As of yesterday, I have graduated from my MSc. So now I’m a … post-post-graduate? a double-graduate? Someone with more degrees than sense? (maybe!).
I found graduation day a little odd, thanks to being in the mildly-uncommon situation of graduating from the same university twice. I experienced a few déjà vu moments as a result. Yet some parts of the day were very different. The biggest difference was size: in 2014 I graduated in a class of 200, in a ceremony dedicated to psychology qualifications. Yesterday I was one of a class of 9 (7 of us were at the ceremony). We shared a ceremony with one standard-sized group – biological sciences – and other tiny, specialist, or interdisciplinary subjects.
Observing this reminded me of one reason why I enjoy sci-comm. As much as I respect psychology and maintain my interest in it, sci-comm feels like “my” subject in a way that psychology never quite did. I think this is because sci-comm is interlinked with so many subjects by necessity. There’s always a new way to understand and investigate issues, or new ideas which can be brought in and combined with existing common knowledge. I enjoy this multidisciplinary approach, as it lets me keep a lot of doors open when it comes to learning new things and future decisions.
Graduation also meant time for figuring out what to do now. At least for the short-term, I’m finished with formal education. As this is normally where I’m most able to do new things and fit in, not being in education does feel weird for me.
At the moment, my current plan is to continue working on adapting my dissertation into a journal article, and to find a non-retail job. I’ve returned to actively looking for sci-comm based jobs/internships this month, and found some interesting roles so far. However, looking at the kind of person wanted for many of these roles made me question what I can do to some extent. This led me to a question that I’ll be spending some time on in the near future – am I a scientist? (and if not, what am I?).