I’ve been wondering about pursuing a doctoral degree for a long while. It is true that I never denied this option and did the best I could while pursuing my master’s in order to keep it possible. However, there was much going on in parallel to that, and I went to ICAPS last June divided between applying for doctoral studies and buying an apartment (i.e., to settle down for good in São Paulo or to keep my academic options open). Before ICAPS had finished, I had already decided to keep renting and to start studying for the TOEFL and GRE exams.
ICAPS represented a turning point in many different levels. It reminded me what I really like about academia: crazy talks at late hours, passionate work and the desire to go beyond. My roomates were old colleagues from my alma matter, with whom I already had great times staying late at the lab in the past, and who made me remember how fun that was. I also met a number of graduate students with many interests similar to mine, and talked to many professors and post-docs who were really encouraging. It was the sense of belonging that I was missing since I have left academia.
I believe that I have learned a lot in the industry that will help me to succeed in a doctoral program. I am certain that 2013 will be a year of big changes.