A winding path to satisfaction

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Abstract

When I speak with my students about their future careers, it is clear that many feel there is only one path to success and that any deviations will be catastrophic. My own academic path might seem to support this belief. On the surface, it appears quite linear: undergrad, grad student, postdoc, faculty member. But if you look deeper, you will see the series of roadblocks and revised plans that led me to where I am today. Using my own experience as an example, I try to convince students not to fear bends in the road. In fact, these deviations often help us develop, both as scientists and as people, and lead us to our true passions.

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