Ways Student can actively be engaged in Independent Projects while studying in University

There is nothing called failure in Student Life. It`s all learning and improvising.

Every student has some dream of either becoming a scientist, an athlete or an actor. The internet is really divided into extremes and has content either for elite university students or entrepreneurs who are drop out from the top-notch university. But I do not belong to neither of them. Therefore, I started this blog for students from developing countries or students with low resources or opportunities. The only prerequisite is that you have to start the process of executing as early possible. Let’s say that you start in your high school or first year of undergraduate school.

If you are interested in getting to know about my journey of studying and working in different countries as a Ph.D. student with scholarships. You can check my blog here- 

How to win Scholarships?

Is it your 50th or 100th project that you have actually tried and have failed to execute? It is the hardest part of the progress. But you got to realize that you had the strength and patience to try at least 20,50 100 projects. Both numbers and results do not matter while you are trying and learning different ideas. But the speed of your executing definitely matters as it defines that you are actually thinking and creating ideas to execute your idea either you are contacting the collaborator, shooting a video for your academic or fitness project, writing an in-depth blog or ebook.

Time management and information about working hours is quite subjective which keeps changing as per the demands of your activities and lifestyle. I usually don’t understand the concept of time management for the student who is engaged in so many things. But there is one thing that a student can control and distribute its energy to specific activities which are utmost important.

Channeling all your energy to the important actions or events of your day will increase your productivity with ease, time and happiness. This can be done by organizing your mind with the idea of the amount of energy you have in you to utilize it with a focus on completing certain duties with complete attention.  This idea of energy management will grow into awareness with the practice of utilizing your energy precisely.

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I am referring everything to the energy because I am pretty sure you have heard these sentences –

I am in a relaxed mood

I am tired

I am quite energetic and so on.

If you can understand these moods and energy to channel it towards related productive activities, it will automatically grow in different directions with the consistent and solid grind. The application of energy management in your daily life also enhances your strength to accept the changes.

The uncommon and unique trajectory of a student with precise utilization of your energy will indeed shape your energy investment into some unique product in terms of personal and professional development.

But students focus on time management which leads to so many ugly stories of students. There cannot be more ugly and terrible news that rate of depression, suicides, and emotional disorders have increased tremendously across the globe.

Ideas to manage and invest your energy as a Student

Enter and choose the field where you like to devote completely. In some or most cases, you cannot choose the field because of one or the other reason. I can understand but in that situation, choose that as your sub-field and work on it religiously. Invest good quality of your energy in the project either fitness or writing.  There is no one systematic way of learning a subject and field that you enjoy. If you are really passionate and devotional about the project, you will figure out the ways to invest your energy and find and unlock new strategies to learn anything.

Did you ever notice your performance during the peak hours or during the high rush of the deadline approaching? It is indeed fantastic how so many students can outperform themselves and achieve incredible results.

Do not establish a routine

It creates unnecessary resistance and limitations to stay within the time frame. Instead, if you are really enjoying the process of your work, there is no way that you will be bound to time. Enjoying the process pumps you to do an extra pushup, run a mile longer even if you are exhausted. The enjoyment in the work will kick you in without breaking any mind and time barriers. Enjoying the process and channeling your energy towards the work that you like the most will produce more work than you are supposed to do in a timeline.

There are always a few things like writing, communicating your project or handling administrative work in your project that you might not like. Notice these things carefully and never put this off until the last minute as nobody is going to come for you.

If you are a student and if you want to do your dream project, you will have to do everything on your own in the beginning stages. 

The idea of shifting and delaying to learn the difficult tasks needed for your project will not work. Try to avoid using the famous line “I work effectively under pressure”. It`s fine as it’s your genuine way of working.

But one only reach the spot of working under the pressure with consistent delaying and procrastinating about million other micro things which do not matter.

Eliminating the distractions in your School and University time period is of the essential elements for your project to flourish at a high rate. Everyone has different distractions but the most common will stealing minutes in between your work to watch a youtube video, communicating with your friends about useless and micro things. This is you investing your finite energy towards distractions which will ultimately kill your motivation to execute and finish the tasks of the day.

Engaging with social and cultural groups

This one is not easy to understand and explain when you are in your High school and undergraduate. Interactions and communications in these groups happen at a different level in an interdisciplinary approach. Social and cultural groups which are distributed uniformly and connects every single entity of the system or any organization that you are linked with.  These social and cultural groups will have common platforms in the University and digitally where they will gather for meetings.

Contribute to these platforms

Find an International Societies and nonprofit organization

The advanced members in these societies have already developed a sense of leadership and management skills which comes with experience. It is a strategic decision to work on these skills if you are not a born leader/manager. These international societies are usually advised by senior researchers or leaders who have links around other international societies and can put you in the related networks which will help you push your career.

How to engage in International Societies or nonprofit organization?

The best way is to join and volunteer for the organization. Once you have entered the place, interact with people from a different domain, create online projects, create content and fundraising events for them.

These strategies will help you understand the fundamentals of networking which can you use all your life. If you want to enhance your networking-

Follow these steps

  • Interact consistently with all the members in the societies or groups
  • Offer your services within or outside the system for free. It will act as a catalyst for your future ventures
  • Be humble and share opportunities with students who don`t know new things.

It will always be WIN- WIN for you 

 

 

 

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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? 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.

 

 

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 😉