Grad students and Agent 007 might just be another two contradicting concepts. But wait; let’s see what they really have in common. Let me start with 5 of the things I can think about as of the moment:
1. Both are knowledgeable on lots of things. We all know that James Bond’s character seems like a Mr. Know-It-All. He knows something about geography, politics, government, culture, and even food and literature. A grad student, as my former professor once said “must know something about everything and a lot about one thing”. I bet that’s a challenge for every grad student, to comprehend every topic that concerns his craft. However, there should be one field he/she should be an expert of.
2. Both have an arsenal of gadgets/tools. Blame it on Dr. Q. Double “O” 7 has submersible cars, mini blowtorches, miniature cameras, state-of-the-art communication systems, whatever you can think of. A grad student on the other hand has all the necessary tools for analysis. Statistical and mathematical tools, software tools, and other analytical tools needed for decision making and problem solving in their field of expertise.
3. Both knows how to improvise and innovate. We can just admire how our favorite spy agent can get out of every dangerous situation. Give all the credit to his resourcefulness and quick thinking. A grad student knows well how to improvise too. In the field of research, they are known to introduce tools or methods in their own field which were taken from other fields. A business analytical tool perhaps can be used in the field of environment or a social research tool is used in the field of engineering. These are just examples of how a grad student innovates and improvises in order to further his/her field of knowledge.
4. Both work even on vacation. If we see James Bond in a beach, or swimming pool, or a bar in a hotel, we all know he’s not on vacation, he’s on a mission. A grad student might also be seen in a resort or a hotel but inside that traveling bag you’ll see some lecture notes, or books, or a laptop with all the study materials in its hard disk. We all know what he’ll be doing whenever he finds the time.
5. Both sometimes don’t follow convention. Our special agent doesn’t care if his methods are acceptable or not as long as he gets good results in the end. Grad students are in the same way unconventional in such a way that they try to find new and fresh ideas in order to improve our understanding of the real world.
I hope it gives us the idea that a grad student’s life is as full of adventure as Agent 007 does. However, I do not claim that they are comparable in any way.