Back in 2009, the pharmaceutical company I was working for held a screening of Naturally Obsessed: The Making of a Scientist; in the library. I believe the makers of the movie – Richard Rifkind and Carole Rifkind were there – to speak to us about their documentary which followed 3 doctoral students (Rob, Kikpatrick, and Gabe) and their advisor(Larry Shapiro) for 3 years. The film chronicles the personal struggles, day-to-day laboratory tasks, and overall drama that entails the process of becoming a scientist.
You might be wondering what kind of job screens movies during the middle of the day for employees, but that was the beauty of it. The documentary is only an hour long, and that was the usual length of time allotted for lunch anyway.
I had just completed my masters degree and had only been working in industry for a few months at the time, so I was fresh out of academia. The university I attended had the option of being a “thesis” or “non-thesis” masters graduate student. Although, I was conducting research, I chose the non-thesis option – I had started my graduate career while still in undergrad – since I was well advanced and was not receiving funding. I always planned on returning to school for my doctorate degree; in which case I’d do my research then. Anyway, I say all of this because, it was at the time of watching this film that it was affirmed for me that I was to become a scientist. Everything about it resonated with me and I just knew that the journey I was witnessing was one that I would share in and traverse on my own.
So, if you are interested in getting a look at what it’s like to be a doctoral student(which I currently am) in research and science take a look at this film. Here is the trailer: