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What Were They Thinking (standard:other, 1624 words)
Author: JuggernautAdded: Oct 30 2010Views/Reads: 1568/1001Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Expereinces of a frustated young man.

What Were They Thinking? 


Subba Rao 

Getting a diploma from a college was easy part, getting a job
particularly if one was considered as an outsider, for whatever reason, 
will be challenging, to say the least. Contrary to what many believe, 
higher the degree, say a Ph.D., or an M.D, tougher it gets to get a 
job, a real challenging job. 

The external evaluator, an American Professor was all praise for
Juggernaut's graduate work. The visiting American Professor spent a 
week giving lectures and participating in other events on the Campus.  
On one occasion, Juggernaut caught up with the American Professor in a 
conversation.  Juggernaut was hoping to open a dialogue with the 
Professor that can lead to an inquiry into possibilities for a post 
doctoral fellowship with the Professor in the United States. 

“We have lots of graduate students from South Asia particularly from
your native country,” said the Professor. 


“There are fine institutions in your country, I don't understand why
they come to US, you know.” “I believe they come to US to get jobs and 
permanently settle in America,” the American Professor continued his 
monologue. “The graduate students from Middle East pay tuition fee and 
on receiving degree, they go back to their countries, not so with south 

“Middle East countries are rich with oil money,” Juggernaut expressed
his humble opinion without offending the Professor in anyway. The 
conversation was not going well at all, thought Juggernaut.  The 
American; an immigrant himself from England several decades ago 
appeared more like a hyena not wanting to share the stolen kill with 
anybody. That evening Juggernaut thought about the conversations he had 
with the Professor, after all, the Professor himself told him that he 
came to America as a young student and now after several decades 
working in one of the best universities in Midwestern United States, 
had such an opinion about south Asian students aspiring to come to US. 
What was he thinking? The idea of asking for a post doctoral fellowship 
was dead even before asking the Professor. 

Tom White, a student from England, and Juggernaut were both
post-graduate students in a related field, and both applied for a job 
in a developing country.  At the time of job interviews, the University 
Academic Committee has already approved Juggernaut's thesis to award 
Ph.D. degree whereas Tom was still working on his thesis.  Though both 
were equally qualified, since Juggernaut's thesis was approved and 
immediately available for the job, Juggernaut expected to be selected. 
After the interviews, Tom was offered the job. 

After Tom accepted the contract, the University Academic Committee
rejected his thesis and he was asked to repeat some portions of his 
work for re-validation. The position for which Tom was selected could 
not get off the ground since Tom had to continue his graduate work. The 
selection committee had no choice but to give Tom a year of absence 
from the position even before he started the work. The selecting 
committee members in selecting the candidate for the job were highly 
educated, no non-sense professionals and yet used simple reasoning in 
decision making; the job went to the person from the country of origin 
of the selecting committee.  Here, the well-trained minds acted in a 
simplistic manner to arrive at a decision that was too obvious. A team 
of researchers from an Ivy League University in the United States were 
working on a project in an adjoining lab to Juggernaut's.  Dr. 
Lowentoff was one of them.  An opportunity to work at an Ivy League 
would be a dream comes true for anybody. 

“We love to have you join in our team in US, but your professor here
instead wants a local student for the fellowship, we were disappointed, 
Juggernaut,” said Dr. Lowentoff. 

Juggernaut was pleasantly surprised, he was not aware that the research

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