Thursday, February 09, 2006

The dilemma of a Biotechnologist !

Me is the Biotechnologist.....

Rewind 9 years -

Me is in 11th class, in Trichy, wondering what career choice to take...I wanted to do something different.
Doctor - I loved Biology, but just Biology and no math was not challenging enough. Plus there was always too much to do and my doc cousins brainwashed me against it, so forfeited the medical seat I got in a private college..

Engineer - Oh! too much of math and machines - not for me...However really got close to doing Civil engg.. but fate had it otherwise!

Then, my Bro came up with this course, in Industrial Biotechnology at Anna University, Chennai - total of 30 seats from several thousand applications. The Biology, Math and Engineering hybrid course seemed just right for me.....I almost missed it but finally managed to get through. Let me tell you it was almost like the climax of a thriller movie and I was running from corner to crevice in a new city trying to arrange my confirmation fee...oh thats a long story - well I finally got through...

I was in ninth cloud.. and remained there for the next four years.. It was so much fun...I loved my course, my classmates, even my profs!!!

Then came the dilemma...

People would ask me "Ennama padikkare?" [what are u studying]
"oh Engineeringa.. Very good! Very good"

"Uncle it is not actually engineering, it is Biotechnology.. We do lots of Biology!"
"O Doctora?"
"No no, we do research, we make hybrid plants, cloning, find drugs etc."
"Oho I thought that was B.Pharm"

then I give up.."Ya something like that"

4 Years later, when I came to Penn State..
"Hey I am Matt...So wat did u do in ur undergrad?"
"I did my Bachelor's in Technology..majoring........"

"So you are an Engineer huh?! Cool... u must be good at Math.. I'll teach you the Biology.. Can we do our Statistics Assignment together!!"

" Oh, I have done enough and more Biology to understand Mendelian Genetics, DNA structure, Glycolysis ,yatAYATAyayta,.... But we can still do our assignment cos I really suck at Math [ which is soooo true] "

"U are an Engineer and u know so much of Biology! woooooow!!!" thinks to himself "must be a nerd"

After that he decided to stay away from me...

Then at work, I was more recognised as a Biologist with my Master's degree in Immunology. However, since the day I told my colleagues I know a little about "scale up" techniques and chemical engineering, I can see the "geek" or "weirdo" bulb flash whenver they see me!

So, for the past 8 years, Engineers have shunned me cos I'd rather engineer organisms than gadgets and Biologists have avoided me becos, I dont just study organisms but engineer their genetic code.....

Hmmm...I still dont know what I am.. but I know one thing.. the management degree is going to add one more dimension to my dilemma..

I can already hear someone asking " So u r doing an MBA?So wat about all the Biotechnology u used to rave about.." ..
Well wat can I say?
"I am doing MBA so that drug research can be managed better?!" Naaaaaaaaah.. that would require a lot of explanation... " I am an idiot I dint know wat to do with my life" would probably satisfy their curiosity!

1 comment:

aishwarya said...

heh tas quite a few words of encouragement fr a budding biotechnologist!