The Accidental PhD

When I started my academic journey many moons ago, earning my PhD was barely a flickering light. Actually, I wanted to go to college because my brother did. I figured if he could do it, then college must be a cool thing. The PhD part was a distant side journey. Or did I get here by accident?

Small world

I recently had a conversation with someone who asked, ‟If you could start your career over again, what would you do?″ The first thought was to study zoology and be the director of a zoo. My next choice was to go to medical school and be a psychiatrist.

The person admitted that zoology was a strong interest in undergrad as well. Small world

Fast forward to today. I had several twists and turns in nonprofit management, entrepreneurship, and a variety of success and failures. But did I really want to earn a PhD?

It was not at the top of my ‘to do’ list. I knew that more education was on my radar. Somehow you just know these things.

A good fit

My parents taught me that education is about opportunity. Education offers you different ways to use your mind, skills, experiences, and life lessons to make the world a better place. In hindsight, education was a no brainer for me.

I don’t know if I arrived here by accident or if it was in the back of my mind all this time. Or if it was always in my DNA. But a PhD feels like a good fit.

And aside from the feeling of accomplishment, exploring and questioning ideas, it confirmed my intuition all along: You can continue to learn throughout your life.

It might be will power, a burning desire to know something, or just plain stubbornness. Whatever it is, I’m happy to be engaged and active in the learning process in all its forms.

Your dream

Dr. Patti and I created this website to give back and help other graduate students achieve their dreams.

We met in the virtual world and pulled each other along to complete our academic journeys. We made our luck by pushing ourselves to the finish line.

Not a journey for everyone. But if you find yourself following a doctoral path maybe… it’s no accident.


Dr. Bessie

Nothing will work unless you do. 
~~~Maya Angelou~~~

Author: Dr. Bessie DiDomenica

Food Policy Researcher • Resilient Agriculture Advocate • Public Speaker • Public Policy Wonk • Writer • Teacher • Social Entrepreneur • Associate Editor

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