20 Episode results for "David Mendez"

Juggling Side-Interests, Graduate School, and Your Personal Life During your PhD With Gertrude Nonterah

Papa Phd Podcast

44:44 min | 5 months ago

Juggling Side-Interests, Graduate School, and Your Personal Life During your PhD With Gertrude Nonterah

"My experience going to graduate school was mostly of graduate students being fully funded and working exclusively on their phd. At least until the time came to write their thesis but this is not the reality for everyone and in all domains of research today. I'm bringing you a conversation with gertrude. Entre about her journey so far about her side during graduate school about her life. Balance and time management life. Heck's and about how she juggles her professional personal and family life today. I think the biggest question for a lot of people is i. I'm getting this belgian. Even the undergrad level. I'm getting violated his phd. But really. i don't wanna work in a lab or i don't want to teach. I want something that pays well because notoriously academia those employees well and so funny that that's the path everybody thinks they need to do. It doesn't pay so well. But you have a calling for welcome to papa. Phd with david mendez. The podcast where we explore careers in life after grad school with guests who have walked the road less traveled and have unique stories to tell about how they made their placing world of constantly evolving rules. Get ready to go off the beaten path and hop on for an exciting new episode of papa. phd before going on with the interview. I just wanted to thank you for following the show week after week. If you're new to the show or you looking for an easy way to share it with your friends. I've created episodes starter. Packs you can find them at pop each dot com forward slash start. They are collections of episodes organized by topics that can help you or new listeners. Catch up on all the peach conversations we've had so far again you can go to pop each dot com for slash. Start and start exploring. And i'd love it. If you help someone else get started to and now for this week's interview. Welcome this week's episode of papa peachy this week with me. I have dr gertrude. Mantra and you can call her g. G. is a biomedical scientist. College instructor science communicator and author. She's the host of the create and prosper podcast where she interviews experts and shares tips on how to make money as a writer and author g also started the bold biomed a youtube channel that provide steps on the phd life career and productivity for students in the biomedical sciences. When she's not doing any of these things g enjoys a good spy movie. Welcome to proper. Pg thank you so much. David i really appreciate you having me on. Well i really appreciate you having accepted my invitation. Because we're going to have a conversation about all you've been doing in this domain of helping these as you know pop up the mission of the podcast is to bring. Phd's like early. Hd's almost finishing these people with information insights on how to deal with all of the the unknown that that comes especially by the end of a phd. Just before just after but also tips and tricks to make the most of their life as a as a researcher. So i'm really grateful that you're here today and Well i must say. I'm really really grateful. This beginning of twenty twenty one. Let's let me just stay gratefulness for something a little bit larger than me. Which is the community on lincoln. It's amazing that's where we met this where we cross paths and i'm really grateful for how how much love how much help you can find in a in a community you know. If you're an academic or young ph student you might think oh. This is a business network. It's not for me no absolutely. I think i think you know y- having both of us have been through the process. You don't you outside of the university walls outside of academia. You don't see much you don't see a of a phd's of on other career paths. You don't hear about the enterpreneur paths or you don't care about how the left academia so and and definitely when i was was a phd felt like my only choice was sustained in academia rights. And i'm an you feel a sense when when you realize well maybe my only -demia you begin to feel Sense of helplessness. As you realize that maybe you don't like research and and you don't wanna go on that path so really what. I'm passionate about a passionate about so many things but one of the things. I've absolutely passionate about is leading. Phd students and even letting graduates also realize that there is so much that your does for you and so many doors phd can for you and that you just have to explore that and so i'm excited to talk about that today. Me too. And i'm i'm really want to go at dive into these questions that you ask but let's start by the beginning. How did you. How did you get to where you are today. What was the the journey of g mantra from. I don't know being a bachelor student into going to her. Phd and now getting to where you are. Today writing teaching about writing but also coaching people and helping people go through their graduate school life. Yeah yes agree questions. I want to say thank you for having me again. David privileged to be on the pc podcast And so a little bit about me. I in two thousand twelve thousand nine. I started as a phd students at temple university in philadelphia pennsylvania and when i started my thought process. I had already gotten a bachelor's degree in nursing. And i thought i want to maybe teach or i wasn't really actually now looking back. I don't think i was completely clear. On what my professional path was. But i did know i wanted to get more education. I knew that appear was going to be a good pass. I applied for the program And it was great. I had a great adviser is a good experience but somewhere along the line. I realize that research wasn't the path i wanted. I didn't want to become a principal investigator of a lab. I didn't want to run my own lab because my was in microbiology. Immunology and we have labs and we run experiments but then what actually even got me on the path. I'm on now. Was i think this was in twenty eleven or twenty twelve. I went to the lab. One saturday evening to do an experiment and i was on internet. So won't month things at the time was even though i was earning some money as a phd student from my stipend. It wasn't a whole lot especially because he's married in at the time my husband Had lost his job so there was a little bit of financial stress. Incisive i wanna find something that i can do. Maybe on a weekend maybe one or two times a day on a weekend to make some extra money rights and even able to make some extra money then always looking for that time. Was i just wanna make be an extra hundred dollars and if i can make an extra hundred dollars that would take care of some of the financial stress. Well when i went online what. I found kind of shocked me because i found out that the where people actually Doing all kinds of Work on line and getting paid so it was from there. That i about freelancing may talk about islands about blogging and how people would put affiliate links on the on their websites and make money through affiliate links and you could essentially blog about anything and be able to not just anything but anything that people were interested in creating haunts around and issue did a good job of providing for you value than you could monetize to maybe offering your coaching often. Freelancing services selling digital products like e books to them. So that's how. I really got started. Right how i got interested in this whole world of online. I wasn't really an online person. I think back then. I only had facebook and i've even check it out that much you know. So when i found out. I started a blog on the different experiments. I was doing in in them. Online business world into. I would do something in our right about it and do something about it. And over time i built upon audience doing that. That was my first look. I i no longer run that blow but at the peak of that blog. I think i was getting around. Twenty to thirty thousand visits per month so it it became pretty Big so then somewhere twenty seventeen. After at this point i had finished. My phd moved to san diego california and again i was looking for some of way. 'cause i always been very enterpreneurial. I guess and s like okay. I already started this blog. It's beginning to do well. So what are some other ways. I can Can begin to make some money. And i landed on freelance writing so in twenty seven seventeen. I started a freelance writing. Business that was a lifesaver because twenty eighteen. I post doc at a university. And i was told that funding had run out in so in ninety days. Will all lose our jobs so just imagine not you know you you go to one day bosses like i'm so sorry guys ask but we tell the out of money and in nineteen days. You're going to lose your job so it really showed me that there is no job. That is secure. You may think you have a secure job. But you're only one funding away from being told you know funding just one. You could be just one step away from being told that funding is gone and effort. No longer have a job. But thankfully i had built that freelance writing business. And so once. I drop ended. I was able to slide right into it and bad freelance. Writing business is what. I've currently builds a business brand around so my youtube channel on my face you channel gene. Entre rights is about And i just showed people. Hey the some money to be made in writing. And i know david you mentioned earlier on that you've also been a writer and so the money to be made in writing you just have to keep wing. It's not easy when it's when you're in a freelance position but Got freelance position in Lance situation. I created for myself actually supported my family for from several years. Currently i actually just started a fulltime rule As a writer with with an agency that serves life scientists in health Accompanies which that's my background anyway. So i don't know about you. I am so grateful to be banned. I know that my background is going to be. That's in a nutshell is my journey from accidentally stumbling on online enterpreneurship. Back in twenty well to twenty twenty one. Beat on this podcast with you. Know it's it's it's what amazing but the stories tend to be like that from from what i've seen you can't you can make sense of them looking back but as you couldn't predict what what would what was going to happen at the time right. There's an incident conversation you have in an elevator with someone and then something something materializes from there. Now i'm really really curious about maybe the some details of how you kind of you know you said you. Let's talk about with the freelancing. The refill lansing. I'm sure a lot of people out there. are already blogging those or have a twitter account where the share kind of like you were saying but today people will do it on twitter right a twitter account or instagram account. Where where they'll share stuff about their day to day in the lab or or in research but to to start having freelance jobs as a writer. Can you talk a little bit about how you went about getting that first contract and you know putting yourself out there and getting some visibility. Yeah that's really really good. So when i when i started out i started out as a social media manager when i started feeling so as a social in in my role as a social media my the first job. I guards was from craigslist zo. I'm my husband knew. Because at that time i had been blogging about a year and i told him i said hey. I'm going to start this freelance writing business. So if you you know as 'cause we had a young son we we still have a young child but he was maybe two years old and so my my husband was a stay at home dad and helping to take care of him so i said hey whilst you know maybe my son is taking a nap on sunday. Taking a nap. Could you like checkout thinks for me. I mean we even really say that but apparently he was looking for different jobs for freelance writing for me so he went on craigslist and saw that somebody had posted about meeting a writer and emailed. It's me walls our so at work and clue and so as this is great. So i applied for that you know Freelance writing position but never garnett it. But that same day somebody else had posted about needing a social media manager and because i had been writing my blog and i needed to build on audience with my blog i had also been building concurrently as social media following so i knew how to build a social media following so i reached out to the president said. Hey i'd i'd be happy to handle your social media for you Here is my blog. He my twitter his my facebook. This is what i've done. If you like what you see let me know. And that same evening they got in touch with me and said i love your blog. I love your show. I love your facebook. Come in do social media for me. So that was my first foray into interfere lansing and this individual ended up so i began to write social media content but more importantly should be gone to refer me to other clients who need a blog post in search. So that's really. How i got started was this on craigslist to or is this on other. Another from another was on craigslist. Like my husband had sent me that link on craig's list so another one. I saw another one. I see no one. He sends me never responded back to well. That's how things work cool so you can. You can just kind of start by offering someone use your services but not not to accompany maybe to someone who has a small small business help with the skill that you have absolutely absolutely and i think a small business can be a good place to stop because most of the time the big businesses that you think about like you know. Million billion dollar companies wanna work with an agency for Not necessarily a freelance at an independent freelancer. I'm and that's an important thing to know. If you wanna work with the bigger companies. You kind of have to know somebody to do that right. And i would learn that later so i found that i somebody that had no connections at any big company. It was better for me to target local companies and small businesses. That needed my services. But maybe they didn't have ten thousand dollars a month to pay an agency but they would have five hundred dollars a month to pay a freelance right and five hundred dollars. A month would make a lot of difference for a lot of people. I believe you know so. So that's how i got started. Yes so i think targeting. Small businesses is good. Yeah perfect now. I mentioned also you can be complicated. But there's labs that need the website or the nida twitter someone to manage a twitter account. Maybe around you in your institution where you're doing research maybe you can But you can do something like that but it will probably be for free anyway. I'm thinking of ways. People can start. Try their hand at this and you know something. I agree with you on that point. Because i i totally agree with you. David the reason why i agree with you is because when you're starting out and you don't have any experience it's good to start out with some like i said earlier i with my blog and with my twitter that was completely free but if you can you can get an actually have recommended this to people. I said if you can get like you're saying in a lab at alive in your institution maybe your own lab you know and say hey you know i think we would benefit by having a twitter and getting people to know a little bit more about our research. I know some are very protective of their ideas so it may be funny but you may get a pi as okay. Go ahead do that. And then you begin to start conversations and that can grow up really grow really quickly so even when you have those opportunities right. I think you should take advantage of them because later on. You can use it as proof that you've done the week before. Yeah and if of course like you like what you just said eventually people will start asking you okay. Can i have a sample of what you've written. Can i want to see your portfolio right. So that's when it's going to count one year two years later you're going to. You're going to have this this a treasurer of stuff that you can show right away now. I have a question. I think you. I think i know what you're going to say. But because of what you said you said you were very enterpreneurial. But time management when we're doing a phd in microbiology genetics. So if we want to do something on the side we need to be very good with our time rights. How did you manage that. Plus a child plus you know how did you. What advice do you have for a for. Let's say moms. That are doing their peach the but they also want to start some kind of enterpreneurial endeavor. Yes goodness you be no such a great question okay. So so so. I think the question asking is managing your time when you're so busy rights and i think that that's a great question. I think you know in the beginning. Let me tell you at the time. I started this. Yes i had a two three year olds and one of the things. That i did is really. I waited for him to go to sleep and then when he went to sleep. I would take the hours between nine pm. Eleven pm to build my business so and then there were days away. I woke up super early. So i'd be up by four five pm and i work to maybe six or seven and then i would work and i record my business. That's how i wrote most of my blog posts. That's how i start when i started out. Freelancing that's how. I manage my clients. I always did things on the fringes of time when my son was asleep. So you know and because also had a fulltime job and you know that's one of the things you don't wanna be doing is cheating your boss by your your own business on on time. It's not a good thing So i wouldn't. I wouldn't do that. But i find that the so much you can do in just two hours a day. People underestimate how much you can do. And i think he's because we we lived in netflix's flicks culture where we can sit down and binge-watch show for five hours and it can feel like time never passed but the truth is that if you will Even focus on one thing for for like forty five minutes an hour two hours. You'll be amazed at what you can do so outside to those moms out there that you know you know you're busy you have a full-time job you have. You know your family and you have other things to because family and work is usually not the only two facets of life. You have so much more you know. I would say like find two hours in your day or if all you have is an our final hour of your date and during that time focus. I always used to talk people that every business that you can think about the coffee shop in your local in your local. Your local town has working hours right. Usually have working hours poses so set working hours for yourself it's hard. i'm not the most. I don't think i'm the most disciplined person. But i learned to work for one hour sprints and to focus on my work so i shut off all social media. I'm not checking youtube or anything. I just focus on my work. Because i knew what i wanted so knowing what you want and setting aside time to do it is so critical question of focus and of tuning out although the noise in today's something that's really really timely and really hard