• Question: Were you set on this felid on science? Whats the best part of your job? How long did it take you too become what you are now? What is the best reward of your job?

    Asked by 268hyda36 to Avani, Jeff, Kenzi, Lindsay, Zoe on 11 May 2015. This question was also asked by Kittycat24.
    • Photo: Zoe GetmanPickering

      Zoe GetmanPickering answered on 11 May 2015:

      Were you set on this field on science?
      I always loved science, so i was always set on it. I wasn’t always set on being an entomologist. At first i thought i would be an environmental scientists, then i thought maybe a forestry scientist. I tried lots of different things and each one told me a little bit more about what i like and don’t like. Right now I am an entomologist(i study bugs). Maybe by the time I am a professor I will be a different kind of scientist.
      Whats the best part of your job?
      There are a lot of answers to that one. I get paid to do what I love. My schedule is really flexible. I get to go outside a lot. I get a perfect mix of intense thinking and mindless work. I get to hang out with really cool people at my work place. Best of all is that I get to play with bugs all day.
      How long did it take you too become what you are now?
      It took me 23 years. :D. I’m kidding. After I graduated from high school I studied for 4 years in college and then I took a gap year where I worked in a science lab.
      What is the best reward of your job?
      The best reward is when you have put in months of hard work into a project setting it up, maintaining it, harvesting it, getting all the data and analyzing it then sudently you have the answer to the question you were testing and you know that all your hard work paid off.

    • Photo: Jeff Shi

      Jeff Shi answered on 12 May 2015:

      I was never set on this at all. I was a musician for a long time, then a writer, then a music writer all long before I ever did a single bit of “research” or considered myself a scientist. But now, the best part of being a scientist is being able to look at the world, be curious about it, ask questions, and find answers. And I’m not going to lie, another plus is really being THE expert at something. It’s been a long challenge – 6 or 7 years of solid science work so far, but every day I find something new is the best reward I can ask for.

    • Photo: K. Lindsay Hunter

      K. Lindsay Hunter answered on 12 May 2015:

      Awww! I was hoping you DID mean “felid” of science, because I was imagining a big KITTY!

      When I was in grade school, I first wanted to be a saint, but after researching that some, decided that it almost always required a VERY career path. Next, I was going to be a writer, and I submitted to “Highlights: For Kids.” When I was in high school, it changed to Shakespearean scholar and street performer to museum curator. In college, I decided to study Holocaust history, which led me to anthropology. I then quickly became interested in human bones (I blame my Grammy reading me too many true crime stories at bedtime as a kid).

      When it came time to apply to grad school, I actually applied to history, a writers’ workshop, and paleoanthropology. It was only in a roundabout way of working in one of the paleo labs that I ended up in this field. I’m very happy with my choice, though I always am looking for ways to marry my loves of history, writing, people, and museums.

      I finished my Masters program in two years, but was in my PhD program for seven years before I left it. I’d like to still finish my PhD, but that just wasn’t the right time. Life intervenes.

      The best reward of my job is that I’m very seldom bored because I’m always learning. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve also gotten away from being hung up on what a scientist “should” look and act like, because this gave me a bad case of something called “imposter syndrome” (feeling like a fake). By returning to my history and reading roots, I’ve found that a lot of the best scientists were those that combined unusual, non-sciency talents with their science, so I’m trying to do that, as well.

    • Photo: Kenzi Clark

      Kenzi Clark answered on 16 May 2015:

      1. I thought I might switch to pre-med in undergrad, but the more I learned about food microbiology, the more I wanted to do that for a career.
      2. Best part of my job is working at General Mills and getting free food samples all of the time!
      3. 12 years
      4. See # 2, and I’ll add on by saying free Honey Nut Cheerios and Progresso soup whenever I’m hungry 🙂