I recently enrolled in a university program, lets call it X. X is a relatively new department trying to grow and currently includes about 30 people. The title is Professional doctorate in engineering (PDEng) and it resembles being a PhD candidate (i have a salary but i do not teach or perform research, instead i work with industrial partners on various projects). As far as i know this kind of position only exists in the Netherlands.

After some months I started doubting whether I am a good fit for the program since the projects are not really interesting for me. At the same time I know about another PDEng program, lets say Y, offered by the same university with equal salary which might better fit my career prospects.

I am now thinking of applying for an interview, however this could be tricky. I do not want to talk with my current program director in advance, in case I get rejected by Y. For the same reason I would like the director of program Y not to contact my current employer.

I have the following 2 specific questions:

1) Should I ask Y's director for discretion by mentioning my reasons?

2) Is it possible/probable that i will automatically get rejected since im proven to be unreliable/unmotivated?

This question: Switching between different graduate departments within the same graduate school? refers to graduate programs, whereas I am a salaried employee, therefore i think my director will be quite unhappy since he has "invested" in me somewhat.

  • (1) got ... enrolled is a informal and generally passive construction. Just to confirm, you enrolled (as in it's not something that was done to you). (2) how large is your institution / how close are the two PDEng faculties? (graduate school of 500 vs 10000 really changes things). – virmaior Mar 28 '17 at 15:09
  • I edited according to your comment. The institution is a very large one (multiple master's / bachelor / PDeng programs each of them including 20 ~ 150 people so definitely more than 2000 people in total) – pilu Mar 28 '17 at 15:23
  • Knowing Dutch people I would talk with your direct manager and expose your concerns and feelings. Depends on situation he should help you with second interviewing or think about plan how to better fit you in university. – Eugen Martynov Mar 28 '17 at 16:06
  • Personally, I'd do the opposite, talk to both directors frankly and sort it out. Sometimes the cover up is worse than the crime. :) – Fábio Dias Mar 28 '17 at 18:52
  • While it certainly depends on culture, a good program should vastly prefer to place you in a good fit, even if it is outside their program. For a department head, placing a good student with another department head who is a better fit should be a positive - why have an unenthusiastic and bored student on your hands when you can "do a favor" for a colleague and give them a student who's a great fit? But again, that requires the people involved be professional adults who want you to succeed. – BrianH Mar 28 '17 at 21:28

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