The only other person to start a Ph.D. in my department at the same time as me had his defense today. I'm thrilled for him - he's done some really cool work and he's one of those people that seems likely to go forth and shine in the future. But as I listened to his advisor laudingly introduce him, citing his numerous accomplishments, I felt a sense of inadequacy. Here's why: He's defending in <3.5 years, and as his advisor pointed out, he would have defended in exactly 3 years if not for some funding issues. While he's been here, he's published 2 papers from his masters (mine's been shelved, never again to see the light of day), has on Ph.D. paper accepted, another in review in Nature, and two more ready to submit (one to Science). My accomplishments just don't stack up at least not on the publication front. But I can think of a few things to console myself:
- His specialty is more likely to publish papers in Nature and Science than is mine (I don't have data to prove this though).
- I've gotten more teaching experience during the Ph.D. than he has (but he had a lot more going in).
- He's been in the office early every morning and, for the first 2 years, he seemed to be there late every night. I've had other things going on in my life besides work (but what they are and when I do them I'm not sure).
- He did way less field work than me (but probably more lab work), and as everyone knows, field work is really time intensive.
- We've applied to a few of the same jobs, but even with his better pub record, if a department really wants someone in my specialty and only sort of wants someone in his than I may have a better chance than him at getting the interview.
- He's defended his diss without having a job or postdoc lined up for the fall, at least I've got the good sense (and the funding and the work left to do) not to defend until August.