to do today before we go back into that with my conversation with gene entre. I just wanted to ask you a question. Do you know of or do you work for an organization that might be a great sponsor for the show. If you do. I'd love to hear about it. It could be an organization. You'd like to see promoted on the show or it could be a service you feel could be helpful to all the listeners out there. Whatever it is you can write to david at pope. Hd dot com and. I'll be happy to talk about it with you. And also i'll give you a shout out on the show and now let's go back to my conversation with g. mantra. I think you just pointed something very important. Which is i that there. There's these times where if you have kids when they're asleep then you can have these moments of peace and clarity for me. I think the ones that's always surprised me. The most are the morning hours. If i'm able to wake up at five or around five before the kids wake up. It's amazing what you can get done in helmet. I know how clear you can think at that time but some people are more night owl. So maybe it's going to be that nine hundred eleven like you said that's gonna be key and i'm telling i'm saying this and i have a hard time with it and now having a podcast dino posting on tv now being managing social media shutting down social media can be a big challenge. I agree it is one of the things one of the things that i did too to help me. I remember when i had been doing social media manager for about a year. And then i was beginning to get questions on. How do i become a social media manager. One of the things i did was. I wrote a book a mini book and sold it on my website. And that's how one of the ways i said. I'm making money for my blog. now. I write the book. That book was a show book. Was maybe eight thousand words. But then what i did was i had this chrome. Google chrome extension called forest and with forest. When you start using forest you can set a timer for like forty five minutes and you can set it so it blocks you access to social media. So that's exactly what i did. So every time. I would get distracted and tried to go on facebook it would. It would put up a black screen and say you're still working. I love that must exist. Still right it does should look for it. It's pretty good but the the cool thing is an. Tell me if this is what happened with. You is after a certain time. Your body your mind. You're you know you're you the the whole you gets used to this routine and you ended up not needing forest anymore as an point. Yeah i think so. I think so i still use it for i. Don't use it as much anymore. But i still use especially on those days where i'm like. I need to focus on this. I can get things done. I also another thing another productivity tool they use. My husband does not get this and many people don't is i will listen to our instrumental music in my ears. Because when i do that the is this channel on youtube called calmed by nature. You should look at anybody. Should look it up. who's listening. But essentially he has all these sounds so sometimes it's like the sound of the wind chime or it's like the sounds of a coffee shop and so what i do is i take. Have these big headphones. I'll put it over my head. And so essentially i have blocked out. Everything around me except for the coffee shop sounds and then now i can focus on. What am i doing is this is i do this decision. When i'm writing. I can just focus on that and not worry about anything that is going on around me and usually when i may. I may be able to do that for an hour usually by the end. I'm so shocked at what i'm able to do. So so whatever works for you whether it's you know the chrome extension or whether it's blocking your ears or whether it's just you don't listen to anything you put earbuds in your ese. You don't hear anything and you turn off your phone you so you're not tempted to go to your phone. All that's helpful another thing too. There's a book called automic habits by james clear. Am i doing what you david. But it's a real good joke. It's a good book about building good habits and one of the things that the author the author james clear writes about is the fact that sometimes you need to remove yourself from the place where your most tempted to give into a distraction. Right so for instance. If you know that you would really want to write are really want to work on something of laying on your bed and turning on your laptop get off from your bed. Go and sit at a desk and said everything up like it's a professional thing that you're doing right because it is professional and work on it like it serious like that instant of china kind of relaxing do it and that also is helpful okay to have like work us around you. Versus relax cues yes. That's super interesting. L. differently You know i'll remember to. Maybe insert that in the show notes. I think it's a. It's a good recommendation. Now now Maybe we can go back a little bit to your european deep post doc years and And because i know that now especially on youtube channel you provide tips to pitch these. And i imagine those tips are based on your on your experience. What you lived on on what worked for you and a for people who are still doing or maybe even considering each the i'd like to kind of have a little snapshot of maybe questions that you've had that that come again and again. What are what are things that are like generally issues for people or questions or doubts that come back to you On on this on this channel of communication you have with the peachy community with a phd community rights. Okay so with a phd community. I think i've gotten more because that's a much newer Brian i'm building. Just i just started that maybe six months ago so so it's so new but one of the questions but this is great because i always i'm thinking about and and looking at questions roy's early this morning. They youtube the bull by a channel I saw a question somebody had posted in. The question was it was a video had done on the different career paths. You can pursue as a biology major and the person had asked me about the biopharmaceutical industry. And how you know all the different paths at. Potentially there right so now. This is something that i have to research. And maybe talk to some people. Because even though i know about the biopharmaceutical industry i don't know everything about it so i'll go find out about it rights and so i think the biggest question for a lot of people as i'm getting this biodegr- even the undergrad. I'm getting this biology degree. I'm getting this. But really i don't want to work in the lab or i don't want to teach i want something that pays well because notoriously academia doesn't pay well and so funny that that's the path that things they need to pursue yet. It doesn't pay so well but you know if you have a calling for it and that's fine. That's i think that's the case for a lot of the people is the fulfilment from teaching from from bringing up of scientists. I think it kind of it. Kind of ways on the other side of the scale versus the salary per se. But but. But i i agree with you. And that's why i i. I'm here behind this mic. On papa peachy is i also saw the same. Which was people in the i. I also come from the bio the biological sciences people wondering. What's going to happen next. And am i going to have to just go You know serve at a cafe is is that what's waiting for me. If i don't get to the professor tenure tenure track et cetera cetera. And you and. I both know that that's not true. That like it was mentioning. I was mentioning link in just at the top of the episode. And just there. There's so many phd's in so many different positions right. It's quite amazing. And so i think you're right. That's the one of the main pain points. Maybe maybe i can say like that. That the the community has. But then you know we're talking about you know biological sciences. There's history history. These linguistics literature and the percentage of people in those different domains that can stay in academia very. But there's always a portion at least fifty percent of them that ended up going to someone else. I always refer to by i. Guess of the season kris humphry who has a phd in medieval studies and is now project officer in a bank right. No and that's that's excellent and you see. I think. I think one day my husband was telling me this story about how he met his religion professor and this this this man had a phd and a few years later he saw him As a janitor a net in place and he and he was confused that phrase so he called his name and he turned and he was like. Oh hey and he mentioned my husband's name. And i remember my husband's said my heart broke. You know an even as my husband was telling me that story. My heart broke. Because it's like. This is a highly qualified person who needs to be doing something that is that his qualifications are worth. But you know he couldn't find a position and so i'm not saying being janitor is not a good job at it. You know. it's it's good work. It's honest work rates. But i at that point i felt while i feel like he deserved more right for what he had done. And so and so. That's where my passion lies is is impeached. He's realizing that you're highly qualified. And you can do this so much you can do. And you don't have to see the world so narrowly. So like in the case of chris who are also connected to on lincoln you know he was able to turn a phd medieval studies into a position at a bank and so people don't realize all the skills that we we've phd's learn whether you're phd is in biomedical sciences. Chemistry or history. Or whatever it is. We come with so many skills. I always say. Phd's bosses of learning we learn anything and everything right like if we can't we that's what hope is to figure things out so even having that problem solving mindset is a big skill that so many companies in business so many companies in finance companies in the pharmaceutical industry chemical industry do need that so badly and you come as as as you come with those skills right. There also may be different software programs that you've land within your program even how to look up. Peer reviewed journals. That's a skill. Not everybody has that and so highlighting those come you call them soft skills. I guess those skills that are someone on also soft because knowing how to use some kind of software nor soft is hard skill but but but those those unique skills we a lot of us learned in our journey as pg students and so being able to highlight that on your on your resume on your cv is so important into to opening doors for you outside of the ivory tower if you wanna stay in the ivory tower. That's fine but if you are finding yourself in place where you want to explore outside of it there's so much and by highlighting your skills And even by exploring lake freelance paths. Like both david. I have could be a way for you to even get your foot in the so you know there's so much out there and i hope more walmart people will explore that. I agree with you. The the freelance breath is one. And because what happens if you go. Let's to to industry very often. They'll ask for so many years of experience and you just you know you can make Make the point that well during my years of my phd can has experienced but often the people hiring. They won't really go for that right away. So i would say you know there's two things and tell me if if let's discuss about this. I always think coming out of reach the going into domain. That's more commercial more in this industrial need to have some humility and because the for them they know what it is kind of the people they probably don't know all your transferable skills or they're not conscious of them but they know what they want. They know who they want. And what skills they want to pursue the person to have so i'd say go in with humility. Go in ready to work at have first position. That's maybe not at the level that you aspire and then prove prove yourself once you're inside the organization and then you you quickly you know you quickly go up the chain or the ladder. Let's say do what's your what's your idea on. Yeah no i agree with you. I agree with you. You know. I've seen a lot of postal lincoln recently with people saying That pg's experienced you. Which is chew because most of us are are working. Eight to twelve hours every single day. Right so i agree with that but like you you rightly said not many. Hr people or people within companies have caught up to that idea just yet and so while that is still good and you can demonstrate your transferable skills. I think exactly david if you if you do get an role that is a role that you want to get into or even. I heard this incredible story. Let me just take a small. It's not a side journey is the same. It's on the same line. But i was listening. I mean clubhouse which is a new social media audio apple. I don't do the often. But i was in this really great room where the guy was had a bachelor's degree and was working at arm marketing at procter and gamble now to get into a role in marketing at procter and gamble. You need to have a peach okay. Most of the people who have caused a requirement. It's it's it's like it's not a requirement it's the way they the whole system has been built that a lot of the marketing people at proctor and gamble half phd's or at least an unusually the all. They went to an ivy league school to get that position. Because it's proctor and gamble right while this guy doesn't have doesn't yeah doesn't even have a a phd masters. Did mark go to an ivy league school and was and so we were asking him. So how did you get in. And he said well. I got in as an insane and i let everything i could and improve the bosses and stayed there and did all the things i needed to do. And now i'm in this rule that most of the time would either go to somebody who went on ivy league school or has a beach d. So what's my point. There my point that is that what you need is a foot in the door right and once you have a foot in the door you can do. You can fight like with everything within your to rise and to get those roles that you finally and and for a phd. That path may even be shorter than somebody with a bachelor's so somebody i think he had been in. The industry may be eight ten years. I think before he got into that role but for you with a phd. It may take three years of impressing people of showing people that okay. Your work is good and you are with your salt to get into those roles. Where you're you you Way you feel like you want to get rights. Everybody has different goals wakefield once so i agree with you that there is some humility. That please into that that okay. I'm going to get my foot in the door. Get into the company. If it's a dream company for instance. And once i'm i'm going to learn everything i can. And this is where you know talking. And this is what informational interviews within your company is important this is where networking within your company. And outside of your company is important. That's why i love lincoln. So much is where you know. Learn you know. Personal improvement in your craft is important That if you can improve at least one percents every day within infamy years you'll be an expert in your field so i completely agree that there is some kind of humility there that if you get into a room that is usually not academic track then. Really see your so. This is an opportunity to get my foot in the door. And then do all the things networking in the relationship noting and the personal development to get where you want to gets. I i totally agree with that. And i love the to mention lincoln. Because i was i was going to go there. I was gonna talk about networking and how important it is to start having conversations with these people who work in these companies that interests you because even then you can open door. The you know you can access the hidden job market through their riots in a different way g. We're getting to the end of the interview. I think we could talk for another hour but it can. You can say for another time. How can people find you. A how can people reach out to you. We've mentioned lincoln. So i'm going to share that link the link for your linked profile in the notes page. But you know if people have questions for you after listening to the episode. They want to learn a little bit more about how how to get into writing. How did you start your blog etc. How can they reach out to you. Yes thank you so much this. So if people wanted to land more about my writing janey and or how they can get started in writing a freelance writing. You can go to jean entre rights. Which is my channel or gene. Entre dot com are right. That's where you'll find my podcast as well as Links to some blow was a right but My youtube channel link is also on this or gene on trentham. Calm you can find me day I also have a newsletter sue gene-altered dot com slash news. Let's you can go there and enjoy my newsletter. I send out weekly emails on content creation writing and creativity for those. Phd's that are looking for some motivation. to To think outside of the academic box and nothing wrong with academic books I'm just you know sharon kwan. Sense that the the is life outside of academia so if you would like to explore some of those ideas. I have another youtube channel. The bowed biomed. And so you can find me at the biomed. And and now. I have the bull by a meadow combat. It's on a website yet but the booth biomed. You'll me there and you can interact with me then. Yeah i'm an you know before we go. I wanted to just emphasize the power of of you know we were talking about this briefly. And i feel like this could be a whole other episode or the power of networking as as as a pg student and also as a graduate That i it really is important. So come find me. All linked in as well And and you know these days. I'm super busy. But you know we can set up like a twenty minute. Zoom co for instance and. We can chat. And i think that's actually very important because like like david say there's a hidden job markets. There's an estimated about seventy percent of jobs are in the hidden job market. That means that they actually go to people's referrals rather than getting posted publicly. So you know you don't want to just rely on publicly posted jobs. You can also access jobs that i never ever posted okay. By knowing i'm people in by having relations you don't have to be everybody's best friend but knowing the people Is really helpful. So that's what. I wanted to end on that note. It's perfect g. Thank you so much for your time. I know you busy. I really appreciated this this time talking with you. I think there's a lot of value in our conversation for listeners out there thank you so much for having accepted and and all the best for your projects. Thank you so much well. And that's it for this week's episode of public beach. I hope you enjoyed it. And i wish you a great week. Thanks for listening to another episode of the pop up each podcast head over to pop up each dot com for show notes in for more food for thought about non-academic post grad careers. I'll always be happy to share inspiring stories new ideas in useful resources. Here on the podcast. So make sure you subscribe on itunes or wherever you get your podcasts to always keep up with the discussion and to hear from latest guests.

