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  • Category: General

    Should I follow my father or defy him?

    I am an 18 year old Indian student. I have just cleared JEE-Mains and am about to pursue B.Tech(Mech.Engg.) at Thapar University, Patiala. My father is a businessman who runs a company opened by my grandfather. He is currently the Managing Director of the company alongwith my uncle. I am into Physics and i really want to pursue a PhD in physics at one of the most prestigious universities in the world. I think (no bragging) that i have a decent chance at that as i am fairly good at physics and mathematics and my high school teachers also advised me to pursue a career related to physics. But, here i am standing at a junction in my life. I don't know what to do. My father is planning my career path alongwith my uncle keeping in mind that at the end i have to work at their factory only. So they are not really asking but telling me to take up specific courses required for the same. Physics is my passion, but i cannot say no to my father on his face. What should i do? Any form of help or advice is much appreciated.
  • #570386
    There appears nothing unusual in the scenario. I think in most of the cases, it so happens. Parents desire something else and the children wish to pursue another career path.
    Regarding the specific case cited by the author, only broader observations can be made as the final outcome depends on a number of factors. In case the author has brothers also, then the situation will be different than the case when he is alone. The size of the factory and its annual turn over may be the other factor.
    Since the age of the author is only 18 years, many possibilities exist. He may discuss the matter with his mother and try to convince her to give him a chance to try for admission in Bachelor of Science (Research) program offered by IISc, Bengaluru. Admission in the course is available through IIT-JEE (Main and Advanced) route also.

    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

  • #570387
    Adeshpal welcome to this site as a new member and your first post really gives the catch 22 situation for every member to give the right advise. I do agree that you have your own aspirations to pursue higher goals in Physics and that can always be done by looking after the family business. Please understand that parents spend time and money on the children so that they can be helpful in future. Importantly you have already a ready made set up company to look after. What I mean to say that you are blessed now. That you can satisfy the wish of your parents to look after the company and at the same time go for specialization in physics. Of course your parents would also support any way. What I mean to say that you need not put effort on your company and its progress, just your presence is enough and utilize the time for studying Physics as special course through distance education. That is really possible and your aim would be achieved.
    K Mohan
    I consider myself as the learner everyday

  • #570388
    My mother supports me completely, it is my father who is hard to get through. I am an only child, and that is why i think its difficult for me to select career path of my choice. The annual turnover is big enough but that's not even the point. Even if my father was the richest business man in our state, it wouldn't have made a slight difference. I am not looking forward to get a high package job, but i want to study in a top foreign university and hopefully get any job which has something to do with physics. If you could recommend me some undergraduate courses which are preferable for pursuing PhD in physics, i would be heartily thankful.

  • #570401
    Since you are only a teenager of 18, you have a long way to go. You can fullfil your aspiration as well as your father's aspiration. Tell your father that you would continue your studies till the age of 25 and thereafter take care of you and his business.
    No life without Sun ¤

  • #570410
    Adeshpal Singh (#570388) - I have already mentioned perhaps the top udergraduate program in physics in India in my response #570386 .
    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

  • #570417
    @ Adeshpal Singh , see, this is an emotional thinga dn life chaning decision, If I would be at your place I will definitely jin for my higher course in Physics. Because Father and Uncle can hire a person for growing the business, as you are at young age, you can join your family business at later stage, but if at this age you join the business, then you might not able to fulfill to complete your passion and goals alter, there is chances of mind change, and you just run behind the money and success, I respect the family, and the willing of father, but once you get success in Physics research, father will be the first person to feel more happy. As till the date you are not part of the business but still business going on and in future it will also go on without you.

  • #570428
    Though this thread qualifies to be posted in Experts section, as so many members have responded, I also shall present my views.

    I take a part of a line from the post of Swagatika Pattanaik , " Father and Uncle can hire a person for growing the business.." I take that as the core. In spite of the fact that you are nobody now and they can employ experienced professionals, why they want you to be in their business? Why are they 'grooming' you? They want you as the entrepreneur/owner/partner/stake holder and one involved in the family business. Personally I will say that you are really blessed.

    As of now what you have is a rosy dream of a teenager. Nothing wrong in that. But real life challenges are quite different. If Mahesh Ambani and Anil Ambani would have thought to pursue their own different ways and not joined their father Dhirubhai ji, then we would not have the success story of the vast Reliance family empire.I think there may be many hundreds willing to join your elder's business.

    There is no problem without solution if discussed with calm and balance. Discuss with your father and uncle what they really have in mind for you. If they can convince you simply accept and follow their advice. Put tour body and mind to complete that course with excellence and join your company. Do research there and improve the company and take it to heights.

    Otherwise, if you have real fire in you to take you through the 5 years of graduation plus post graduation and then the uncertain years of doctoral completion, and you can really convince your father and uncle on that, you will be better equipped after that to run your family business, then they will definitely allow you to pursue your wish.

    There is physics in daily life and even in your family company. A really talented and focused person can work with physics even without PhD. Mechanical Engineering has also Physics in it. You can apply Laws of Physics in a more practical and useful way with an Engineering degree and practical field to work.

    Your parents are better well wishers of you than many of us. Discuss frankly and sincerely with them.

    Let us keep faith on ourselves and work sincerely, not leave everything to fate.

  • #570431
    Since you've come here looking for advice I am hoping that you will appreciate an honest opinion.

    At 18 not many people know what they really want in life, leave alone know which way their future is going to head. That you have a plan chalked out for yourself is a good thing. However, there are a few dents in your plan that need smoothening.

    Congratulations on clearing the JEE Mains, but do take into account that your score did not get you into one of the elite schools in the country. If you aim to get into 'one of the most prestigious universities in the world' the first step would be to get an undergraduate degree from an institution that is recognized the world over – an IIT, an NIT or BITS Pilani would definitely improve your chances of living your dream. Since you are intelligent why not drop a year and prepare for next year's JEE! You can aim for a better score which will enable you to get into one of the reputed institutions which in turn will help pave the way for your future.

    Getting admission into top ranking international universities is not that simple. A lot of things are in play – including your academic background. Remember, you will be competing with the best brains in the world for a place in the most prestigious global university. Your physics and mathematics scores in your board exams and in JEE should give you an idea of where you truly stand.

    It might seem selfish that your folks are putting their dreams before yours, but sometimes parents know best. They have your good at heart, even if that means preventing you from doing something close to your heart.

    Joining a well-established family business is not a bad idea at all. Look at it this way - you get everything on a platter – no struggles to climb up the ladder. Once you join the business you will be able to diversify into different businesses. You could probably start manufacturing components for different industries where you can put your physics skills to good use.

    If you still feel your future lies in pursuing a PhD in physics then the only way out is to speak your mind out. No point holding onto desires and regretting later in life. Look for an opportune moment and speak to your dad. Tell him this is what you want to do. Let him know that your mind/heart is not in joining the family business (not yet, at least). You will need to be convincing when you tell him that it is your life and you want to plan it your way. Give him reason to believe in your ambitions. Point out your board and JEE scores to him. Tell him that wanting to do something that you want in no way means that you will let the family business go to ruins. Assure him that you will someday take over the reins of the family business, but you are not ready to do so now. Ask him to trust your abilities and let you do what you want, because that is what find satisfying.

    A fool will always try to make sense of his nonsense!

  • #570530
    Just follow your dream, I know the pressure of parents are there, but you have to talk with your parents and get them know that you are good student who wants to follow his dream. Just talk and go for your better future.

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