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Svetlana Dimovski

Svetlana Dimovski Advisor while a Ph.D. Student: Dr. Yury Gogotsi
Year of Graduation: 2006

How did you decide to come to Drexel MSE for a Ph.D.?

I learned about Drexel’s MSE program through my personal network. My co-advisor at the University of Novi Sad in Serbia recommended the Drexel MSE department to me. Her former mentee, Dr. Miladin Radovic, was a full time graduate student at Drexel MSE at the time when I was exploring my options for graduate studies in the USA. We heard about the Drexel MSE program through him. I made my decision after learning more about Drexel and life in the Philadelphia metro area from Miladin. Obviously, current and former students can be excellent recruitment advocates as they have the first-hand experience that connects closely to prospective students.

First Job Post-Graduation and Brief Description of Duties:

Scientist at the Procter & Gamble Company in Cincinnati, OH. Our lab is a part of the Analytical Discovery department and we have a mixed portfolio of projects and assignments, ranging from the development of upstream technologies to capability building, analytical problem solving, and providing scientific evidence for intellectual property, claims and demos.

How did you find your first job?

I saw a job advertisement on one of the job search engines, I believe it was Monster.com. Although I was looking for an academic position at that time, the P&G position seemed to be a good match with my training background and it looked promising as far as personal growth and leadership opportunities. I decided to give it a try.

What have you been doing since?

I joined P&G almost 3 years ago and I still feel as if I am at the beginning of an exciting journey. Besides science, this is an amazing place for practicing leadership and business building skills. The scale is sometimes simply overwhelming and that’s exactly what I love about it. There is not a single day that passes without me learning new facts about products, innovation strategies, business and people or market growth. It amazes me how many technical, leadership and strength building seminars are offered through our learning system. A number of times I have felt like a child in a candy shop. So, I guess I’ve been learning a lot lately and growing stronger each day. It’s simply that phase of life and I am fully embracing it. Fulfillment is truly satisfying whenever I get the chance to share this knowledge and help others grow into their best too.

How do you feel your Ph.D. research and education have contributed to your job?

They helped immensely, of course. I would never be where I am now if it was not for school and the experience that goes with it.

Do you have any advice for students looking for a Ph.D. program or for current students?

Good question, here are few of my key learning tenets:

  • Education is a great eye, heart and mind opener and if you are on this quest, enjoy it and take the most out of it. PhD programs offer a great place to expand your knowledge, but there is so much more about it than just a formal education and employability. We live in a historic moment when knowledge is open and “the world is flat.” Knowledge alone is not a competitive advantage anymore. Know-how might still be for some time, but it is not sure for how long. All information can be nowadays easily retrieved through the internet and, with the aid of expert systems, it is possible to quickly find a practical solution for most technical problems. Nowadays, large scale innovation processes are routinely managed using an open source mass collaboration approach and the pace of innovation is faster every day. So, perhaps the most important skill that one can get through a PhD program is actually an opportunity to practice building collaborative networks and partnerships. Highly specialized technical skills will make you an expert in the field, but the ability to engage and excite a team of people towards the successful accomplishment of a goal or a mission will make you a star. Use your time in your PhD program to practice this very important transferrable skill as much as possible.
  • Take time to get to know yourself well and know what your personal values, traits and drives are. Integrity has always been highly appreciated in any society in every historic moment and it was always and still is considered a foundation to building productive and healthy relationships with other people. Speaking and acting with integrity is almost impossible without investing time to explore, discover and get to know well who you are and what you stand for. Seek out growth opportunities and invest time to arrive into a coherent system of who you are. Making decisions and choices later on in life will be far easier and certainly always highly appreciated among your friends and business partners.
  • Take time to learn edges and boundaries. Get to know your boundaries, doubts and especially fears. Consider them your personal lighthouse. These teach us what our biggest growth opportunities are. Understand your comfort zone and once in a while explore respectfully the world outside of it. Get a good coach, mentor or advisor who will help you grow and whom you will help to grow too.
  • Embrace and celebrate differences. They make this world a beautiful place to be. They are one of the driving forces in nature and an enrichment that we’ll get to appreciate even more the older we get. During my PhD program at Drexel MSE, I was blessed to establish a few very precious friendships that span across diverse cultural, age and cognitive differences. I’ll cherish these for the rest of my life.
  • Go beyond expected. Seek for extracurricular and extraordinary learning. Check out Drexel’s Creating Excellent Organizations program - it will help you prepare for life after school whether you decide to go to academia, to a corporation or if you decide to start your own business. Help your junior fellow students whenever you get the chance. Find and get to know a new person every day. Reach out to fellow professionals from local industries, students and professors at other local universities or people who share completely different areas of interest. This will help you practice and nurture a spirit of creativity.
  • Enjoy the process and have fun. Learn not to be hard on yourself. Self-nurture is a first step towards creating a nurturing environment. Learn how to find flow in what you do at school or at home. Surround yourself with people who think positive. Learn how to move forward through difficult times. Never lose faith that you can do it. If something strains you too much, check how much it is really important to you, not to people around you. Enjoy your youth. Sing, laugh and dance as much as you get a chance. Have a blast and always leave some room for surprises. Don’t let high expectations put you down or sabotage you by keeping you confined within a single opportunity space. You will be fine. Your family, friends and parents will love you no matter what. Congratulations for considering or choosing Drexel MSE for your PhD program and I hope you’ll enjoy it at least as much as I did.

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Last updated Monday, July 14, 2008