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Looking Back On A Season of Papa PhD  Conversations, Reflections, and Common Themes

Papa Phd Podcast

10:49 min | 1 year ago

Looking Back On A Season of Papa PhD Conversations, Reflections, and Common Themes

"Hi there. Reaching. The end of season one of Papa Peach and today I just wanted to thank all the listeners out there who've been following the show around the world. It's been quite humbling to see the show grow as it did in this first year. So again, one of the things that I wanted to today's to thank you you were out there thinking about your. About your masters degree and thinking about what your career can look like in the future. I really hope that the conversations that I've been sharing on the show have inspired you in your journey. Welcome to pop up each with David Mendez the podcast where we explore careers in life after Grad school with guests who have walked the road less traveled and have unique stories to tell about how they made their place in the world of constantly evolving rules. Get ready to go off the beaten path and hop on for an exciting new episode of Papa PD. I feel extremely grateful for having had guests that spanned so many different academic domains from the life sciences to engineering to psychology to literature. The reach of these conversations has by far surpassed. What I had imagined was possible when I set out to launch the PODCAST. So I also want to send out my heartfelt thanks to all the guests who have been unpopularity on this first season. Looking back on all these conversations and thinking of you, the listener who is thinking about your future about what path to take about what decisions to make. I feel that one of the common threads having come out of all these conversations and that he's may be the most important. was allowing yourself to experiment during your graduate degree, not only with your research. But importantly, outside of it, this can take the form of getting involved in student societies volunteering in outreach projects being part of communities around supports or creativity. But also internships and industry or taking breaks where you try something completely different before embarking on a new chapter of your academic life. Another common thread that I feel is very important has to do with how you perceive yourself as an academic as a researcher as a candidate for a job. Coming out of graduate school may not be aware of a few important skills you have developed but that are not technical that don't have to do directly with your subject matter. One of the very important skills that you developed by writing a Master's or a PhD thesis. He's your capacity to analyze, digest and make sense of large complex data. Hand in hand with this is your capacity for problem solving. And these are all skills that are highly prized by employers. Another area will you organically developed skills during your degree is project management A, lot of positions out there in the job market require the capacity to take on large projects, complex projects and be able to plan set milestones defined goals. And then work towards reaching those goals. This is another of the aspects that have again and again been mentioned by guest on the show. If, you listen back to the different episodes to the different interviews. You'll find more of these skills to do with the specific domain each guest works in currently. So go and explore season one interviews listen to the guests who are working in domain that interests you. You'll see you'll find advice you can use to start building plan for yourself. Now. A lot was stalled during season one about transferable skills but a lot was also told about the blind spots, the things you don't naturally come out of graduate school knowing and being prepared for. One of the main ones has to do with preparing your CV and preparing to interview in a non. Academic Setting. If you listen back to the interviews where we spoke about job hunting and interviewing outside of academia. The main advice that came up again, and again was to tailor your CV to each potential employer and specifically to give emphasis to the soft skills you have accrued while performing research and keeping to a minimum. One guests even said to a single line anything to do with your publications, presentations or academic awards. He need to take a point I approach where the person reading your CV. Will know right away that you are a good candidate for the position. The second aspect has to do with interviewing. You may have done a bunch of oral presentations poster presentations, even elevator pitches to do with your research. And the performance skills you developed we'll definitely serve you in an interview setting. The difference is that when interviewing for a position industry, for example. Rather than listing your skills, the techniques you master the tools you can use. The actual goal of the exercise is for the interviewer to assess whether you are a good match for the position and for the team. So there will be a component of body language showing knowledge of the organization's mission in structure and having a good story to tell about how you came to be sitting in front of them for this interview. This is something you don't learn graduate school, but it's something you can prepare for one of the points. My guests stressed as being key in your career exploration and in preparing for interviews is doing your homework about the organization offering the position and ideally reaching out to people in similar positions and asking them for informational interviews around coffee or these days on video conference. Asking someone who has followed the same path that you want to embark on pointed questions about the reality of the job about remuneration about company culture is the best way to get to know what interviewers might be looking for in a candidate. In. Parallel with this, especially, if this is your first time interviewing. The other technique that was mentioned in recommended was rehearsing. In front of a mirror with friend. Preparing to deliver your story in the best way possible and to make it clear point of why you're the right candidate for the position. If you know that type of questions commonly asked even better prepare and rehearse your answers for them to. This way on the day of the interview, you'll be able to focus on the human interaction rather than on the content and show yourself in the best possible. In this first season, we also talked a lot about life balance and mental health. Stress is a part of our modern life and life as a researcher has a few particular flavors of stress. But my guests were clear about three components that can help you strike a balance and have a healthy journey. Physical Exercise Move Econo- team sport. Stay fit. Having a community outside the lab. Team sports do this too, but you can get into a club started student group. And finally including me time in your weekly schedule. This. said it is possible that other factors you have no control of our affecting your inner balance. If this is the case find professional help and take the necessary steps to heal. This may or may not lead to resuming your research and it's fine. What is important above all is that you stay healthy. With this note on mental health and on finding a healthy balance during graduate studies I'm going to wish you a great week a lot of success in your life and career exploration, and thank you again for being a listener of the show. But before I go I want to officially announced that next week we'll be the season finale special. To make sure that you don't run out of. PODCASTS. Listen this summer I've teamed up with the what are you going to do with that podcast and we've done a twin episode. Next Thursday the last interview of both our seasons he's going to air at the same time. I will be on their show and then he says there host will be on Papa. PhD. So, be sure to tune in and witness this academic podcast Collab- I'll be expecting you. And if you want to help the podcast, there are two simple things you can do. Number One Sharon episode that you really like with a friend or colleague. That's a great way to help and to spread the word. Number two if you're on an APP that allows rating or commenting, do that leave a star rating and leave a comment? That will help other people out there find the podcast enjoying the adventure. And it also gives me a chance to open a dialogue with all of you which I really enjoy. So, thank you again. Happy Listening and see you next week. And now for a short message. If, you're preparing to launch a podcast. You may be asking yourself what hosting platform to use. I launched puppies de on blueberry because I wanted to professional service that would interface with my wordpress website. That would robustly broadcast Papa PhD to all platforms. And that would allow me to grow my podcast in years to come. If you're starting a serious podcast project, do consider one of the first podcasting hosts out there offering state of the art services including is certified statistics based on years of experience in the podcasting space. So go to pop each dot com for slash blueberry that is spelled B. L. U. B. R. Y. or use the Promo Code Papa PhD. Bloom, in one word on the blueberry website to unlock a one month free trial of the platform. Thanks for listening to another episode of the Papa Peach podcast. Head over to Papa D dot Com for show notes and for more food for thought about non-academic Post Grad careers. I'll always be happy to share inspiring stories, new ideas in useful resources here on the PODCAST. So make sure you subscribe on Itunes or wherever you get your podcasts to always keep up with the discussion to hear from latest guests.

