PHutures – 100 Alumni Voices »

Yasamin Nazari

“I think everyone is somehow insecure. So, I think they shouldn’t think that it’s something about them, and they should keep it in mind that they belong, and they can make it work.”

Whiting School of Engineering

Computer Science, PhD 2021

Postdoctoral Researcher at University of Salzburg; Assistant Professor at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Yasamin‘s Podcast Episode

In this episode, we discuss how Yasamin navigated the decision to pursue a postdoc and a career in academia versus industry, her advice for managing feelings of insecurity and imposter syndrome, and the challenges and opportunities of relocating to different countries to pursue her academic and professional aspirations.

Learn More About Yasamin‘s Story

During my PhD, I volunteered for MD SPCA and fostered around 20 cats. Foster parents often temporarily take care of pets that need some time before they are ready to get adopted (e.g., due to medical or social reasons). I love animals, but as I have been constantly moving countries and traveling regularly during my studies it was not feasible to have my own pets. Fostering pets was a great alternative: It both helped the animals in need, and in the meantime helped me form emotional bonds. While it was hard to let them go, I was assured that the shelters put a lot of effort into finding stable and loving homes for them. My foster cats also provided a much-needed emotional support during the Covid lockdown when I had almost no other social interactions outside my research meetings.

I grew up in the city of Shiraz in south west of Iran and finished my undergrad studies there. After undergrad I moved to Canada for my masters, and then to the US for my PhD, followed by a postdoc in Austria, and finally I am moving to the Netherlands for a tenure-track academic position. I had the privilege to call many places/communities home, each of which has had a profound impact on my personal and professional development. I’ve learned that each place offers something unique to love, and at the same time could miss something that one may need to seek elsewhere. I can no longer imagine my life without having met all those people, and this makes me truly appreciate diversity. Even though I am looking forward to settling in one place, on some level I wish I could go back to all of those places.