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What kind of work is the best

My Google Summer of Code project is going to end soon. Yesterday, I met with my mentor Ashish again on Skype. He told me that if I planed to read PHD in the USA, he can help write a recommendation letter. Two very possible options would be Emory(his university) and Georgia Tech(in the same city Atlanta). That's very nice of him. I've never thought about that. Now, It might be a good timing to think a little bit about my future career.

My opinion on reading PHD changes from year to year. When I first started my undergraduate study, I thought it would be so rewarding to become an expert in one field of study. Honestly, I was very eager to read a PHD in the States at that time. However, after noticing that most PHDs and researchers are not really doing very remarkable things, and some are even not very passionate about their own research, I started to doubts. I also realize that theories are not making me excited and I'm not so strong in academics, I doubted again. However, the future is uncertain, so I'll probably prepare GRE and see how it goes.

Another thing is about the bond. I've got a serious bond saying that I have to work in Singapore-registered company for 6 years for taking Singapore's scholarship. It is so troublesome and my freedom is strongly constrained.  I feel like a victim for taking this big debt as a scholarship. When signing the bond, I optimistically thought that there would be ways to pursue my dream career without worrying this bond too much. I naively believed that anything that can be solved with money is no big deal. But indeed, this scholarship is a fairly big deal. It's like a threshold that brings up the opportunity cost.

The Ministry of Education in Singapore will request me to provide a large amount of security deposit( I heard it's like 200,000 USD) in a Singapore bank which is not affordable by my family. The interest rate is fairly high as well. Most scholarship holder stay in Singapore since the money is just too much. Some of them read PHD in Singapore universities and later work in Singapore. There are seniors who choose to break the bonds, but unless they get admitted by either very prestigious universities like MIT, Stanford etc or super prestigious companies like Google. Georgia Tech and Emory are good, but am I really that into research?  If I took my undergraduate study in China, I will definitely go for Georgia Tech/Emory, or even infamous universities. But I'm in Singapore now and the situation is very different.

After talking with my academic mentor in NUS and self-exploring in some group projects, I discover myself a bit more. I seem to be more entrepreneurial than academic. I'm not very clever, but I love to learn from people. I hate people making use of each other for their own success, but I enjoy working with people who genuinely love each other. I'd like to create a successful company to help solving the world's problems.

Today, I happen to see a short video of Kaifu Lee, a former Google China CEO saying that the best job is that you can keep learning while working. I guess that's referring to the working environment in Google. I would like to do something creative, like making a real product, taking adventures, writing a piece of music, etc. I would like to become a tech expert, a CTO, too. But these things are not coming from nowhere. It requires years of engagements and passions. I'm walking towards these uncertain goals.

I probably need to take into my childhood dreams into accounts as well as what Prof. Randy suggested. My childhood dream was to become a musician, to become a scientist and to invent something. It would be just great if I become a computer scientist specialized in music related computer technology and invent an app for music lovers,haha. I'm now proposing my first pop song in the music school lab. That's a small step.

The priority so far for the coming 5 years is: Google >Israel >MIT/Stanford PHD>(Product development in small teams of great tech companies=music related technology/service/app)>(other PHDs=serving bond=start my own company)>become nobody. Google and MIT/Stanford PHD are not very likely to become true, unless I work 200% harder. Who knows, Life is random and fun!


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