Papa Peach researcher Papa PhD Grad school David Mendez PhD Physical Exercise B. L. U. B. R. Y. one month
Maryse Thomas  Part 1  Enriching Your Graduate School Experience

Papa Phd Podcast

35:20 min | 1 year ago

Maryse Thomas Part 1 Enriching Your Graduate School Experience

"In this episode. We're going to talk with marines. Thomas Director of the useful science website and podcast about science communication in popularization and about how can enrich graduate school experience and your career as a young researcher also linked to hear about her. Phd and about her recent experience going abroad for her post doc and about her insights on how to make the best of this. I dive into the mid career. I think yeah there. Is that worry in the back of your mind. That maybe you'll get a negative reaction or that they'll say something about how you should be in live instead for me having that extra curricular activity and and I did a few things outside useful science. I also I played sports. I was big. In ultimate Frisbee in Undergrad or and during my hd and for me those experiences were probably the most memorable part of my whole will experience welcome to papa PhD with David Mendez. The podcast where we explore careers in life after Grad School. We'd guests who have walked the road less traveled and have unique stories to tell about how they made their place in a world of constantly evolving. Rules get ready to go off the path and hop on for an exciting new episode of Papa PhD. Marie stomas is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Massachusetts in year and Harvard Medical School in Boston originally from Montreal. She received her. Phd At McGill University in the field of auditory neuroscience marinas interested in digital media and science communication and has been the director of the website useful science dot. Org since twenty eighteen useful. Science publishes short summaries of scientific research relevant to everyday life and also produces a podcast dives into the science behind those studies. Welcome to pop each Timorese. Thanks David thanks so much for having me. So I've been wanting to have you on the show ever since we met at the Science Communication Event here in Montreal few months ago and I'm really really happy to have you on the Mike Today. Murray's tell us a little bit about how you got interested in science how you got into research leading to the the academic path that brought you to where you are today. Yeah so growing up. Both of my parents are from Quebec. I was born in Montreal and we spoke French at home but actually when I was four years old we moved to the United States We moved to Colorado and we lived there for ten years and during that time. I actually stop speaking French completely so I don't really remember it because I was so young but apparently I was like really stubborn and I told my parents. I didn't want to be French. I wanted to speak English like my classmates and so I kind of lost that but then when I was about eleven or twelve in middle school I think I still have this feeling that I knew French was really important to my culture and that I wanted to have it as part of me and so I started taking French classes again and I took French all throughout Middle School and through high school and then eventually returned to Montreal to do both my undergraduate and eventually my PhD and At that time Kind of realized how much I guess how far behind I felt French when I arrived. And so there was kind of this like eternal struggle with earning engine. It wasn't until I lived in Montreal for at least three or four years that I finally start to feel comfortable again with the language and eventually did influence my trajectory to my PhD. My undergraduate was in cognitive science and I had the opportunity to do a fourth year honors research project and I chose to do the project in the field of neuro linguistics. And my first project was actually about bilingualism and so that was just a great experience which led me to pursue a PhD afterwards and my first PhD project was also about language That was part of a rotation and then finally the lab ended up settling on in my PhD was an auditory neuroscience lab and so it had the same elements of thinking about communication and acoustic information. And I ended up. Studying auditory neural plasticity. Which is the process of how the brain changes in response to the sounds that you hear and interact with throughout your whole life which actually is really related to language learning. And that's also what I'm still doing during my post doc here. There's a lot of research on that at McGill. A doctor's lab. That's the one you were at and then I was an at&T LAYER SUDANESE LADD. Okay but it's interesting. I really really loved that that domain. We're going to start talking about that or else we want him. But it's really cool to me. Being I was born in Belgium. Portuguese parents spoke French. I then we can back to Portugal. Portuguese eventually learn English. And and I really like that science behind of bilingualism or just learning new languages and how your brain and how kids brain specifically because now I have children adapt to to to to this and how there's windows that you that are better for for learning super super exactly. Yeah that always fascinated me as well and so you had this interest that that came from your your your story. Basically you kind of you can have said nowhere to certain point to to two talking this language which was not the one that everyone around you was was speaking. And eventually you came back and you wanted to explore that but in the scientific In the in the more the neuroscience of it's very very interesting and you know you now doing a post doc in the United States. Do you want to talk a little bit about that? How know how the peach and how you then Navigated your way to to the post doc today so actually only finished my PhD. Pretty recently. I defended in December and I had actually started my post doc before I even defended so my I was Right now I'm in Montreal. Because of current circumstances but I've been living in Boston since September. That's when I started the post. Doc and the way that came about was Actually through a conference that I attended during my PhD. Back in two thousand fifteen So at that conference I met a researcher who was doing. Research priest similar to To me and we stayed in contact throughout those years and eventually she started her own lab in. So that's the lab that I'm working in now and so the end of the day was it was definitely interesting. Having that overlap it was not easy to balance both but in the end I managed to get it done in two thousand nine hundred and that was my goal So happy with the way it turned out So how did you balance? You're talking about balancing the two things Because you for sure had pressured to finish writing. I don't know if you if you still had experiments or changes to your thesis but How was that a period where you had like one one foot in in on either side? One in your post doc impeach. How did you manage to? What challenges did you face during? That time There was some time management of course So I had just moved to this new city and you know I wanted to visit everything I wanted to check out the museums. I wanted to You know I bought a bike. I wanted to bike around but I just couldn't do that. I spent every weekend working on my thesis and at the end. Yeah it was revisions based on manuscripts that we had submitted and so Some of the changes I had to make were unexpected. And so that kind of would add extra challenges along the way but really it was just kind of keeping my head down and doing it with every spare moment that I had until it was finished And so you weren't biking visiting Boston. But did you have any other ways that you were dealing with any stressors that you might have? I mean sports You know because I imagine being in a city that you want to visit a lot and staying weekends at home writing. You still must have had some way of You know the spending energy or resetting your your inner peace. Let's say yeah well. Luckily I had joined a very social lab that really took me a under their wing right away. And so whenever we had a social A social event like a dinner or you know happy hour. At the end of the week I would always join in on that and that kind of did feel like I was building a network as I was there I also a made a point of getting in touch with people that I knew in Boston. So there's a big Montreal and McGill Community in Boston and there's just this network of researchers who end up going there Oftentimes for post Docs. Phd's and so. I had some friends that I Either didn't know very well or hadn't spoken to in a few years that I made a point of getting in touch with and so having those familiar faces around me In Boston also helped I guess with that whole experience and some of them had gone through similar things as me now. They're post Docs with two years of experience under their belts and so I was able to ask them about how they manage that experience and and that transition well the the very interesting and I think it's it's something that that Is Very important to look well to try and have some social. You know some sort of social net social network that you can rely on to just stay sane but in your case also to go talk with people who were already going through other later chapters of the of this new The of this new patchy were following to to kind of get there to learn the ropes or or get their lessons learned that it was a. I think you did. You did very well to to yourself. Maybe to do that that socializing. I did not know that there was a community. There was McGill Montreal community here in Boston. I have friends that they're actually from the PC. But I didn't know that there was actually a kind of small network that there must have been good and it must've been something that helps you Hope to feel more at home in a place where you were totally new and is a McGill Alumni Association. And I've been told that it's the biggest outside of Canada. Oh Oh dan so I did attend a few of their events. Can you share a little? Bit About What I prevents these were. Yeah I joined the Trivia night but they do They do a wide variety of events to Kind of have something everyone so I know they do Let's see what else they'll do like pub nights Trivia Nights. But they'll make sure that they do them in different neighborhoods so that they're close to different people and they also will put on More formal events efforts although speakers to come and talk about scientific topics or perhaps other topics so there was a night about music and the brain. Actually unfortunately I couldn't go to that one. It was re released relevant. That's very cool. And it's something that I had never come up in conversations that I've had that you might be in another city now. The country and there might be alumni associations of the university. You come from and for sure. Use that and use that as a kind of a welcoming party for you if you if you're arriving And you're you're alone new city for sure that that's absolutely yeah super get to here and the other the other thing that I'm that I'm curious is now you do your post doc. A imagine that you're all you know what now you here in Montreal but your life in Boston is pretty settled. And you've you've learned the ropes. Let's say But apart from that you also have a project in science communication and we'll maybe talk more a little bit more about it in part two of the interview but what I wanted to know is throughout all of this. How were you able to put time into useful science That's a great question because that was also challenge and it was difficult. Luckily we have a large network of contributors associated with useful science and so They were people that I could ask for help or that. I could kind of Delegate certain tasks too but I sure I felt like I kind of put on the backburner during that Last push to finish Right now it's an interesting time because now we're talking four months after I finished and I have been heavily involved again in the last four months and now we're It's an interesting time to be a signs website when there's a global pandemic happening and so of course. This was something that we felt like. We needed to act on and create content about and we have a podcast about it And so it's actually lead to even more contributors to approach us to ask about joining and so that's almost a silver lining about this whole situation is either it's because they're individuals who have more time on their hands because maybe they're out of work because of The situation or there's more emphasis on the importance of scientific communication in the media. And the message that we're sending and so that's encouraging people to to look for these kinds of opportunities The both are exciting. Because it gives us the chance to Give that training to people who might not have sought it out otherwise and in your experience Looking at your colleagues doing those would doing a pc when you were doing a PhD or now that are doing post. Docs do you feel that People WHO ARE GRADUATE RESEARCHERS POST. Docs ARE PUTTING GETTING THEIR HANDS. More and more into having a side project like no launching a podcast or having a blogger or something that resembles what you do with science. I. I'm just curious if if what you're saying kind of has repercussions in the in the community as a whole. I just want to take a moment before going on with the interview to let you know that you can help me. And the show by leaving a star rating in a comment on your podcast APP. She wanted to go a step. Further GO TO PATRIOTS DOT COM SLASH. Ph d. now and become a supporter for the equivalent of a coffee per month. You'll be helping me immensely with the recurring cost of hosting and producing the show again. Thank you for being a true fan. I definitely felt that at McGill for example. The event that we met at it was a science communication day and there was a a number of groups. There that had tables that were sharing the work. They were doing Group of students for it's graduate. Yeah that's right they were I would say I think all of them were graduate students. I think there has been a growth in this Sicom or since communication World that has really managed to reach out and has struck a chord. I think with a lot of Grad students who feel like they want to be doing a bit more with them. Maybe the skills that they've learned in Grad school or who might even be looking to for other career opportunities or to change their career paths and one thing that has been happening in that I've noticed is there's more and more tools that that low that lower the Bar To to be able to. Let's say launch a podcast or or create a website. It's much easier. You don't need a programmer you'd Anita Studio and maybe that also is making people. Consider that as more of an option and and diving in Lizzy yes absolutely and the same goes with our website for example. We're able to be completely remote all our contributors are Oliver the world. We can do that because of the these free tools that we can use online so the podcast happens remotely. The website happens remotely Oliver. Editing is remote. And so we've definitely benefited from that so this this makes me think of something interesting. Now we're talking about how scientists researchers have have an easier time. Maybe today putting their own information out there in the format that they want And today we're in this in this pandemic. We're we're at home. We are listening to the news every day People you know talking about face masks talking about confinement d confinement in different countries and freshmen from different sources contradict themselves and I feel that it's maybe a an opportunity for scientists sender and let's see epidemiology etcetera to to go out and be their own messengers instead of sometimes leading some media platforms distorts sort. What they say And I think the I really liked that. The project that you have useful science really does that it brings scientists and researchers to the four to let them talk about the research. I imagine and I feel that we're going to see more and more of that in the coming in the coming years and and that this moment that we're living through may even bring more people like you were saying to dip their toes in this science communication pool. I hope so and I'll just clarify what we're doing on the website. We actually have a large again this this network of contributors who are mostly graduate students. Some Med Students. Some science teachers some early career researchers like post. Docs like myself And they're actually summarizing the work of other researchers that we kind of curate From what we find in our reading or On or from things that we're interested in and we actually look up ourselves and the benefit of this is that four contributors. They are reading outside of their domains. And that's something that for example. I never did arrive would never have done it's not for useful science during my PhD So they're getting used to reading outside of their domain seeing what other types of science what their publications are like. Maybe learning new types of statistics from doing that type of reading and then summarizing that information into a succinct Sentence or sometimes once one or two sentences then Could be a little bit more easy to digest by the average person and I agree that What what this is doing is giving these sometimes are scientists are not summarizing their own research. I think that would be possible. But for the most part we're doing different types of science. That aren't necessarily types of papers you would find on our website for example. My research is about Brain circuits and so. It's it's hyper specific and so it wouldn't appear probably on useful science But it does give our contributors this voice and this ability now craft a concise summary that That they might not have learned otherwise But the latest episode was with someone. That wasn't a PhD. Who has a CD Covington about temper tantrums? And the about the science that thinking about the podcast of course so. The process of bringing information is digesting science from different sources. And make it make it simpler so that the general public can understand it. That's right and and I should mention. Yeah there's both the written communication and the oral communication with our PODCAST US so we really enjoyed having except we had cindy having ten on speedboat temper tantrums a few weeks ago we did have one of our own contributor speak about their research for the very first time and they were speaking about a paper They had written that was about Politics and polarization and I found that that was super interesting and very amazing to listen to them. Speak about their their own research What I really like is we're talking about temper tantrums. So it's this child development and we're talking about politics. It's completely different domains. That's what I really love that you have contributions coming from very very different areas and anyway I a fan of the project but I think that's clear and we'll talk a little bit more in detail about it although we already covered some things but in part partout and also on how people can maybe contribute. But now what would I like to talk about is so you have? Had these two hats. Let's say for a couple of years now researcher and director of useful science and often when people are especially in the life science in life science domain people who are in a PhD in a post Doc The meeting I don't have time to have side project or my supervisor will never be happy that I was implicated in something else then. Just my research. Did this happen to you or did you always have supervisors that? Were understanding in that. Supported you in that so i. I did have a good relationship with my supervisor but I would say that I didn't one hundred percent L. him every time I was doing something outside of hers. I think yeah there. Is that worry on the back of your mind. That maybe you'll get a negative reaction or that they'll say something about how you should be in lab instead for me having that extra curricular activity and I and I did a few things useful science. I also I played sports. I was big in ultimate Frisbee Undergrad or an and during my PhD I also participated on the Graduate Students Association of Neuroscience and for me those experiences were probably the most memorable part of my whole doctoral experience because those are the friends. I Made Traveling to tournaments across Quebec For frisbee places that I hadn't been before Meeting people in different departments and and so they were valuable and then some of them carried over. For example useful. Science is still ongoing. And so they've been like these threads that have Out in some ways might outlast your PhD. Especially those friendships that you make. And so for me they were valuable and I think they help you. Kind of keep perspective during the Because save researches in going super great at the moment at least you have this other projects that you maybe can feel passionate and excited about though. That's that's good advice. I I really believe that putting all your eggs in one basket as as people say is is a risk when doing a PhD and and Especially in our domain where things can start not working and not work for months on end you know for sure. I really hope that listeners are taking notes and I think the take home message and tell me if you agree is try and have other activities on the side that that you enjoy doing where you meet people and and where you establish connections and where you create things. I think that's that's probably very important to what would you say I would agree. And now we just talked about people and so you started in science because of an inner curiosity that you had an interest for a specific domain And you you you met people you were in students associations establish contacts and then eventually you now moved countries. And you're doing post elsewhere. Some of these projects have continued like you said useful. Sciences is one of them. What about the connections? What about the networking? How does you know others that translates from being in the PhD? Meeting all these people and then going onto the next chapter did did some of these connections Stay and And how do they impact your your life as a as a post doc today so for me? This connections ended up being super important determining the The Path I took because I actually met both of my supervisors both my PhD Supervisor. And my post doctoral supervisor through networking The first was through a conference Local symposium in Montreal and then the second was through this international conference that my professor had actually sent me on. And so for me. Those connections ended up being just The thing that kind of I guess led me on my path a An earlier I was talking about social connections. I feel like those are also important and I think maybe even both of these started as social just selling when you start speaking at a conference and then led into something professional. Okay and I imagine what what one of the things that is? Clear is the projects that have continued such as such as useful science. You know it's easy to understand that that these connections and this network is still alive and you you still. You're still in it but now a lot of people are most people when they do a post doc. They move somewhere else to do their post doc and often move cities or countries or continents defense. And you've already said that you have as one network of people who Who be anywhere in the world and being in contact with them. Because you're doing this project together and everyone's working remotely. What about you know for someone who's should I post am I am? I made for a post doc. How I'm GonNa feel how am I going to Go through this thing of moving away from my family. Maybe and and staying abroad for two years. Three years for US depending Can you give insights for people who are considering it on? How the experience is you already talked about getting in touch with students associations of your Alma Mater. Which is Great? But I don't know if you if you might have some other insights for for someone who's may be in doubt as to should they. Should they not go abroad to do their post op? Yeah that can be tough I think about my own situation When I had been living in Montreal for ten years so I felt really comfortable. I was living with my partner and Moving to Boston meant that we would be in a long distance relationship. And so I had all of these things to consider and for me it kind of came down to the fact that I felt like this was a an opportunity that if I didn't take it I would always be wondering what if like what would have happened if I had taken it. Maybe three years ago I would have said to myself that I never wanted to do. A Post Doc But then I changing my mind because the The person who I had the opportunity to do a post doc with with someone that I realized I already knew I had a good connection with an I knew our research interest were very well aligned so ended up being like the right opportunity to get me to change my mind and I'm and I'm so glad I did because it's been great so far I would say That doing research at a different institution so a lot of people. There is the idea that you should do your post doc somewhere different. From your doctorate. I know that's encouraged especially by funding institutions like and surrogate Jar and I think there is a good reason for that so it really opens your eyes to how research is conducted elsewhere. You get a whole brand new pool of speakers that come to your institution to speak that you might not have seen otherwise and those kind of a different energy and it's not necessarily better or worse it's just a different one and it is really interesting and motivating to kind of see that understand it and I do feel like my. My aunt eventual goal is to return to Montreal It's still have that place in my heart because it's where I'm from Ed but I would go back with now these new experiences so I feel like for me. It's definitely been a positive experience and so far it's it's still short. It's only six or eight months in But for now it's all it's all good and again for people because I've I've crossed people in my life. Who would have been very stressed? Or very very scared of of leaving their country and And of leaving home etcetera etcetera leaving seeing going away from their parents and family apart from what you already mentioned meeting people who were who actually come from Montreal was is there any other resource or any other any other tool that you use to to stay close even though you're far and to not feel that that That distance so much earlier we were talking about Digital tools and how they are helping anyone kind of create their science communication websites and opportunities. There are so many digital tools and now this pandemic has made them even more accessible. I think in a on everyone's mind so for example you know if you want to start having zoom chats with your family. It's it's so easy now and now we realized that It's you know in the last two months. I've spoken to people who I probably wouldn't have spoken with on a regular basis just because everybody almost goes closer in that And so with my family and with my partner I was definitely speaking more often on the phone. And keeping in touch that way we've developed the routine wherever unite on my walk home from the train station. I would. I would call that. We the time that we talk every day and so having. That routine was also helpful. I think that's really good advice to depending on the how people are are close. People with family This dissolution can be different for each and every person but I would say You know in terms of emotional and mental health. Do try to stay in touch as much as possible. And today like you're mentioning. It's super easy and you can see the faces and the smiles and so I think it's a it's a great idea and to put into a routine is very very smart. Because this way it's it's something that you know that you can count on and And it it. It's easy because you just you know that okay. It's my work home. I know what's happening now. I'm going to call mom call data going to go with my partner. It's awesome Marie. We're GONNA take a little break and then we'll come back and then continue talking. I have Some some more questions around Post docking and then around the your your your science communication prod- projects which really I find very interesting and In which people can contribute. So we'll talk about that. Thanks for listening to part one of my interview Natalie. Ross in part to we'll do a deeper dive into the day to day of medical writer and into what Natalie's professional life looks like as a freelance writer. If you enjoy the insights shared on the show each week and would like to dig deeper into some of the subjects covered. You can now join. The Puppet Postgraduate Career Exploration Group on facebook there you will find like my listeners but also a few of the guests will be taking part in the conversation so to start a conversation. Just go to facebook dot COM for slash Canasta join thanks for listening to another episode the Papa Peach De podcast head over to Papa. Ph D dot Com for show notes in for more food for thought about non-academic both Grad careers always be happy to share inspiring stories new ideas and useful resources. Here on the PODCAST. So make sure you subscribe on I tunes or wherever you get your podcast to always keep the discussion and to hear from our latest guests.

