Outgrow Your Limits 2021: Dianne

This is “Outgrow Your Limits”, a three-part series of short interviews with the recent Fall 2021 graduates. We asked one graduate per division about their time at NAIST, and their plans for the future. This post features Dianne Corsino, Ph.D, from the Philippines.

After the graduation ceremony last September 24, 2021, I got a chance to talk with her about her NAIST experience and perspectives.

From which division and laboratory are you from?

Information Device Science Laboratory (Prof. Yukiharu Uraoka), Graduate School of Materials Science

When did you first set foot on the NAIST campus?

June 2015 for a two-month internship. September 2016 for master’s course

What attracted you to enroll in NAIST?

One of the reasons why I enrolled in NAIST is that it covers advanced research areas in my field which I thought will allow me to maximize my potential as a researcher. I thought that I could advance my knowledge and skills using the many available equipment and facilities. And of course, Japan is an interesting country for me given its rich culture attracting tourists from all over the world. So, living in Japan would be an exciting experience for me!

Is there any particular moment or memory that stands out for you during your stay at this university?

If there is one particular moment that stands out during my stay at the university, it would be the graduation day. That was when my 5-year journey in NAIST finally came to an end and it was a fulfilling day for me to be able to see the product of the struggle I chose and enjoyed doing, and just to be where I wanted to be.

What was the biggest challenge you faced during your studies and stay here?

My biggest challenges during my stay in NAIST were two opposite extremes (1) the full season – having too much on the plate and (2) the empty season – failed experiments and being stuck.

How did you overcome this challenge?

First is to recognize the season and the struggle. Second is to pause/rest and reflect. And third is to keep going. I think the sooner I recognize the need to overcome the challenge, the sooner I also get back on track.

What were the factors that encouraged you to complete your degree?

“I didn’t come this far to only come this far.” The main reason why I never backed out is that I was holding on to my purpose why I started the journey in the first place. I stayed focused on my goal to complete the degree for my family, for personal development, and for all the lessons that come with the journey. I also find my supervisors and colleagues encouraging and supportive!

What advice would you give to incoming freshmen and current students with regards to pursuing graduate studies in NAIST?

I think it is a privilege to pursue graduate studies at NAIST. For me, NAIST is conducive to doing research in our respective fields. The advice I want to give to the current and incoming students is to always recommit themselves to their purpose. Attending a graduate school is definitely not an easy journey, even for very passionate people, so it is important to embrace the struggle that comes with it. An effective way to get through graduate school is to establish a good support system, may it be our friends in or outside the campus, family, or even just ourselves.

Has the university helped you prepare for the next step in your life after graduation? In what way/s?

Definitely! The training I had as a master’s and doctoral student in NAIST will be useful for pursuing postdoctoral research. Since I will be working on a related research project, I expect to contribute what I learned from my experiments, and data interpretation and analysis. I also find my manuscript/paper writing and grant application seasons useful to stay in the academe.

What’s your next adventure in life?

Career-wise, I will be staying in the academe to work as a post-doctoral research fellow at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano in Italy. While working in the academic research field, I am also excited to discover what is in this part of the world – life, culture, customs, food, people etc.

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