a result, you will receive far more diverse knowledge than other students. To extract the maximum juice from your university life, you need to acquire more non-cognitive skills in addition to cognitive skills.

The way you interact with all the team members in the laboratory is the way your learning ability and career curve will progress. Since the beginning, I had great relationships with all the members and Ph.D. student who was my guide in the laboratory. She gave me the related reading material to know about the become project in detail. Though I knew that reading hardcore scientific articles will be difficult at that time, but I continued the process to know the right way to develop my scientific reading and writing skills. It was my responsibility to take the personal initiatives by going through various online blogs and magazines which are the best source of interdisciplinary information in any subject which was indeed useful to know more about the renewable energy market and research. In the next few weeks, I started learning new techniques like to grow algae and make biofuels from them. Taking a course which is opposite to regular customs of the university such as exams and assignments will expose you to brilliant ideas and inspire you to think differently.

Ph.D. and other senior students are aware of their responsibilities and daily tasks.  It is an official program where faculty, department and other team members regularly interact to keep track of every aspect of an individual project. The things will be different for an undergraduate student but if the student makes the excellent use of the opportunity both in lab and bench can turn out to be the most fulfilling experience. Students who work in their undergraduate school either scientific or non-scientific by learning new workflows, tools, processing data and formulating further questions.

For much of your school and university life, you are trained to be a right part of the system which is essential for law and order of the society. But if you want to think beyond this single and defined strategy. One must adapt to the change with technology and market to attain a more diverse experience. Undergraduate school is the best time to know if you like the idea of research or if it meets the requirement of your career curve. Getting into the laboratory or even in regular contact with one supervisor working on a secondary research project gives you a broader idea of the scientific world. The working experience in a laboratory or field will teach you additional vital skills that can be incorporated easily in other domains of work such as time and project management. A biologist will experiment either in a laboratory or environment whereas a business student can research the specific market or clients.

One should adapt to use bold strategies in undergraduate school as it expands the profile in many ways which shows the potential of the student. Most of the students have assumed that securing good marks will make them achieve the fulfilling experience or dream project which is the tragic way. Instead, they should expand there horizon by learning from the experience of your supervisors or seniors. One way to do this is to communicate frequently with your supervisor and next immediate senior about your doubts and ideas through email, WhatsApp or any other medium which is acceptable by both parties. Have the presence of mind while communicating with your colleagues. What makes your undergraduate successful is not the efficient completion of monotonous college routine which million other students are doing around the world. But it is the diversity and richness of your experiences that make you unique.

Working with a collaborative mindset increases the efficiency of research in the workplace; therefore, sharing ideas with colleagues and supervisor will bring out the maximum output for the team. It is critical for personal and group success in science or any other venture as it increases both individual and group participation. Furthermore, with positive guidance from your supervisor and team members can strengthen your ideas. It is important to coordinate your ideas between two or more people to achieve the final purpose.

Next blog will be focused on Ideas and expressing your ideas without fear…

Stay tuned 😉