Montreal Boston researcher Montreal Papa PhD United States supervisor Grad School McGill Marie stomas partner McGill University David Mendez director Quebec Colorado Thomas Director Murray Portugal Massachusetts
Episode 9: Kelly Bullock  Pivoting From the Bench to a Creative or an Artistic Career

Papa Phd Podcast

48:29 min | 2 years ago

Episode 9: Kelly Bullock Pivoting From the Bench to a Creative or an Artistic Career

"There's always one day when reality hits your well device trip that she'd been planning for months or for years full short of your expectations of what you had imagined the disappointment you feel may bring your thoughts of packing up and heading back home or you can pick up your map and and look for what other treasures your surroundings hold for you to discover and you trace a new route and embark on a new and exciting voyage in this episode Kelly bullock shares experience switching from a PhD to a Master's program and how she then made use of what she learned in Grad School to build a career for herself where her two loves neuroscience ART INTERSECT WELCOME TO PAPA PhD with David Mendez The podcast asked where we explore careers and life after Grad school with guests who have worked the road less traveled and have unique stories to tell about how they made their place in the world of constantly evolving rules I get ready to go off the beaten path and hop on for an exciting new episode of Papa. PhD before we dive into today's episode. I just want to let you know that I've prepared for. Are you a resource sheet to help you take a snapshot of your current situation and start defining your profile for the job market in your areas of interest you can download it by visiting Papa the PhD Dot Com and following the instructions in the website footer welcome to the show originally from Texas Kelly bullock moved to Canada. Uh where she earned her masters degree in cognitive neuro physiology from McGill University in conjunction with Western University doing her research Kelly unnoticed the gap between the technical experts and the diverse audiences they served and developed a passion for more effective science visualization and communication from an early age. She had an enthusiasm for creating realistic illustrations. After her graduate studies she combined her love for science and her the enthusiasm for art to build a scientific illustration studio Kelly Look Art inspired to address the communication gap in science. Welcome welcome to the PODCAST Kelly. Thanks for having you David so tell us a little bit more about yourself and about your current projects what you do absolutely so as you mentioned I'm originally from Texas so I grew up in a small town whether for Texas and moved due to Montreal for my PhD originally and I have to save the beginning of my graduate studies were a bit in chaotic and as such within a year is decided to transition from a PhD to a masters so that I could still benefit from the graduate studies while finding away to leave academia because at that point who is kind of clear that it wasn't going into the best fit for me and I loved science but I had more interests that varied beyond on just science and I felt that the academic career sort of selected for people who could focus on one thing and and really learning index and I think I I wanted to be more versatile in interdisciplinary in that's how I ended up doing a scientific illustration cool so gril designs the represent sent different scientific concepts or or actual anatomy what what exactly do in terms of scientific illustration yeah absolutely Louis so you hit the nail on the head. really what I'm doing is helping to communicate complex concepts to a diverse audience so for example if if aid researcher has a recent paper or sort of a a body of literature that they want a visualized so that they can attract media attention or senator can attract new graduate students I would come in and create conceptual art that demonstrates their researchers about encaptures the inspiration for their projects so when I was growing up I was really influenced by scientific American and popular consumer publications and I would read through the science and the visuals helped me understand them even though I was a lay person and I certain carrying that memory into my my life today like I want to be the person who can help inspire a new generations of potential scientists that's that's very cool. I've always loved also that part of being able to take an idea that's very complex and simplify it or break it down and then being able to do an infographics or or just a nice realistic graphic that represents the that actually explains you know for people who are more visual that explains the concept. That's that's behind and those magazines for sure that you mentioned I was also also the type of thing that I that I would passionately look look through. Were I just I don't have the the artistic vein though to to do it myself cool so that's that's very interesting. So this is interesting you brought it from before he said from your childhood and you kept it throughout even throughout your studies studies so what you said that you you arrived in Montreal for your pizza and then in that first year you felt okay I'm going to reevaluate and reassess and actually ended you ended up deciding to to rights. Take your master your master's thesis writes yes that's absolutely correct then what brought you to this conclusion that the the PhD post doc etcetera a was not the way to go for you so I would say it was a combination of things I found that I you had less of an appetite for delving into one really intricate small minute area and just really really fleshing that out so for example like learning about one pathway in one area of the brain and I really loved the big picture and and that was something sort of the why behind the what that's really what I was more interested in so I realized that it being a researcher Richer I think that you really have to focus on one thing and if you are if you're sort of all over the place if you want to pursue bigger picture ideas that's really something you only get to do late stage career I in my opinion so I found the the service found it really hard to focus as someone who I think is a little bit creative. a little bit of maybe even destructible they started really hard to focus on one thing and and keep my interest and you know thinking of the listeners out there that might be going through something a similar what were the feelings that you dealt with when you you had this realization okay. I came here for this but now I see that this is not you know not what what's going to be good for me and where I'll thrive and I'm actually going to go this way. There was probably the some inner conflict or how how was you know. How did you deal with it internally? Was it easy. Did you resort to mentors people that that helped you make the decision. How how how did that go for you so absolutely Louis? It was a kind of a big disappointment for me to find out because I had been pursuing neuroscience Diane. Since I was fifteen years old. It was my dream to be neuroscientist. I got there in quotation marks and it wasn't what what I expected. It wasn't really I just realized it wasn't the right dream for me to pursue so it was a bit of a almost a mourning periods you to realize that I had not chosen the correct path that was gonNA filming but beyond that once I did get it over that initial disillusionment I think that I had to learn not to over identify with that pathway pathway and make it define me anymore and that was hard to do. And what resources did you have to help you deal with it because for sure I hear what you're saying and I can totally understand it and identified that if especially if you say you know what you were fifteen when you said okay this is this. This is what I'm going to do it. Can it can come as a shock for even for yourself. Did you have resources that helped you deal you with the with the stress at this point. My main resources were my friends in the graduate program so I don't I wouldn't say that I had any mentors per se I do remember calling my aunt who was also an academic and she made me you feel much better because she had had also quite a circuitous path to her current position which is as a clinical psychologist so she told me the story of how she transitioned from being a master's in English to a PhD in ticketing her law degree and then finally getting her PhD in clinical psychology well okay that must have been really helpful because at that point you probably were thinking okay. I failed and and your aunt clearly told you no no no this is this is just a turning point right. Yes absolutely absolutely it made it seem far less dire that I was changing my career path and as you were saying friends beat it within or without your graduate the graduate program are always. It's always kind of a safety your safety net your emotional safety net. Let's say but those that are within the program may be can identify more with with what you were feeling at that time so you did you did find that in that you had to to change. Let's say Your Path and you you took the decision and then how how was it you know from that point went on until when you wrote your piece how did things go was. Was it easy to to still be focused towards that that objective I would say that I still struggled a bit. I did have something to move towards. which was I wanted just because because of my personal standards I wanted to create something that wins high-quality when I wrote my thesis tonight and the paper that that came out that's but but I had something to focus on at work towards had indefinite end so then I could I I didn't have to split split my attention between pursuing something new and also finishing something that I was starting excellent and and so starting from when you decided to go towards the master's until until you finished and even up until today are there some principles that you would say the applied and that helped you finish that even help you with your projects that you carry on today absolutely so one of the main things that I think that I take away from my graduate studies is that you can become an expert in anything and certainly once I did decide to become a entrepreneur? This mindset has been incredibly helpful because because otherwise the facing the idea of building a business and marketing and learning all different technology would be so daunting but it's exactly what I did my graduate studies so it's nothing new I can learn new technologies. I can learn in indepth about a difference concepts just through research inch by networking properly putting myself in contact with people who know better than I do so I think the main thing that I took from graduate studies was a confidence in my own ability to learn anything and that's definitely one of the things that that we that we take with us. Route life from Grad School is learning to learn you know you if if if for anything any type of product that comes on and that the that you may want to take on your not afraid of the fact that just because you've never delved into that it it's not an obstacle for you to take on these projects for sure and so you saw that you were not going to fall to the peachy you then went on to finish your masters and finished it to your into your standards of of of the quality quality that you that you wanted. What about the transition what happened after I was it easy for you to then define what your projects were or were there obstacles or or were there fears that you felt just when you finish the and when you were then free to go into into the job market so I'd say the main obstacle was actually a circumstantial intial one because I'm a US citizen I actually had to apply for permanent residents so after I finished my masters as I actually came back to Canada for a period of five months to finish the paper that had resulted from these and during that time I began applying for permanent residents and one of the requirements that was that I had to a year of experience as skilled worker Zoe actually got a unrelated job outside of academia for about for almost two years on just to allow me to apply for permanent residence end and also to get taste for the world outside of academia and I can speak a little bit not experience definitely so I would say that the job that I got into a tea research firm so basically I got to learn about a customer facing activity how to be you can client a representative header interact with other people but but one thing that I'll I'll say is that your skills as a graduate students are extremely valued in that sort of corporate environments your work ethic is end your ability to argue any point that is extremely valuable and useful in that sort of environment so that that experience itself was incredibly helpful for helping me feel more comfortable with marketing talking to clients and even writing emails else to people who aren't academics excellent so what I'm hearing is that once you found this this job and maybe we can talk a little bit later. About how was that plunged into the job market but you were saying that you found quite quickly that you had skills killed were easily transferable from your your graduate studies to this activity which which was more a commercial. Let's say and this is something that has come up in indifference interviews but I I think you're just confirming it. So what I'm hearing is apart apart from what you published and what you know what actually what you studied you come out of your masters in this case with with soft skills as they're called that that are prized by by employers out there so this is very interesting for people who are finishing and who may think Oh. I've been studying all these years employers won't I won't be an interesting candidates for employers because they'll I think I'm bookish or you know our elaborate or whatever but in your experience there was a direct a a positive balance in your favor from coming to Grad school absolutely and I think that you are absolutely the right. One thing that I've heard over and over again from my former colleagues in academia is that no one wants to hire you if you have a PhD it makes it harder to get a job well. I do think that PhD in Masters Students have perhaps a little bit of a misconception. I'm to work against that. They're bookish once they get into an interview they show how articulate and intelligent and capable they are they have no problem if your if your employer is a good employer in sort of progressive they will see see past that you'll see that you have so much to offer them in the corporate world and what would you say you know. During your Grad Studies a a foster these desert skills what were the activities or the events that that afterwards you found well the A B and C and I was unknowingly I was gaining this knowledge and now I'm using it in my day today in this job absolutely so one of the main things I would be the public speaking aspect of presenting your research at conferences at symposia coffee talks things act that was something that I definitely struggled with in graduate school the stress of speaking in front of people I think that it I came in a little bit struggling in that area and left having improved massively and so that allowed me to have confidence when I did need to present ideas in a corporate environment. I think that people in in that environment firemen are a little bit less particular. They're a little bit less vocal about criticisms so it becomes a cakewalk to be honest. The presenting to in business crowd cool excellent so I guess also the fact that you know 'cause I imagine that employers also may think okay well this person coming from from research from the bench probably an introvert etc etc and then when they discover that no you've so you've been you've been to impose you've talked in public. You've defended posters etcetera etcetera. It must come as a pleasant surprise. The I think potentially at the at the company that I worked for they did have a history of hiring people from that graduate program so I think they had already learned stud. GRADUATE STUDENTS HAVE A ton of skills that are highly valued in that sector but it's interesting choosing to no that's that's really cool that some employers that they're already know know about this so does secret excellent excellent and so you know taking this information and thinking about people who are now in their studies. Would you have any advice on how they can make the most search of their time at university leading to their future career. I think that one of the main takeaways that I had ad for my graduate studies was not to over identify with your work and that's potentially controversial stance but being being able to separate yourself from the output because you will face so much rejection you will face so many setbacks in your research. It's it's almost inevitably it just because of the nature and how difficult the thing that you're doing is so if you can say out my experiment failed but I'm not a failure got instead since so important and and by being able to do that you'll you'll be a little bit more able to set that boundary between your working your life which is so important. You're touching on a point. That's very dear to me which is work life balance and especially actually in in Grad school where you're you can be vulnerable for for different reasons like in your case you were away from home in another country you know if in fact if you over identify with what you do and with the results that you get it can be very difficult and and one of the things that that I think is very very important to take care of is your your mental health throughout Grad School and and for sure finding finding a good balance and one of the key points as you said is do not over identify with your with your results with your day-to-day results and even with your results at the end I I would say a because some people have our time even publishing at the the end of either a masters or or peach and it doesn't make them failures. You're totally totally writes. an on that aspect what would would you say. Were coping strategies that you that you that you had throughout Grad School in terms of you know keeping being your inner universe healthy I think being able to sort of talk to other people like my friends in the graduate program who were also experiencing the same challenges and being able to bolster each other and help each other have a better attitude about if we disappointing results from an experiment that's racing therapeutic and the other thing that I would say is I actually had a a a outside activity. which was I started a acquire acquire among the branding mine institute whenever I moved to Western so that that was a really fun weekly thing we would get together and we actually performed at some of the symposia help arment and it was one of the surprising things things where we started with six people and ended up with forty people by the time I left so there was a real desire for musical the expression outside of the work that was really nice to be able to do that activity with people and get to know people that are that's? That's amazing amazing because well singing it can be therapeutic you know and but it seems that for two things two things that I want to say I it seems that you're very lucky to have a group of students in the program that that we're kind of a little family. They tell me if I'm interpreting wrong but I feel that you had a nice little group and that's you know that's very very cool absolutely second the choir especially if you ended up Yup having forty people. which is you know? It's quite impressive. That's also community right so do again two very important points in my in my point of view in keeping yourself healthy. It's having having a let's support group you know within your close at your close group of of people colleagues that that's perfect if you can do that but I also have an activity outside outside of your research which that that gives you a sense of community and the ad fulfilled fulfillment because I imagine no whenever you did a concert or you you know whenever you took part in a seminar. What did you say in the symposium? Yes yeah whenever you did a show at the end. You know you did something you did well. Oh people enjoyed people clapped. You know it's it's it's probably inexperience that bolsters you that makes you gives you happiness Sir and enjoying a certain aspect in in in your life and that does not dependent is not linked in any way to your research or your results absolutely absolutely I think you've hit the nail on the head. It was really just the sense of community and be able to. I think Sharon creative expression Russian would just a link you at that with your graduate studies but it's it's a little bit different yeah. It's not the same type of feedback that together because I imagine when you sing and people clap. It's you know the feedback is right. There people are happy. They liked what you did. The effort was worth it because I imagine that you had practices his that had the word you know at certain days of the week so there was some work that you guys put into it for sure absolutely absolutely yeah. I wish I could have been there because I like I like music and I actually been inquires in the best and it's I know how oh how fulfilling that can be awesome illegal and now apart from your colleagues and maybe people from the choir. I always like to ask ask my guests. Importance networking may have had during Grad school and also after Grad School. What's your experience in terms of networking you keep in contact with people from the time that you spent in Grad school and is our some of those contexts professional or or or not at all so for me and my projects that I'm pursuing right now those networks that network in those contacts accident made in graduate school were paramount to what I'm doing now so I I do work quite a bit with the researchers that I that were in the program that I went to as well as use? My background is a researcher her because what I find is that I can provide some insights into the design of see illustrations in the visualizations virtualization because I was a researcher I can better meet those needs and so I had those skills as well as a network from my graduate studies that really do help me directly with my with my projects right now. Cool your urine insiders say exactly you can have a dialogue with the different scientists. I imagine exactly that's that's very interesting and I do think it makes the work a little bit more interesting for me as well especially especially if you dream you know if it's something that you've dreamt of doing since you fifteen well you still doing it so imagining them as fulfilling in a way yes absolutely awesome well. This is great I think I think you've touched on some very important points in the and I realized some of the things that you've mentioned about how how you went through through Grad school now. I'd like to ask another you know to go into different. It's different aspects of going to Grad School. We have to do with cultivating yourself. So the idea is is a little bit like you mentioned you may get into Grad school and start over identifying. Let's say with your work work with your results and I talked about mental health a little bit before and this has to do with that also which is is you may drop the ball a little bit in terms of taking care of yourself. Having you know your life plan that looks further than two three four or five years and also considering that you then went into the job job markets and you know you went out of the academic career path. Let's say another aspect that go the during in Grad school may be difficult to cultivate is cultivating abilities of promoting yourself to potential employers that you may find in in the job market so the first question I'd like to ask in this domain would be what habits or resources helped you cultivate yourself as an independent in person during your studies and come out ready to promote yourself on the job market yeah so that's a great question I think when I was first applying for the job outside of Graduate School the main thing that I had to flipped that I needed to switch Wednesday that I needed to learn how to actually understand my own worth within a job market so one of the benefits of of graduate school as you do learn very adeptly how to present data in a in a convincing way as you can use those same skills to show actually. Actually I am worth this much money. This is the salary that I'm going to ask for. I'm willing to walk away. It's not meant because I've done my research urge and I don't think it's going to be a good fit is if the employer is not willing to a match stats because I know what the market is is asking for so I think that's that's absolutely keys knowing your own worth and actually practicing able to speak about that confidently definitely and did you did you have any resources at beat at mcgilla Western on that the two that you used maybe to learn how to tailor your CV or how to write a resume or did did you just go go at it on your own and cultivating those skills yourself. It's it'd be more towards the latter however income did have to colleagues who helped me tremendously with this because win you are in graduate school. You may not be making taking the most the largest salary in the world so you learn that your our time is not as valuable so that was something that I had to unlearn through conversations with one of my colleagues who was also looking for a job outside of graduate in school and the figure she was she was doing I was like okay. I didn't even realize it ask for that much money and it really changed my mindset to look into you. How much are you worth and not actually settling for anything less than not stutz fine and that's actually going to treat more beneficial relationship your employer down the road cool so this kind of segues into my next question which was about mentors? You said you didn't have mentors per se but this person the mentioning somehow she was mentoring you because she she had you know or she was going through the same process and she kind of showed you the ropes absolutely so I think the the peers the friends that I had in the in the program were my mentors more so than any one more experienced person excellent. That's again I'm I want to. I almost want to meet these people because it looks like it was a really nice group very cool and what about after you finished you know because you you you've defined career path for yourself. How did you you said you had this job which which was more on the commercial side Cetera but eventually you had agree pat at that you wanted to follow in that you're now you know you know you know working on what were the steps? The you know. What did you do to become the professional that you are today and were there in this aspect of your life people that also helps you to to achieve this absolutely so I think both in the organization that I worked in after my masters and in my current role there have been individuals who have helped me tremendously and who I would consider mentors so I think that in the in the position I was in my correct supervisor was an incredible resource? He was incredibly knowledgeable about business as a whole about talking talking to clients and I did become a manager within that role so he then became a great resource for how to manage people all which was quite an exciting interesting to learn about and in my current role I do have actually a mentor through the Association for Medical illustrators destroyers and stay have been absolutely paramount's in understanding and helping me feel more comfortable that I'm on the right path. How A to market myself how to make sure that my professional standards are world class? Let's very interesting so so so now you're you're a part of this association. Did you have to take any courses. was there something like academically that you that you did to bolster yourself in terms of abilities to do what you do now so I would say that my pathway to a to become a science illustrator is a little bit different than most most individuals will go to a accredited program. There's only four four that I know of in the United States and they'll actually do. I think it's a two year master's program a degree in biomedical communications indications though that would have been the most expedient way to to enter the field however because my circumstances I was unable to to do that and so my approach is just to do it. I understand it will probably take me a little bit longer to gather all of the skills that I would have otherwise gathered through professional program but with the help of my mentor in the community I have to say within the medical illustrators association is absolutely tremendous theory very generous with their knowledge and with their mentor courtship so it's been a lovely experience so far that's very very cool to know and I think anyone looking to go into a uh into a profession that is that has type of an association that that works officially to help professionals nationals in that domain for sure approach them and the and she can have a mentorship program like you mentioning. That's really awesome that is really cool now again about about the people who've who've helped you along the way what would be like the most important lesson. Let's say that you've learned and from the different mentors that you've had and and how has this helped you to become who you are. Today I think I I just have to go back to that. Individual who helped me understand my worth and that sort of mentality of not accepting a position that the poor fit for you in any manner whether it's it demands more of your time than you're willing waiting to give up or it demand to work for less money than you're worth it just not worth it in. It's not going to to go and work from you and it's creepy fulfilling relationship with the employer so I think that's the number one lesson that I learned from my mentors this a very good lesson. It's it is very important because like you were saying before coming out of Grad school you are not trained or it's not as natural for you to value your time a lot and depending on the domain that you're working the value that you give your time can be very very low because you may work days nights weekends towards a result towards an experiment and that may fail a bunch of times and it's true. It's not a given that you come out being conscious of of of the value of your skills and of what you you bring as a as a team member for any any company the challenges you know not everyone has someone beside them that can that can. Let's say open their eyes in tell him no no look this is your this is Grad School. This is the world looking at you from the from the world you have this this value and I wonder I wonder imagine one of one of the things that people can do in listeners. The can can do is the try and see whether they're diversity has a career service an often often they do. I know I know McGill have one and that's very the very good full of resources where you can a little bit like like you didn't like your colleague was doing you can research different careers you can actually you can learn to tailor your CV and then to write a resume but from my memory you can actually also have data on on on I what different careers look like in terms of day to day but also in terms of pay I think I think that that's part of what they offer as as resources there so so I would say if you have someone in your network that has done transitioning or that works in the domain that you want to work will approach them now with beat Lincoln or or other. Just you know reaching out to the two people to people you know that would be. I'd say the best source someone who's doing what you want to do and they'll tell you the the numbers. They'll tell you the day today but but if if that's not at all possible well use google like anyone the today but if you have a resource in professionals at university that that offer this service will use it because it's definitely precious and you'll see that you you were much more than you than you imagined by the end of a Master's repeat I couldn't agree with you more David and I would take a step farther and say sometimes you'll be surprised when you reach out to people in your network who've moved onto non academic careers Sometimes they're willing to put you in contact with someone who's willing to hire you or have an interview with you so that can really even open up doors beyond in just the research part of it it because I think anyone that that Caesar candidate that has done their homework. You know that has looked at what the company does and and can have a conversation about how they'll contributes for sure. They'll want to see you and have coffee or just have an interview and eventually hire you because you know if if you show show how how you're motivated and if you if it's something that you know it's a calling for you that'll that'll be apparent in view and and it'll it for sure it will help these people make decision versus looking at a pile of CV's having someone that that has been referred by someone they know so. It's a foot in the door like this right absolutely excellent well. I'm getting to my last question which is a a little bit you know kind of coming up everything that we've talked about and trying to to give our listeners some food for thought in some some advice and and the idea is that now you imagine that you're in front of an audience full of young finalists or young graduates that's you know may be going through the same questions and and you know finding the same obstacles that that you found when you you transitions and you know they have fused they have worries and they want to find a place in the market so the idea is that it if you imagine that you have this audience in the view the to tell them what two or three basic strategies or principles they could follow starting today to put in place a realistic containable project of transitioning to the non-academic job market so that is a it's obviously a huge task. Take that transition and to even begin to understand what you want to do and I think one of the main things is to do your research find vocation occasion that is profitable fulfilling but also can provide value to your audience and make you feel like you're making a valuable contribution and that's not always the easiest thing to do but if you do that research and you you have a a decent idea that something's actually going to earn you money and be fulfilling that's ninety percent of the battle and beyond that I think be willing to take calculated calculated risks so even leaving academia is a risk you've invested so much time energy into one career end. You're leaving it and you may not even use that degree at directly for your next career but invest in your self understand that the skills that you are that you learned during your graduate school will be valuable. They will come into play in in your next move and be willing to go to school again are take some classes and make the move towards something that you will be Find Works is selling. I totally agree and the like like we were saying before. One of the things we learned to do in Grad School is will learn to learn and we so we learned to study we learned to research and you know almost anything that you that you decide to do who is going to be far easier than finishing your master's or finishing a Ph the plus now you have all the skills that you've acquired during that process who says so for sure I totally agree with you. This is very wise advice and and yeah once you're on the job up markets. You'll see that all that you've done all the work you've put towards your degree in detail you know he's probably I believe won't it won't apply no one's going to ask you in the in the industry what you published or or how many papers it's it's a non question after that but the fact that you that you did the work that you did write a thesis that you did do a defensively you did present to different audiences either in front of a poster or actually in a symposium all of that will count and it'll be valued by by your employers by your colleagues in whichever career that you choose. I totally agree so Kelly we're done this. These were my questions. Thank you so much. I really I really find that you have a career path and and you had a Grad School uh-huh patted that was very interesting and especially I really liked how coping with with being you know abroad broad going through your masters into your decisions like the strategies that that came up during your studies especially the choir. It's it's the first a a interview someone who was in in something more artistic often. It's going to be sports or different a yoga or different things this. This was well personally I really I really really liked it and and apart from that. I think there was there. Were very very good. Insights that you shared tired and I think this is going to be a really like this episode so thank you very much. Thanks so much for having me David so now we're at the end of the interview is there's something you'd like to promote their online presence that you would like to talk about absolutely so for the listeners out there are you can find my art at my website so Kelly bullock art dot Com as well as instagram which is at Kelly dot audible dot art and also I wanted to mention that I will be exhibiting at the Society for Neuroscience Conference this year in Chicago which I'm really really excited about so you'll see me air in October that is very cool just for the listeners to know all of this information is going to be in the in the show notes for Kelly's episodes right by Kelly toxin thanks for listening listening to another episode of the Papa. PhD PODCAST head over to pop up each

