The Physics department at FSU is fantastic, and specifically the high energy physics group here is renowned in the field. When I was looking into applying for graduate schools, FSU was one of the first programs that my undergraduate advisor recommended to me. When I came for the accepted student visit, the tight-knit and collaborative community among the students in the department was ultimately what sold me.
Motivation to pursue a graduate degree
The questions that most captivated me since I was young were those of physics: How does the universe really work? What is it made of? I learned that high energy physicists attempt to answer these questions at the most fundamental level, so I got involved in research in the field as an undergraduate student. I knew going to graduate school was the natural next step to get deeper into the research questions I was interested in.
Importance of research and work
We’re learning about the smallest particles that make up everything in the universe! This includes the stars, galaxies, and you and me. This knowledge is good for its own sake to probe at our existential curiosities, but practically, it’s also good for future technologies and inventions that will drive our humanity forward. We wouldn’t have the technology of today without the millennia of accumulated scientific knowledge that came before us.
Advice for anyone considering graduate school
Graduate school will be extremely demanding in many ways, yet very rewarding. If you choose a topic that you’re really passionate about, you’ll find ways to stay dedicated and persistent through the ups and downs.
Accomplishments during graduate career
I’m proud that I made it through the difficult coursework from my first couple years, while getting enough research done to pass the prospectus and become a PhD candidate. I’m also proud that I’ve been a good TA (well, hopefully!) for the undergraduate students in the labs and recitations that I’ve taught and graded for.
I love mentoring and teaching younger students, and I also love doing research in high energy physics; being a professor in physics at a research university would be a great fit for me. However, I know how competitive and difficult this process can be. So I am also open to going out to industry after my PhD, where I can apply the quantitative tools and problem-solving skills I have learned as a physics student to other areas of society.