Listen: Grad School, Erica John, Kennedy Museum Of Nature discussed on Papa Phd Podcast
"Was so surprised when I moved moved out of academia about how many how many skills that I acquired there had no relevance whatsoever in the world that I was moving being into you know I remember being in my interview for my job. At Science North and one of the questions was about my science background and I went through all of the different research projects that I had worked on and a bunch of different techniques that I was skilled in like biology techniques I remember the panels is kind of glaze over and the person who end up being my boss saying like yeah. We don't do ahead here so it's not going to bother you. Are you going to miss that and I realized like Oh wow like I've got to convince. It's these people that is not my life. There are other things that I could do. You know a lot but emerged during the yeah exactly so you know there were there. Were a couple of things like that that were really surprising to me. Literally nobody has ever. We're asked me one time about publication record since I finished my degree which is good because I pretty much. Don't have one in the in windmill becomes irrelevant is that's it. That's IT so yeah. It's just it's been interesting to to see how many of the kind of you've markers of of success within academia had really transferred over to to where I am right now. It's really been a lot of the soft skills like the rigor with which I kind of willing to approach things and and being being like really insisted on kind of chasing down the evidence like some of those kinds of things but but yeah a lot of it hasn't really transferred knowing but I think those soft the soft skills and it's come up in other interviews. I think it it ends up being actually the the biggest like Erica John say or It's another worse for it like a legacy Carribean. The legacy exactly the ring from Grad School is being able to to work on projects that have quite a large scope booth out fear of uh of the of the scope bouquet spotted six month project stories I can work on projects and and keep focus and be a you know a resilience capacity acidy to research on on things that you have never you know research and and that you don't know anything about soft skills. It's funny 'cause I imagined that a lot of listeners may not have thought about these because they're probably you know a headlong into their research into the into the nitty gritty of they're very focused research and they think that the or they may consider only the skills skills the use everyday in the lab or wherever in whatever a research domain they work they working but the the soft skills I think are one of the most important things that you keep from from doing something like a masters or a Ph D. and and then any support important into to be conscious of that when when you're finishing or when you've just finished you have a lot you have accrued a lot of capacities that you didn't have before for Grad school just by the fact of going through and and and you know overcoming the obstacles and reaching your goals and finishing a gets they're very very important and and it's come up in most of of the interviews that that there's always something that even if you're even quite far away from the bench like you were saying that people still used today in the comes from from those studies you know actually. I'm hearing he say that sort of reminded me of a couple of things that I think have been really beneficial and one is like being able to kind have quickly get the lay of the land of new area of research knowing what sources to go after and be able to kind of really quickly pull out different perspectives focus on the issue and who the WHO the key players are and what the silliest points are like. I think that's that's made me a much better science communicator. Because of course I need to communicate about topics all the time that you know I I am not an expert Ed right so kind of being able to do that that you you know kind of review type research quickly and effectively has been really helpful and also fearing out like who to talk to you when I'm stuck on something like being resourceful and had a good contacts and have knowing how to how to reach outed and get help those two things that really helpful excellent yeah I I agree and I say for me. I think that's almost I would say that. The one that you mentioned is the most important one being able to on a short on short notice do research on something you haven't looked before in your life being able to digest it and to beat become kind of a almost a a specialist like a an on the fly especially about it excellent it just out of curiosity do you in your current position. Do any oral presentations or are you more in the background setting up setting up a different programs and well. I mean a in the works at ag rate now so I lead the programming team at the Kennedy Museum of Nature so at this point in time a lot more of what I'm doing is kind of setting vision and strategy for for a team of people who who who do a lot more kind of directed traction with the Public but definitely does have an am and certainly in in my position at science north. I was engaging with public kind of all time it did a lot of winners running the SCI fi series. I I did a lot of like facilitating adding panels and working kind of mediating between between experts and the general public and yeah that was that was one on my favorite parts of the job well because from my experience in Grad School. I gained a lot of experience speaking in public in Grad school because of all the presentations we had to do of of the of our ongoing work so that's why I was wondering whether that that might be something that you also may have have gotten