Grad School Graduate School PhD David Mendez Kelly researcher Kelly bullock PhD Grad school Canada Louis United States Texas PhD Dot Com Montreal McGill University Western University senator
David Freiheit  Merging Law, Popularization, and Content Creation

Papa Phd Podcast

1:03:38 hr | 2 years ago

David Freiheit Merging Law, Popularization, and Content Creation

"Life is not in black and white your life who you are is a patchwork stemming from Europe bringing your experiences who you've met the choices you've made what you studied is also a piece of this patchwork but it's not the whole thing and the more you go into your adult life the more you end up painting that mosaic to your image that as the rest of my life about me Montreal youngest of five kids born and raised lived in Paris for one year when I studied philosophy also forgot is make friends with the professors stay tuned as we discussed this and much more on a new episode of Papa Peachy in your areas of interest you can download it by visiting Papa PhD Dot Com and following the instructions in the website footer welcome to the show just to tell about how they made their place in the world of constantly evolving rules get ready to go off the beaten path things is not economically sustainable on its own but I did make a decision about three years ago to phase out litigation entirely for my practice because I could cool interview so welcome to the show David thank you very much and I've done a few podcast but I've never done a podcast Viva voce live with the interviewer in person I've done them on so Montreal litigator turned youtuber. I'm still not a litigator but I'm still a lawyer I do some legal work just to actually make ends meet because we'll get into this but the youtube side his love of photography and film here's one of the pearls of wisdom he shared doing our conversation be diligent make friends with the students and something welcome to Papa PhD with David Mendez The podcast where we explore careers in life after Grad school with guests who have walked the road less traveled and have unique story before we dive into today's episode. I just WanNa let you know that I've prepared for you a resource sheet to help you take a snapshot of your current situation and start defining your profile for the job market my father is a lawyer my sister-in-law's alert two of my sister-in-law's lawyers my brother-in-law's parents are lawyers in Florida we have a family of lawyers like a family tradition so bun lived in Quebec City for three to four years while I studied law but youngest of five kids in the family for the five kids are lawyers studies about what his path was he has a very very interesting given that he did recently and it's I think it's going to be longer do it I couldn't stand doing it after WHO's ten plus years of litigation where I think I had gotten the feel for it and what it was in the fact that I didn't want to do that it wasn't a it started with my father but it was never a sort of a an imposed tradition it just became the way we all went I think probably because of the nature of our upbringing have having a lawyer fool say a philosopher philosophical father critical thinker type thing everybody says okay when you when you when you study philosophy when you think critically when you think analytically oh I introduced you very very shortly but yeah I'd like you to talk a little bit about yourself and the listeners know who you are where you come from and what you did today there's a few things that are going to be good for professions in laws right up right up on the list there so we were studied elementary school high school and Huffman for an exciting new episode of the PD envisioned that being a life career so like my siblings went and studied philosophy I went to McGill to study philosophy I like the moral philosophy but you can't make a life with creative arts degree in certainly not despite being on the Dean's list of Dawson for creative arts it's not it's not itself a career and I had not line so this is a new a new sort of experience for podcast me do it's my first live interview on actually posted on twitter today because it's pretty exciting for very cool for anybody who knows what that is and I did creative arts and I've always been into creative arts which is what I've sort of come back to full circle and I've always been into video making like when we were kids we would make videos the philosophy of law I like I like the conceptual side of philosophy and from there obviously you don't become a philosopher unless you want to go into a PhD and become a professor bryce stopping what trouble a troublemaker sorta started started actually succeeding in studies and settling down in terms of behavior. Say Jeff was Dawson work you can go into politics you can go you know whatever so that was the foundation for my future career but I ended up going into law started working place called Borden Ladner Javale which at the time was Canada's largest law firm in terms of numbers of lawyers okay but it's always been top ten in terms of reputation big firms VHS in the shoulder held camcorders creative videos in sage I did a film courses and made short films so I've always loved film so today I'm interviewing Viva Fried David fight he's known as we are on a new one on the Internet and we're going to talk about and the lifestyle itself was sort of difficulty sustainable when we had a kid before kids you know I can work seven days a week ten hours five years and it was an interesting experience but I was never it always left something wanting get too much into the high school but I did do a video on my high school because I did bounce around from three high schools in five years well my major sort of life transition into sage national firms and I worked there as a student stagger which is an intern and young lawyer of jobs over the so the natural course then was to go get a law degree and getting a law degree not necessarily just to be compelled to become a lawyer but even if you don't have a practice law having a law degree is like the greatest among the doc eight nine ten hours a day at one point over an extended period of time I was leaving the house when my kid was asleep coming back when she was asleep and I was miserable you just sort of foundations of education that you can have because you don't need to become a lawyer you can do anything you can do business and be very successful if you know what to think within the legal get rejected off the waiting list legal started coming in faster than I could handle it and so I started working but I was working out of out of the basement I was not seeing her during her waking life and there was no end to this horizon so that at at one point I was not happy I was visibly not happy my wife said has basements I can't have people delivering documents here this was actually within two weeks find an office just to just to have official address cause also nobody really takes it seriously when I know why they rejected me because I don't think they thought that I was actually going to commit to the full time program because I was a lawyer with a kid and it wasn't going to be sustainable for me before I can even look that was coming straight to not everyone's like hey I heard you left now I can probably afford you can you help me with this literally from one day to the next it was like a sizable law firm knew more about procedure back court documents backings all these things to some extent than I did she was the hide it up my stuff over the next two weeks to a month thinking that I was going to go into commercial photography 'cause I have always been into photography I've always had are at the big law firm because overhead is a totally different factor in terms of establishing hourly rates go to my own I have no overhead I have no expenses I have no secretary didn't even have I it doesn't seem like it's for me I'm going to go and apply for commercial photography back Dawson like sort of full circle before I could get rejected because I was put on the waiting list this couple blocks away on Saint Catherine tiny office seven hundred dollars a month and was able to work professionally meet clients and do all the thing over the summer I had go to the basement we not even moved out on her own yet we were living with my parents in the basement and I was working out of their basement and I said I can't do this so I went and got an office so this courthouse and do this which we did so I started on my own in two thousand ten and we did this until we're still doing it all on a lesser degree but until two thousand you are operating illegal practice of a residential addresses sort of has a connotation to it and also nobody likes getting serve documents for their clients at their home so I got an office daphne she knows who she is if she's listening to this best paralegal best person that I had ever met in building my practice on my own because she had been a paralegal at another this my father was leaving psych Elliott because of their partnership rules he wanted to continue practicing so we said let's all get together and go to old Montreal and get a nice office by the I always felt that there has to be more to the practice than this not out of anything of law firm in particular it's the same at all big law firms just has to be more to life more to the law than this eighteen seventeen when I made my decision to wind up litigation side and move on to something that I think would make me happier in retrospect if I'm looking at you something has to change or something Never GonNa Change in this I remember the Friday afternoon mid April I just said that's it I went to my boss and I said I can't do this anymore you know it was it was meant to be that we met at that time build up the solo practice into me her another lawyer at one point and then we got to the point where needed to get bigger itself an amazing and intense process and at the time and shortly after I told myself if I knew what was going to be involved in everything under control went to California for two and a half week road trip which was the longest vacation I had taken in my life at that time and that's what I sort of had started doing the daily flogging video again yeah except you don't have a ten pound VHS can't hold on your shoulder give a two and a half hour camera captures images better than anything you've ever imagined finding it down I'm not sure that I would have started up but it was just because it's a year of work we're not only are you not really building in the files because you can't bill the client to wind up their file and find today would make much of a difference we had our first kid I took two months off for parental and then when I went back to work you know going back to work five six seven days a week sees I learnt about Youtube Monetization subscribers but I always say if I knew then what I knew now things would probably be very different because the learning curve so you know I was talking to you before digital photography I said I would never make the transition to digital but I gotTa my dad gave me his Nikon d one of the time and then I got into it so I said in your childhood so I started making these videos and then I started licensing these videos after the first video that I ever had gone viral viral and I learned about video licensing agents okay you started on the road trip I started on the road trip but I had been doing you too for a while before that so and the way those to call the professions for lack of a better word for you a computer at that time so if he was an awareness like what do I need to charge in order to even make a living and the work kept on coming in so then I'd one point two said I can't work my life at the end of it and so then what happens I say we have to wind up litigation side it takes a full year to wind up the files find lawyers to substitute a settle the files needs to be settled institute we were paying the lawyers that we had I was paying we have a couple of years working for us who were actually helping me organize the files so it was not only not revenue revenue generating curve to get up to speed on the file so you have to keep some files that you can't responsibly get out of so we did that and then wound up the last one oh carrying up a tree minute and a half video posted I think I shot it on November November two thousand fourteen Sunday afternoon set and not just as a database for storing videos so the first video of you had never seen it but I think everyone in Montreal probably has seen it at this point was a squirrel stealing it got licensed to National Geographic Mother Jones news networks across the world and I was out of the office the Saturday as I have a file can you help me I said sure I mean Jesus did they were billing me out at doesn't really matter but they were building out at they claim a certain portion of your ad sense revenue from the views on youtube but you are now tapping into a sort of network of third parties that you would never have access to in terms of licensing the video and I I sort of that's where I started learning about video licensing and it was incredible because through this video licensing agency was at first nonexistent because I was not paying attention to it and then it was a sharp learning curve when I realized what I had to do to turn a channel into a channel as an the holy cows this was kind of a cool thing the way this turned out I uploaded to youtube and five days later it has five million views at the time this is two thousand fourteen rides I like and respect everybody here and they liked and respected me this I can't do this for another five years so I left agencies saying it we saw video we'd like to license it you'd retain the intellectual property copyright but we would have non exclusive licensing rights I had no idea what they were I assume they were it's not really a bit more of a passion than a profession since two thousand fourteen I had been posting videos on Youtube when I got a Gopro and discovered it's fun to me can I had I had more work than I needed and I had more work than I know what to do with and so I started doing that and then at one point I had so much work I said I need a paralegal and I found a paralegal it was an expense and it was it was it was it was fun it was stressful but boom wound up close up the last litigation file I had to keep a few because for anybody who doesn't Know Litigation L. Spam but I ended up getting in touch with one of them we discussed exactly what happens and I sort of understood then okay they go fishing around with third parties to license it get relatively consistent engagements compared to the other ones which we will either be three hundred views or fifty thousand depending off they went viral hit and miss hit and miss that was real that was viral in the viral sense of youtube two or three days later I started getting these what appear to be spam emails from VI- video licensing like a multi year process and some files where we have a trial waiting you can't just get out of the fancy sorry client go find another lawyer who's going to incur all the expenses of a learning stuff and as the progression would occur I noticed that every time I put out a video based on law it didn't get a million views but it got thousands and tens of thousands billion views on youtube is something of an anomaly like it's I like to pretend that I sort of had the ideas but I think the world was different back then youtube is different back then certainly they send you an email and say we'd like to use your video and but when you're when you're a solo person you have no idea what you're doing how to deal with the head negotiate these deals when you have an agency say it's being licensed and Video Licensing Agency licenses out and it was amazing I remember the day I got the check for the absense revenue was like it was two thousand bucks for the is bringing things that you think are way over your head down to their level in explaining nitty gritty of like interrogation and I think that's that's the them I have no say in this so you wash your hands of negotiating you wash your hands of being the greedy person asking for money for your for your property I exhausted the capacity for the drone but then I realized that it doesn't mean I would make a cooking video and one where I cooked an ostrich egg six million views the other one where we hard boiled so help people understand who are who don't understand and I discovered this market so to speak of people who are looking to understand what's going on in the world in terms that they can under viral videos and then over time you know you realize you can't make a business off hitting the lottery and you can't build a channel hitting the lottery even though you have a bunch of people who come for random I was operating in the realm of doing things with drones go pros it was it was a long time for that and there were not many videos out there so the the market had been non on like that but at the very least everything they're getting from the media whatever side it's on already has spin it already has interpretation it there may be I don't want irrelevant or superfluous details they are getting that allow whoever to come to whatever conclusion they want but they know they're not getting an explanation they're getting a summary they're being told ostrich egg God close to a million views but the ones where I cooked squid got a thousand views if we're lucky and I couldn't turn my challenge cooking channel it was others got licensed by tech sites all sorts of things and that's when I sort of just began exploring experiencing youtube for what its potential was for that's that's what gets people coming back because this guy is teaching me stuff that society tells me I shouldn't be understanding that's why I think it's really really cool about that it's news mainstream media there's commentary there's no shortage of commentary but even with the commentary stuff on either side some better than others but think as opposed to sniff impartial there's always an agenda there's an agenda there's an agenda if it's you know you can't see that I'm doing the quotes but there's an agenda misrepresentations by omission but they're certainly you can't get all of the information in and so the media with whatever agenda they have depending on whatever whatever site or or paper quickly you know it does involve your commentary based on things and facts that are going to support that position and sort of setting aside the things that are not and I tried end and that's the niche that I sort of now started focusing on and we'll get back to my questions but I feel that one of the things with those videos is people are thankful that someone in Spanish news called and said you're on the front page of what is the equivalent of CNN in Spain it's crazy it was it was it was a totally new experience but and then I got the these lobbies videos are boring but they sort of got an interesting because it's stuff that I look into anyhow there's no point making video on it because I'm going to read myself why that's what I like about it also because first of all I think everyone has got the Internet has allowed everybody to realize not that they're getting lied to by the media appreciate at the time that there are certain topics that the platform doesn't necessarily even want people talking about that is not necessarily a deterrence doc for the for the for the views on youtube is a cows I went out and bought a drone and then with that drone I kept on making content which itself you know some videos went viral the got hundreds of thousands of us into your tastes this week you'll be hearing from David Frei Height about getting a law degree and becoming an litigator and about how he's been able to marry his knowledge of law I mean it's sort of the idea that I even have a channel that has multi that at the time had no specific brand or no specific direction that had multiple videos that over that I noticed that went viral was me explaining and breaking down what was going on in that Alex Jones deposition and that sort of the one that got me into trouble with Youtube because I did is what I would have done this is what I would have not done as the attorney this is a good question should look like this is what a bad question allows or bad in an improper question or a for me but I just found that I found that so interesting because the media was reporting on a three and a quarter hour deposition by showing a literally a five second sound bite and I said when I saw that there has to be more to this watching the ones who are gonNA understand what they're watching certainly going to cherry pick from whatever side they want to promote their position so I just went through the I'd like to see what the devastation looks like and in watching it I realized no one's going to watch it even people who are GonNa be inclined to watch it are not really going to understand or appreciate necessarily what about my experience apply to regular life and I noticed those videos got consistent engagements and it was something that I liked I grew to like doing it and I made the joke like sometimes hundreds of thousands of US consistently consistently and so I would put out a law-based video maybe one every ten videos and just like some of the phrased question this is what it allows the witness to answer people love that video in terms of the insight and April two thousand nineteen and since then that's where I sort of focused the channel ah even when I do have a personal position to explain both sides of what's going on and just let people come to their own conclusions which I did with the first visit unless it was like a humorous dad ruins everything type thing but it would ever so I I wasn't looking for direction for the channel but it sort of came there because I noticed videos talk about my practice Jio that's not even including the God licensed to other parties because I think I've seen it on Japanese Oh yeah it was on it was on Japanese television show he was on it was on someone who has has a spin they have an agenda and everybody knows that they're getting that spin but they don't exactly know where they're getting it from they don't exactly know what information they're getting they don't exactly know what exploited a non exhausted so some of the videos ideas that had made a mar may demark like the tooth polling with a drone waxing my legs with a drone grilling stay with the joe and videos the real question is only do I think that I can responsibly put together a video on it without exceeding with purporting to exceed my own understanding of the subject yeah and today it's it's there's a lot of logs happening via a wgn that's right that's happening because the content is generates itself in terms of subject matter could do you know very edgy commentary as well I don't want to even when I do commentary I try to be as respectful as humanly possible to people who don't necessarily share that opinion style is not one which is not like a forest fire type spreading style whereas the elaborate annals who are growing whether or not they would grow faster but they're still growing so I can't blame everything on an algorithm I can't blame everything on politics it might be that non authoritative news or or people purporting to report on things that they want to leave the expertise of mainstream media but that's now I have twelve plus years of law practice experience four years of law school for years of philosophy I'm just going to give it up and go make videos about cooking a revamp that building and sort of take take the law side which is the foundation and then put in the creativity which can be the the stores for lack of a better analogy but it was deep partisan sort of shocking and delivery commentary there's a lot of it and it may tend to it may spread faster but I'm trying to go for the slow-burn of I could mentally more opinion than others which I'm not averse to doing but I I sorta I try to focus more on these are the these are as objective a lay of the land faxes the legal practice is real estate I've spent all this time and money building this building and I'm not even living in renting out the space because I don't like the building anymore as they will there's a way to it's wasting value that that could probably bring two people which I seem to be which seems to be the case and people seem to like the videos I'm not sure that the platform itself you end up like you said full circle before it but it's still like a double whammy because now not only you you're doing concentration you doing video but you using all your lawn as you know and eventually things may have just I don't know how how political or how I know how youtube actually works within no behind personally and not objectively if say like that and so I would say like I take it personally and then I tried to say oh it's because my content etc but then I could go and I look at other a sort of highly politicized commentary tends to spread faster but but that gets that has to get tiring a certain point for the people and for the people making it for the people it shocked and offended just based on called the facts are based on the assessment and I'm thinking of some videos where let's just say the a different that's a different battle in one that I may or may not be able to to win but at least I can be stubborn and stick around for as long as possible demonetized and you get them college people are are liking it in are interacting and engaging that's that's that's actually an and I think I had one point thought of it like real estate like the glue closed doors there but I you must be you must be the only one you know dealing with this well that's why I you you tend to take people tend to take things that happened to them no and that's that that's why I like I like your content to be because exactly of that I I really I'm not a consumer of the the more inflammatory laker saying offended by the by the content but they won't get offended by the delivery or or what they what some people considered like a disrespect for opposing opinions it's like it's like witness and sometimes it requires jostling sometimes requires instigation sometimes it requires like not intimidation but rather irritation but other times it was silly of me to really cause I was acting more emotion and fatigue incidentally than anything else but it was it was not the smartest the best thing to say you can get no spin but I have my opinion but now come to your own opinion yeah that's very cool so it seems that you know you're you're pretty Lucky Wade oh you know this could have been anybody could have been any other politician it's not a partisan thing if people get upset and might be because of their partisan beliefs or their partisan hatred of the other being commentary I'm trying to think of the word I don't WanNa say inflammatory commentary but that highly and in fact it's oftentimes turns them off so you could go for that highly partisan Aligarh they're hiding information from you etcetera etcetera which is thing waste to edgy ways to present an opinion and insult on the people I I could do it wouldn't make me feel good to do it some people don't mind and you know what people are thinking and I I don't get shocked I don't get offended by it myself I just know that people do and my purpose my purpose is not to shock or offend in delivery people might education side where when you present something to judge you could call the adverse your adversary Aligarh and you can you can mock them and you can attack them personally but it doesn't work