We expect that a PhD candidate has learnt the art of self management. More than anything, graduate school should teach a student how to direct and prioritize their own learning. A senior researcher typically learns how to see a dead end approaching earlier, and quickly pivots their energy into a likely more fruitful direction. Research in a competitive field also provides opportunity to challenge peers and push back on assumptions. In Data Science at Airbnb we expect this to translate into not accepting the status quo but pushing the boundaries of our assumptions.
“In my own life, I found that whenever I wasn’t sure what to do next, I would go and learn a lot, read a lot, talk to experts. I don’t know how the human brain works but it’s almost magical: when you read enough or talk to enough experts, when you have enough inputs, new ideas start appearing.”