from from that but you also also had so much experience with with different outreach organizations that you probably honed your your public speaking abilities through all these different front avenues yeah that's true although actually you know one thing that I that I forgot that I gained from doing a lot have presentations of May result is I was going through his being being very succinct and very rigorous about kind of presenting my results and and building a case right kind of only including on your slides pieces of information that you're going to speak to and that are relevant and that are kind of in supporting the argument that you're trying to make yet be part of the work that I do rate alice out you know presenting presenting pitches and proposals for new programming initiatives things like that to some of our senior committees museum and a lot of it is the same rate it's kind of clearly articulating argumentative presenting all of the supporting information speaking of questions that might come back when you you know again another very good one me increasingly grateful to my if I the only that I it's great for happy awesome well. I think we've covered a bunch of other questions that I could have asked Maybe we I feel that that one of the things that you clearly did very well during during your studies and especially Grad Studies that is that you had interest mainly teaching science to p to either children or you know people who who are who are not SCIENC- or or scientists and I feel that from what you said you actually had a very full schedule Joel even during your studies doing this on on the site you know extra curricula so because the question I was going to ask was if you have have any advice on how to make the most of your time it's university leading to your non academic career and what I get from from your path is that well well find something you love and and try to fit it into your schedule as as much as possible. Yes certainly I didn't do a lot of teeing when I was to manner rather my Grad studies I kind of I spent a lot of that time in working and volunteering with some of these outreach organizations and for me. That was a lot more fulfilling I don't want to one of the things that I wish that I had done in Grad school and in my Undergrad was especially in Grad. School was should develop better work. Life Balance Howard's I think that's a really hard is really hard to do you. When you're working at the shrine like sometimes you have time experiments and and you know I don't think we really certainly I I didn't feel as though kind of resting and regenerating and kind of having a bunch of other interests in hot use when's ends was as valuable as kind of putting in the hours of the bench at that time but I I really eh since since kind of wrapping that up and moving into kind of a more traditional like work environment. I found that I could bring so much more myself act the table when I actually do take time to rest and so so yeah I mean definitely like how Hamis having something to kind of distract yourself in and to work on. It's different is is healthy but I think I would. I would advise people who are in the position that I was in to actually take the time to detach your brain sometimes with the very good advice and and and they think that it's very easy when you're on the project. That's it's time sensitive. There's pressure from there may be pressure to publish or to to do experiments fast or the so many reasons why it's it blows out of proportion in your mind and you start you stop seeing things in your life. and I think it's a very important point you make it's very it's it's it's a necessity to always have in your schedule some some time off and I'm saying this end. I I went through the same thing that you describing of not doing it and K no. I'M GONNA I'm GonNa stay later. I'M GONNA come on Saturday Sunday because it's an easy. It's an easy trap to fall into but if possible if at all possible definitely pick the me time I remember the day that I submitted Makdissi S. I was like Oh. My goodness like this is incredible. I've got so much freedom. What are we gonNA do now and I. I didn't know I had no idea I wound up doing laundry and had a little cry just getting an assistant and I think I went to bed at like nine dirty or something like I just I didn't know what to do with myself because you know when you've always got it on your mind in the background yeah you get this routine right. It's like it's just follow the motions and then you you don't gain these habits so then the day that that you it closed that door I it's like okay. What am I. What am I gonNa do with all these hours now know exactly. It was very weird and definitely m. I remember it being very weird to win. Signed reach had always been my hobby insulin that I did on the side and I remember when when I finally was like Okay I love this make a career of this. then all my my hobby became my jobs and they didn't have any hobbies yeah so so that was a little tricky was kind of figuring out like okay. What else do so. I hope you found some hobbies I have. I have diversified interests so absolutely fixed and so now now I'm going to transition to a another part of the of the the interview that has to do more with actually what you talking about which is sticking care of yourself but also oh promoting yourself because you know you said that you sent applications to a bunch of different different entities or different organizations Isaiah where you their jobs that interest you did you Did you have resources during Grad school that that helped you learn how to put yourself on the job market and promote yourself promote your CV with with employers or did you have to do you know to to go at it yourself with your own your resources.."