with the judge requires flatter the requires friendliness but speaking of this framework of Youtube and the way I present videos it is much like the his experience going through law school and how he's been able to bring together his love of law and a video content creation as viva fry on youtube so we touched these videos were all of oftentimes even present both sides present the other side as authentically as possible in order to present the rebuttal but nobody politics it's it's it's it's human tribalism it just materializes itself either in politics football teams television shows rock bands the analysis of the Trudeau. SNC scandal people got upset at the content and it's usually on partisan lines but I could have gone with the commentary side I'd just go with the actual of getting engagement of people because there's been studies that show that people engage more when they get angry on Youtube and twitter and facebook but in front of a judge won't when you the case in Italy it being able to jog to jostle now in terms of exact depositions yes and that's why in depositions there's ways to get the information out of out of your Haydn now they're faced with the prospect of having to vote for someone who's involved in a scandal even though they don't necessarily like him but the other side even more it's like people can still of the which is sort of the way people who are opinionated and and political commentary go and that works that works in this is what I think probably litigator you had to not not not in an inflammatory way but you had to shock either it's without concedes or arrogance I was good at because I could anticipate arguments I was good at it because I could anticipate responses and react quickly to them I would appreciate that it is a method of delivery that sometimes is required in order to reach people you have to be a little shocking and you have to be a little edgy there's people who are going to do it it's never been my thing because out there who are thinking of maybe studying law a couple of weeks ago interviewed someone who a Master's in the same institute were where I might be content it's to me it's united deterrent once I see something like that I I close it in interest I listen to it incidentally on both sides because you need we just don't like making other people feel bad so even though I probably would have been good at a time I don't think I'll I won't go there even if I express my opinion it's this is what the other people think Atas faction like pro bono work human rights work the practice the degree itself is immensely useful whether you ever practice a day in your life minority that law schools except with an Undergrad so it was just a question of what Undergrad do I do that will contribute to my understanding of the law philosophy I've always been interested in who I'm sure love litigation they love everything about it and my you know if anyone who's listened to multiple podcasts at that I've been on I always say this I wish I could have loved it because just and end up going in house or they start a business or they they leave the practice because schedule's not what they like it's not it's not easily reconcilable with with with family replace it into context and understand its importance but philosophy was just what I picked but an Undergrad degree just to give you some form of training how to succeed in university how to interact above and beyond the black and white letter of the law and what I found from the practice also is that the the lawyers who became lawyers without having done Undergrad when philosophy applied to politics to some extent I had an interest in history and I did a minor in history at the same time I think I would be better off studying history now because I could you know business law questions where they know the law but they have no business experience to know what impact that would have on a business so it's one thing to understand the legal consequences but not the students interact with professors it's I think it's essential before going to law school also because you go study law you should have some life experience angel in law school itself it's good at teaches you about the law teaches you about the history of the law and it teaches you how to think critically it teaches you of life as a whole and so they treat law files as pure questions of law sort of appreciating the human elements to them and other times they're dealing with it materializes itself in different in different ways but it's a human to human condition but also a I wouldn't be good at it I could be good because I you know I can think of snide remarks it's on the one hand sort of shape the way I present the videos but on the other hand sort of shaped way I can also deal with criticism and deal with the opposing opinions don't take it personally even if they call you the philosophy philosophy leading into law was just that in English Canada they accept ninety five percent of students who have undergrad degrees except that it's very very into law are practicing lawyers by the time they're sometimes twenty one twenty two they on the one hand of a very they don't really have a full grasp uh can you maybe talk about how that process was Or or do you have any advice for people thinking I might like studying law I love it in theory and if you're lucky to know when you don't know something to know where you need to go look to get the answers but to succeed in law school itself Sorta like every other we touch slow again and now in these last few seconds and actually I think I want to dial or conversation back a little bit more to now thinking of the people listening here at the end now she lawyer in Toronto in a media company in house lawyer so used studied philosophy and then he became a lawyer not be able to appreciate their actual business consequences is a problem you can give someone legally correct advice but that's going to be bad business advice so the Undergrad I think is they've been great love it because I could've could've would've been partner whatever how how that progresses so I don't want to deter people from doing it because people do like the practice a lot of people don't in the his blogs I want to be able to talk like that someday we'll so the the funny thing is I don't WanNa discourage anyone from going into law because there are people who I'm sure love the practice there are people the compromise your position because it does call the other lawyer whatever you want you need to prove your case and so that's sort of on the one hand I think that's sort of guided how I ended up doing so it's good training it's good because it beats you down into some sort of humility to know that to some extent it's just a matter of fact it's by every firm says so this is not deter anybody from doing it people do love the practice and people do find domains that bring them deep sea notice it like when you're studying something that you think is the backbone of society you tend to place a lot of value in yourself and your ability to study it or the fact that you are studying it so there is this sort of was not never expecting was the extracurricular life which was I got to law school in Quebec City she can imagine a thousand students in the faculty and I think there might have been a I was nothing as a law student I hadn't done anything so studying something important doesn't doesn't increase the importance of the person doing the studying the thing that I found surprising that I loved gone through law school was something that surprise you that you like loved the Oh wow this is actually awesome I didn't expect to you know to love this or that so much or the you know daily basis so I got quickly heavily involved in student life in in the first year law doesn't really matter Like in Portugal where I come from it's like if you're if you if you follow this soccer team anything that's from the other team you Kinda fate the partisan thing is not it's not unique doesn't anglophones I'm an Anglo coming from Montreal coming from westbound which is even more Anglo than the rest of the rest of Montreal and going to Quebec city sort of like every other I would imagine every other program is you need to learn how to study you need to learn what what information is required of you you need to learn where your opinion is not James It's not GonNa Change anything you gotta you gotTa argue with the facts above and beyond the names if it if it doesn't stick to you in the second part of our conversation David and I talked about people from you know witnesses from the other the other part not in a bad way or demeaning way but proof-read and but we were putting together Lavar addict which is the Verdict Law Journal and it was it was fun we it was controversial uh-huh small apartment in Quebec City because you need to get out especially when you're living alone in a different city cool what are you doing interviews at all or was it more Lavar ignore the people with these men but I was the student representative of the first year lawsuits and then I then you get involved in sort of a click click and it's a big click but relevant versus where the information of the teach the professor is after is relevant and that was sort of the the tough learning curve for me because philosophy you can sort of get away with since don't really appreciate it and learn the hard way also because you're studying law you think you are you know an elite of society and intellectual elites you have some important position involve people who are involved in student life in the second year I became the editor in Chief of the Law Journal which was phenomenal I mean I'm an anglophone I was writing articles in French having the had every two months I think it was it was fun it was great and then third year law school I ran for President of the Law Student Association and was has your studying law and lawyers law students and medical students tend to have this phenomenon and I and I noticed it because I had lots of friends in university as well on this arrogance that goes along with studying something it's five thousand years old and it's the cornerstone of every Free Democratic Society I'm studying laws competitive a competitive mystic experience to get involved in Sudan life which I never would have thought because at McGill when I started I lived at home I was I was more of a homebody I'd go to school I'm I'm pleading not a not a lawsuit because of the jurisdiction but I'm pleading something in front of someone who went to school with not that we have any meaningful connection it's just was it oh my gosh this hard this was the first thing that I found hard was that nobody cared about my opinion that's that's something that like Louis lost our against that a lot of law students get early on win studying law because you go to parties oh what are you studying say comparative religion say I'm studying it was I was in a new world it's ninety nine percent French and it's and it's great that's why I went there incidentally I didn't want to go to U of M and study law in Montreal infringe but speaking not ever worked with later but you run into them in the practice one of the guys who was on one of the committees he was in he was in the law student association as well I go to court and he's now one of the special clerks winter research project it can get very lonely at times but definitely meet other people organized clubs and and and large your your network and and make sure you're not just digging your whole into into into just looking at one thing because the canned food and watching TV and there's there's a world out there that you that you know exists but that it's sometimes tough to get into the more you get into it gonNA come back to support you in the future that's great advice and I think one of the things once either you go into Grad school or case law school maybe slightly literature and comparative religion or whatever but people get over that quickly because at least they should that was the one thing I found was nobody cared about my opinion it nobody cares what you think just know the law and know how to apply it and know how to gather facts and how to apply the loss of the facts and the facts of the law and so you had family that were interviews but they submitted articles we had journalists who were students who submitted regularly okay but it was mostly a question of getting articles getting content putting it together printing appreciate people who are involved in soon life also because it is further evidence of the ability to socialize and interact with other people which is which is among the Alan well in your case specifically really dealing with with stuff related to your to your study subject that was that must have been awesome it was a great experience and you meet these people who good to know hey how's life incidentally the other lawyer also we we all knew each other it's a small world but you make these connections that you keep for life you run into them later on in the practice the difference between ninety percent and totally uninvolved in student life and eighty percent and highly involved in student life experience when applying for jobs in joy life much yeah I think you're touching on a very important point is getting involved in in in clubs in or or create if it doesn't exist you know with like minded people it was you know I used to read these books in high school and say I'd always been interested in philosophy it was a no brainer do political science as well but political science really is and also keeping myself saying I can't deal with everything and you know there are so many subjects out there that I'd love to talk about some of them would require go home go biking and I would keep to myself but when you're in a different city with at I know friends if you do that you're going to quickly become very depressed and I'm just reading the way you drafted of and right now it's almost twenty and not twenty eighth all of my God it's almost twenty years ago fifteen years ago it's it's fun what happens and then you have events that you can decide to go to to get out or if you're tied you know just chill out but you know but between the the irony is good grades always work and good grades are always better times it was political but it got people talking got the students involved in submitting their articles and it got me to meet a whole bunch of people that would otherwise never met and it got me out of my a but I go back and read it every now and again just just in case I want to run for prime minister is any one of these articles going to disqualify me in in the eyes of the public and elected student president of Alyssa and it was it was also phenomenal because you learn how to run committees you learn how to organize events it was just it was overall a fan they may be people you end up working with maybe people you end up working against who may be people who end up offering you a job in the future so it's just a great way to establish a network and you never know when giving a lot more of your opinion what you think is a lot more relevant than it is in line long when you start a sentence with I think stop there nobody thinks the judges saying with the law says on certain on certain positions like death penalty for example but there's certain things I go back and read I've never I'm not embarrassed or shamed at all and I still largely adhere to most of those things but it is eh nervous I say I was always operating on the basis that everything I ever do would go public in any event so even before this time so I i read my articles are there things that I still believe I'm more oh Jeez so it's not that I had it's not that I had it easy I just didn't have any massive roadblocks like I got I got a job or to find it so I I I occasionally go back with the with the advent of cancel culture I go back to see what sort of things I wrote in university but I the funny thing is I always nervous I essential elements of being a good lawyer and in your case working in the law journal they can read you what you edited and they can actually have that type of info or they can read it today if anyone now what about transitioning to become in becoming an actual lawyer and people who are now setting finishing was that what was what key moments what were key Russian can it's not to say that I ever suffered from depression in Quebec City but there are days where you just like what are you doing you're sitting at home eating condition after second year so you basically apply for a job that they promise you before you even graduate law school before you even do bar school so coming out of law school I got the job before you even go to bar school. So it's called the coolest or stash which is like the race to the internships or what some people call the rat race uh-huh and there's a lot of bilingual francophones there's not as many bilingual anglophones in the world of law even though we're in the province of Quebec it's an asset for dealing with out of province out of Yeah I had that secured and it was sort of it being being a bilingual anglophone is asset to most places because you have a lot of there's a lot of Franken Shen and to hear from our latest guests between eight at night and eight in the morning I won't answer other people with different types of personalities and myself included you can quickly spiral into a into a place your internship approved then you've got to pass the bar so the question I was going to ask is if you're in law school what skills what's because a lot of who you are as lawyer is balance but this is already in the professional life what skills you know you social skills clearly you you've mentioned them even more difficult start on your own entirely in baptism by fire type type training but the The most amazing thing that I discovered as a lawyer was who are not uninformed and are not uneducated now it may be a problem also because they may think they're more educated than they are because you can get information on on the Internet and not exactly know how to I'm definitely also doing sports X. Exercise Number One but now in terms of getting ready to hit the hit the the the the things that I spent ten years studying in order to diagnose yourself but by and large you're dealing with a much more educated client base and with the Internet held to be immediately responsive and that is good to a point and then it becomes a problem after a point and it became a problem with me because I not always never did and again thinking of the listeners out there through all of this we're talking about work ED texts emails you're dealing with a client base also expects and demands immediate responsiveness and some people are better off cutting off and saying able to turn off the switch I'd say I'm very rarely able to turn off the switch and then it becomes sort of all encompassing in anything I mean I talk about it being all encompassing and law but it's sort of all encompassing ars the person you know you said you had this interest in philosophy from before but what skills were very important for you that you learned in law school then now I'm sworn in two thousand seven the Internet is sort of hitting its peak so to speak you end up I was amazed at the point where you end up having clients because after this bar exam there's Inter you have your Article Bar exam I I'm so going so crazy I can't remember which one yeah no whether or not a province has franchise specific franchise legislation and if you don't know that and you think I'm just GonNa Apply General Contract Law I'M GONNA get in trouble and that's that's the the skill that's the fear and that's the that is the always the sort of Damocles hanging over lawyers head when they give an opinion ah you know basically you can create responsiveness is an asset for people with certain types of personalities. You feel uh-huh I I know you have to do your internship before you pass the bar because if you don't pass the bar you can't start working I think that's the order yeah so then you might think I am I may need to know like if you don't know regulation exists you're GonNa have a tough time answering a question if you're answering it based on an an the the sign of ignorance but it's where people get into trouble is thinking they know something without even looking into without even appreciating that there are things that they don't know that might impact there died always gone to so it reflects becomes a liability sometimes when you when you get too lazy or you don't know what the what else is out there Iceland and Oh and being aware of what you don't know before thinking you know something because I think it is in any field it's sort of like it's the not the served you a lot in in your work as a lawyer it's the one skill and I don't think it's unique to law and it's not even so much a skill it is a question of appreciating what you don't that there's a specific regulation dealing with it and so Google helps everything you know the Internet helps everything you don't have to go to libraries and delve into the footnotes and pull up these statutes but you need being implicating himself in university bodies or or students organizations that might exist very important. Were you create an expectation that you're you're going to respond to your clients even if it's three in the morning because your blackberry is on and whatever you've you're showing your age but yes your iphone inadequate or insufficient knowledge of the applicable or existing legislation and that's that's the toughest thing because oftentimes in law you got a question you may not even both worlds for me to the extent that it's to the extent of sustainable applying the law but without the emotional and spiritual impact that the Asian and imagine it's the same thing in any domain but in lots I've looked at this this and this is there anything else that I haven't looked at that literally eighty year old cases they addressed the very question and then I sort of argued by analogy and I said okay good and then he goes to court comes back with a piece of paper it's a two page judgment actress itself had and I say this in a couple of sitting back and being the spectator analyzing a deposition is one thing being the lawyer who is conducting the deposition and it doesn't feel like you're working and I I love content creation I love the creativity behind it I like the subject matter behind it and it sort of is the best pursue you've you've already mentioned that the economic sustainability of the project is something you see working out it probably back to the expression the every day trying to protect yourself protect your client from the opposing party trying to protect yourself from opposing counsel trying to protect yourself from you're trying to protect self as a Montreal litigator turn turn Youtuber and publishing what you call blogs via L. A. W. Every day we've talked about this a little bit close to every day I'm trying I'm a year ago it the exact same answer the exact exactly matter but he said it looks better when we have the two thousand seventeen thousand seven decision I'm trying to stop every day because I have to control myself but yet often but how did this transition game about you know you've decided that this is something you want believe it but I do understand that there is you know for the people who can't separate their clients problems from themselves it becomes it becomes a life quest burn the law that is that is itself tremendously stressful and but then there's the the actual practice itself which I could if I had loved it more than whatever I do you know who I am and how I'm wired but that is clients no more than they ever did and are expecting responsiveness and like they like the they scream on the phone all day and to some extent screaming kid is not necessarily screaming for an adult or screaming for a lawyer but yeah you look you spend all day need to make sure that I've covered all my bases and that I've addressed everything that exists there's no loopholes there's no I haven't missed the most obvious one of the classics grew up you screwed up your your opportunity or there's there's there's a different level of stress that goes along with that and not just a stress for the position but a life stress that who are I would consider retroactive mentors in in law school the former president of the lawsuit in association the one who handed you're going to should've said this I should have gone there and in files in general you know there's there's deadlines there's there's an element to the practice that is above and beyond the I should and they say like doctor has to be dissociated from the person on on whom they are operating and the best doctors dissociate themselves I'm not sure the now this is today the last couple years you've embraced content creation as you may know compassion at Byu pretentious the other one I no longer wanted to do and it's one thing that analyze the deposition but when you're in the deposition the night before you don't sleep went over everything in your head after you don't sleep I love it as much as I love doing this I could've continued doing it and then you know the the the the other stuff is the stuff you have to deal with to continue doing what you love but I it helped me in law school as a lawyer I had a number of mentors but one in particular who he knows who he is who was among the best mentors I ever had who tried would have rather been at work than been anywhere else I was maybe it's a flaw but I would have always rather been doing something fun in quotes than than working as a lawyer did you along all this bad have mentors that like the guided you because there's there's some of the transitions are quite interesting yeah in retrospect I can appreciate week or call me sensitive or whatever I'm not sensitive to the to the qualification one I want I can appreciate when I can do flipside is taking your clients losses when you've done everything you could as your own losses has carries its own toll and the aspect that I defy with more I'd say Gordon and I always thought that maybe dissociate myself too much would mean that I would be too disinterested as an attorney not not do service to them but the in who loves what they do never work day in their life and when I discovered like I'm not making making sustainable income yet but when you make money doing what you love Klein from themselves where I took to heart took very personally when things didn't go the way I wanted them to when the when they didn't go the way I thought apples that I had from my own practice was a lawyer asked me to for procedural question go look and I go back to these I find cases from the they are don't like assuming responsibility for mistakes especially when they are objectively the mistakes of the underlying who didn't ask for a specific day whatever this lawyer get me to the clients problems are not your problems you're the lawyer you do your best you act responsibly if it doesn't go the way you think it should have you guarantee you're doing videos in highschool studying philosophy than you go to to study law it's you have a great time in law school From from what I understood say I have yes in sort of like self diagnosing so people people go to doctors say I know what I have to say I know what I have but don't you have to appreciate you know I found that I found it to be inspiring because all too often lawyers whose only thermometer metric of success is how Byung lawyer too big law firm they are labeled mentors they tell you what to do and so it's sort of like an imposed mentorship but I've had multiple ones is

