We all know what the journey of a graduate student is like, right? Well, not true for this one! Hello guys, my name is Vinam and I am a Ph.D. student in the Pharmaceutical Science program, however, my path in the program has been unconventional, to say the least. After completing my Bachelor of Pharmacy degree in India I transitioned into a Ph.D. program in America. I wasted no time and had my whole life planned for myself but life can, sometimes, throw you curve balls and I learned a few lessons along the way. We all have our map, to guide us, and while it may all be different it does not mean you are heading the wrong way. Let me take you through my journey:
I started my Ph.D. program in Industrial Pharmacy at St. John’s University, New York, but later transferred to Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University. I was happy in the program: I had a Teaching Assistantship in the Division of Life Science, was taking 3 courses a semester and moving along with my project. Basically, it was all smooth sailing and I was on my way to completing my degree until I found out my Mother was sick, in India, and not getting the help she needed. My advisor and I then decided that I should take a one year leave of absence in order to help my mother. I had a very supportive advisor who was ready to help me continue my project upon my return. However, life had different plans for me as I ended up staying in India for 3 years. Not only did I stay longer than expected I also got married along the way. At that point, going back to finish my Ph.D. was becoming harder but I always had an unnerving sense that I had left a great work uncompleted. I realized that completing my Ph.D. degree was the best option for me. However, at this point, my advisor had a full lab and a shot at completing my project seemed bleak. I couldn’t waste any more time and I decided to approach another advisor, Dr. Bozena Michniak-Kohn, who studies drug delivery systems. I liked the ongoing projects in the lab, but it was different from what I had done in the past. However, I had been gone for three years and a new project would be a fresh start for me; I will have to learn new things. In this new lab, I was able to re-start my degree with all my course credits completed. My project involves studying the fungal disease of the nail, Onychomycosis. This is a challenging area but we are motivated to make a positive change to the drawbacks of the current treatment options.
Other than research, I have always had interests in communication, technology, and entrepreneurship. I tried to satisfy my creative urge through several media outlets and previously had a personal. I taught myself how to edit videos and started a YouTube channel to express my ideas. I absolutely love talking to people and engaging in meaningful conversations with them. This pushes me to attend events that bring people from different areas together. I took a course on Communicating Science to learn more about how to effectively communicate my science to people with different background. My interest in communication also led me to become the Social Media and Digital Content Coordinator for the Center for Dermal Research. I currently participate in the iJOBS program to learn about the career options that are available to a fresh Ph.D. By joining the Rutgers iJOBS blog, I am not only satisfying my desire for a creative outlet, but I am also going to try and use my social media expertise to get the deserved outreach to this wonderful program that was started by some great minds. In addition, I am taking a course in Social Entrepreneurship because my goal is to be an entrepreneur and I am eager to learn as much as possible.
I hope you will enjoy my work and I hope I can provide some quality content to the followers of iJOBS blog.