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Nathalie Ross  Part 2  Building a Career in Scientific and Medical Writing

Papa Phd Podcast

43:30 min | 1 year ago

Nathalie Ross Part 2 Building a Career in Scientific and Medical Writing

"In the second part of my conversation with Natalie Ross. We discussed what brought her to the regulatory affairs domain and. I asked her to describe in more detail. What the job entails and what the date. Today of a freelance medical writer looks like when you are an boy. Their restaurants seven P of finding the clients in projects are not on your shoulder though when you transition to be on your own all your good skills remain but it's up to you to find the projects already come to you. Whatever so you have to add this. The marketing strategies. You need thank else how you're going to promote solve. It might be something supernatural. But it's much needed. Welcome to pop each with David Mendez. The podcast where we explore careers and life after Grad school with guests who have walked the road less traveled and have unique stories to tell about how they made their place in a world of constantly evolving rules. Get ready to go off the beaten path and hop on for an exciting new episode of Papa. Phd Welcome to part two of my interview with Natalie. Ross in part one. We talk about her academic path and we talked a lot about professional experienced beets Being a professor at university researcher also at the University in a researcher and teacher also at the university level before but later at at the end of partout you're talking about her experience as a medical writer in the regulatory domain and it was very interesting. It's the main curious about for awhile and it it's It's interesting to me. How Netflix was able to put all her all those those skills to use in this job and writing which is something that she liked a lot one before going on with what came after. Maybe because all you know you throughout this story that you've told so far It seems like you have you've been able Throughout your path to set objectives for yourself. And you know and and reach them you also. There was also moments where well in the speech which leads very naturally to this post doc and being a scientific and you follow that but to to have to teach to have students to have a line of Research. I imagine it requires some some Some will some will for some some capacity of organization but also of being able to set objectives and worked towards them. And what I'd like to ask is what principles would you say have helped you in writing these different chapters of your life. You know to completion and before going to the next is is there something that's helps you And that's that's motivated you to to do what you what you did in to take the decisions that you did along the way. That's a very good question. They out see. There is a common denominator of identified. It in Perspire is sign my passion for writing so whether it is as a research scientist are university officer to rights or funding to rights favors because we have results from the lab out and then moving to regulatory affairs writing Kept me going Also wanting to help a where I see myself being most helpful and that will also bring us to what I'm doing right now as a freelance medical writer. I looked at my toolbox and all the different documents that I've written for former district. I wanted to write more. I was Writing before After few years in working for private sector maybe not as much as I want to The the balance between writing and for many minutes. It was a bit too high for new for project although it's part of my job the chance so it's an important skill to have to manage to be able to read the team. You're working wet or the experience and they know all the way to break this undesired protocol on Safari our assistance. That's also this to dispute to interest another point that I find Over that I always like to talk about into ask about which is networking. So you You were in Indiana domain. You were in more industry Connected Research you were then at university. I imagine that throughout you there was some natural. You created a network of people you know eventually in the regulatory domain and my question to you is now as a freelance freelance medical writer. You where you need you have your clients you need to to get you to to get your projects a how does the networking that that you built-up throughout the years? How does it reflect today? You still does your your passage through university your PG and post architectural. Did all those all of that still have. Echoes today. In your in your work as a freelance medical writer question. I have also for other people when I talked to. Someone made a one hundred and eighty degree change from my experience. The network that you have in when you do that. Change helpful most powerful as the experts had with them but the net the network has to continue growing. And we can't underestimate the soft skills that is needed And we think because you're afraid insulate writer you need to be good at communicating and feigning a good relationship and there's a good relationship. I'm thinking of clients The client will want to work with you because of course of your of your heart scale your scientific scale writing skill but people's kill it has to meet meter and even if you are in your own lab. European students it's the same. We are in a society wilty as diverse very connected society. Even when you have your own work as a PhD student you're connecting with other students. Even when you present your your poster your new results connections start there and you never know which connection would give you to another to another underage Growing ends. Just be attentive Videira for people and it's the I would say the real. It's you don't connect with people just for your own interests but TV free and it brings your network Gross National Services is definitely something. I believe a lot in and and It's very interesting that you that you put it like that and and it's clear to me from what you've said that it's something that's always in the back of your mind. Who Am I serving when I do this? This this work And I think it makes for a more fulfilled life And and I imagine also it must color the work that you do in a way The the the the way the way you set yourself out on a project if you have that in mind I. I'm really happy that you mention it. Actually now something else connected with networking but in a little different little bit different way. You've been a student. You've been a professor. You Know You. You've been an employee and throughout these and there's two sides to this coin throughout these experiences you may have crossed people who cross paths with people who either helped you championed you or inspired you. You might consider mentors even even eventually. Was this the case you know when you were you know? Phd Or or a scientific research scientist would there people that have helped you turn the pages of the different chapters at certain key points interesting nothing regularly. I can identify to individuals who else Nia laws I would say would be. They would challenge me. They wouldn't inspired me. The might not know. The first one is the Also is both challenged me and inspired me because it you might find it funny because he has confidence in doing My personal to be an independent so it went just focus head in As however was doing knowing that if I have if I was in trouble I would see him so the door always and he would provide me. Just give me enough At English enough rope or me to go and go in if I was in relief that hand or something you had questions on my On writing I knew I knew how to them. So that was in a sense to me. A was converting Does the presence and previous his presence confidence. No I guess that empowered you in a way especially if if that's your type of personality you felt good about about him not being a micromanager or something like exactly to have the possibility of going percents my results throughout my PhD Right there you start building skills that We just realized. Oh if I wouldn't have presented mine results in Europe and everywhere so there was also a good sign of confidence and you mentioned those second. The second person he asked second person her name is an Tomlin. She's actually fonder of can red win with a very diverse and large experience in the Pharma. Industry Her personally being calm being always open for discussion and and against the same being confident in what he can do. And what you can offer to me was released in writing Even when I left handwrite to start on my own showed me again confidence that she wants somewhat sad that I was leaving In Boeing in a field where you have a lot of medical writers sir. I felt that she was maybe worried about me. But again confident data. I could be successful so that great to hear Empowering empowering excellent and the other the other side of the coin and I'm saying this because we crossed paths a few years ago on a career panel at McGill University talking to students who had these questions who I feel that the public has of. What'S COMING NEXT? And the specifically this panel had to do with with medical rating and where. I'm getting at is how because you've the professor to have you felt that you've been able throughout your career path to also give back mentor. People well to stark with saying that When you look at the different carriers you have advantages inconvenient in in all of those right. Now I'm I'm missing sometimes having allowed in having students to interact with yes in in on the flip side I really enjoy working on my own deciding. Remember projects in deciding and where to work and so your question was of a mentoring. The mentoring is different. Yes so it's obvious as a university professor research scientists. You have all students that are they want to have your opinion thinking more of the graduate students one on one mentoring. And that's that's actually one thing I realized about my personalty data was more A mentor or coach than a Professor Innocence said I- i- privileged one on one or the. It helped me discover that As of now I've been freelance medical writer since two dozen eleven would be through other medical writers who onto going to shield. I would approach me email or phone. I try as much as possible to find to discuss with them I remember when students she was just finishing. Actually two or three were finishing their age. See me they were interesting to writing. Did didn't really want to go as officer but he wanted to being challenging environment Whether it is as a freelance medical writer or for Pharma Company and as much as possible. I take our phone with them. And or gopher that is something very interesting to me because I always need to go out working on my own in my office. So vanishes sometimes some of their mice. They front with them. Then they going to feel it is important. Also friends to have a network of people can interact with discuss your. But you're facing whether are challenged are also been projects. It's I agree totally and one thing if listeners out there and eventually a will share nautilus contacts but if you're thinking of a career and you can if you have the possibility of reaching out to someone who's in that domain that interests you and have coffee have lunch. Do people call it an informational interview. You know it could be just having coffee with the person in but coming prepared with questions about the reality of the day of the professions. That were do it. And people people some people be super-busy and won't be able to respond or say yes but some people will and you will gain a lot by by doing that. You're clearly an example and I think it's really cool and and really important at least to me to give back and ethnic it's fulfilling and as you say there's this this plus that is you're also creating you're creating a network of colleagues and even eventually friends like minded friends that you can the chicken Eventually cultivate these friendships and relationships. Now you just alluded to the fact that you know as a transition to to be to become a freelance medical writer. You're you're the founder of can rig was a little bit worried that know you're diving loan into the Big Pond. But she had some confidence in you and clearly you're able to to create a successful career for yourself on that side and fulfilling one but can you maybe talk a little bit about what the difference is in Your Day? Day of being somewhere can rig and now as being a freelancer having your website having your clients how how is always that dynamic. How is that different? And maybe because people thrive in different context right. And why does this work better for you and Yeah what what are the advantages? Let's say for you of of being the the the the master of your own your own ship. Let's say the main difference and although you might be compassionate to might be One hundred percents with your project when you are an employee there restaurants seventy of finding clients and projects are not on your shoulder the when you transition to be on your own all your good skills remain but it's up to you to find new projects or they come to you. Whatever so you have to add this. The marketing strategies. You need to think of how you're going to promote yourself in mind. Something Supernatural But it's much needed if you want to be known known be seen So it brings additional skills to death lockdown readings to do so on so forward and you control everything that means you have the full control but also you have to to the fast whether it is invoicing whether it is from loading is going to get your supplies for Europe so you have to be knowledgeable of that prepared in and integrate into your right. I just want to take a moment before going on with the interview to let you know that you can help me. And the show star rating comment on your podcasting APP. She wants to go a step. Further go to Patriots Dot Com Slash Papa PhD now and become a supporter for the equivalent of a coffee per month. You'll be helping me immensely with a recurring cost of hosting and producing the show again. Thank you for being a to the touch on a very important point. Which and I feel that depending on the the resources of Maine. But there's a lot of introverts in academia and You know coming out of the. It's pretty widespread introversion. Something that you find a lot and you just said you need to cultivate this these new skills of marketing yourself and yes. It's important as a freelancer more important. Because now you really have to take a like you say accusing of all the different facets of of of marketing use the service that you offer but also you know coming out of a PC and if you go into the job market you also need to learn to certain level. Some skills of promoting yourself super super important. I'm super happy that you mentioned it and actually I'm Gonna I'm GonNa take the opportunity to maybe ask you on in your experience when you did. The transition did you. Was that training that you took. You talked about books that you might have read. Can you maybe give some advice to listeners of things that they might look into? That will help them be better prepared for for this type of you know a lot of experience of being in full responsibility of all these different different things in French food. Carter meteorite the invoicing promoting direct relationship with the clients etc etc. What were the resources that that you have used to kind of? Hone those skills and get better and better and better at it. Yes I'd like to go back. They've it also to promoting yourself and how hard it can be one trick that I've developed because most of us if we look at it as talking about ourselves. It's not appealing. We might be that especially if you're introverted by. I think the way to be able to do it because it is needed to slip in a little bit is not actually. Grow it yourself. You're promoting your service. You're lending your your product and that might help into Akiem talking on my sauvages what I have to offer you. Just put it on focus on what you have to offer any similar to when European students and you go out there and you presents results It's different than go to stage in talk about you saw than to talk about. How look at how good my actually performed in Lavon? That's my Rhodri anyway. just Reframe IT in your mind. Yes exactly so you mentioned about a business. The the approach down found one or two books. I could mention the author. It's French a Nedal and those are book dedicated to freelance worker. One is very large France worker at large to your income tax and the incorporates or this and that he had a win was basically about how to approach to sell the earth So that was really good and also connected to Niger. Frankenthal on he has a very very nice platforms. Salish Bushmen and his platform is entrepreneur Hearing from different different business areas also is very stimulating. All the way not always applying to you if you're speaking with an entrepreneur who's selling a thousand brands or bagels dates of course. It's very different but there is common common denominator that is always how full so I say if you already curious about what you're doing you have to stay on firm believer in ongoing ongoing learnings. So I'm connected to association our helpful for medical writings. The same applies to marketing some And we have great tools. Nowadays every twenty five years ago with there was no lincoln in or maybe not as much though neaten jewel to be known especially while Indian medical writing in farming the streets to have a portfolio that is on the web at helps having known and having also. And that's where your people were experiencing the same as you do or maybe not fence or do you so interesting and so imagine someone. Who's maybe fairly introverted? Who who wants to get into this domain is like maybe either either one resource or one. Quick Advice That could help them. Just get dip their toes in and start promoting themselves. I see that you have. I've seen that you have a website. Natalie Ross Dot Com. Is that something that that that helps you in getting exposed. You talked about linked into what would be the thing. Maybe there's some training that people could take. I don't know I'd like to hear your opinion on that. Yeah well if you're introverted. Try to find tools. That would be working for you on your website than your Lincoln profile will work for you and that means you need to invest time you can create a profiling five minutes again also day to find the appropriate key words that will help you getting modest and if you think in this way that is going to work for you you do something else or you sleep. It's one day really well invested saying if you do a websites if you're really good at it go for. Gin also said okay. I'm going to help with someone who's doing for leaving on. The seal is so complex to me differently. Had helped to develop my which side than to keep it to revisit to to know by those specialists. What words been told that if you go often in you add things it's updated often is going to be better monitor in better position than again if you're introverts work on those tools around that work for you and For people who are still doing the research for the. Let's say or in the Post Doc. How can they start? Because you've talked about creating a portfolio and if if you're doing research especially for your PhD you may not you know you're not going to or it's going to be hard to have actually medical writing contracts at the same time Is Is there something that you could suggest people do on the side? Maybe or some habit that they can that they can cultivate. That'll help them Honed the writing and maybe start actually having a small portfolio already by the end of the question perhaps manure doing your PC. You don't have the time or you might not have the experience to be hired as a medical writer jhom however writing. Fourteen days are everywhere. Mirela was doing my PhD. I wrote some for tears Colin under Michael Collins Eddie was in a magazine or construction industry doesn't matter what their readership worthy members of this association. But I hadn't so. I knew that I had to pay once a month topic of Research. I would work on my interview skills and then slowly worked for two years on once a month. You have an article this twenty four articles while you're doing your ist though there. There are the official doors of having a perfect job but also there are there Opportunities are there all the time. It is interesting or talking about this when I was asked to do this. I almost talking to a good friend. Good senior friend of mine. I said wrong. Don't know if going to go away. I might not have. Shane told me something. I'll never forget the world one you finish your PD. You'll start with your life. You might be in a research scientist. You might have kids. You won't find so take the time down and it was such a great advice. Take embrace every opportunities that come to your lively. They're not there for nothing in. They might be there to show you your way to me. Obvious that Although it was not something you would see very often nick student who invite for calling it was it was so such a good this year and like you say if you don't see very often use you ended up standing if you do it you stand out from the crowd if when you when you first start showing your CV or you. You had a column on this on this magazine very interesting. I imagine no it makes total sense. I imagine employers see that and already peak to say that. This person has a different potential. Let's let's see what this is all about very very very cool and I think it's a question of opportunity to you. Were approached to write a column. I think you were lucky to have someone who give you very good advice. Take the time now because when life starts you may not have time anymore and you probably won't have to experience different in different things so yeah. I agree totally. It's very very interesting so today. You have your website. Euro- freelance medical writer can talk a little bit about you. Know the the projects the type of product of specific projects of course but the type of projects. You work on how how interesting they are to you and and maybe on the day-to-day of of what your professional life looks like our would say that the typically hell maybe from five six seven eight projects on away at the same time they are a different rates in different phases It could be of. Let's say writing protocol starting protocol. It could be writing affordable for a research study and then once the studies completed a report has written to be submitted to help Penatta. Va someone so far Could Be Position Paper at the same time and the way to handle a lot of this is to genucel that they might be at a different different time. So you might be finished with drafts. One of your protocol than the team base days a week to review it. Then you switch back and forth so of course if organization if they finding the skills able to to do everything. Although I'm trying to work reasonable number of hours sometimes it could be more because of things that promise have to be completed And that's really value of wine. When I say I start something is going to be delivered in such and such as than I do everything I found to deliver on time. I'm trying is as important as you're content. You're a writer as you might kill and how I imagined that you have you must have a clients that come back time after time. How how easy was it to build because there must be some type of relationship building right with the clients along time? How does that go? How does a devolve? Because I thinking of my experience as a medical writer and I wasn't a project manager but I saw sometimes these these. These clients have really tight deadlines. They're fairly stressed and they may. They may a poor onto your transmitted to you a little bit. I guess you had to develop some skills on that site to right the ship and the trust of your clientele. Exactly as you mentioned you never know you have a client. Come to you a new. It could be for a one project that are really There are short of staff. They need someone in maybe. Just one product for other clients. fines since the beginning or since two thousand eleven thousand or twelve thirteen In so yes building. A relationship is important what I do at the beginning of a project or for clients. It's Su- focused much possible. Don't be afraid. Just not count on what they are bringing as information but go through all of the WHO. What where when why? Why do they do that? Who Am I going to interact with windy? Need it is driven by a regulatory requirements So the more we know the more you put in your goals is also helping the mind. Of course things I'm asking now are maybe different than when I started now. I know what you asked in. Yes year mention all sold distress. It's part of part of Events. Are there are few things that you can do to to alleviate this wanting also is to talk about the reality of medical writings the next day? If the project was really really young short notice you can try to one this age of impact. Anybody can try to inform at. Oh maybe for the next steady you can contact provider three months before it finishes instead of when it's finished so communication is key so we're reaching the end of the interview. I think we could talk a long time about about all of the reality of being a freelancer. There's a lot to talk about But it's been interesting to see to see how you know you you did. You followed your this journey. You've decided when to turn when to go to university and then went to to go into medical writing eventually to become a freelancer. It's really interesting. I really enjoyed also talking about the importance of mentorship. Being bit the importance mentors can have on us but the importance of us then giving back to people who are now embarking under the same adventure. I I think this is something you you believe in and I do believe in it too but I would really now now the reaching the of into I would. We like to ask you that too. Thinking of people who are let's say finishing their PhD and or there's two years left in their PhD. And they kind of know that they want to go into some domain of medical writing. Because there's there's different the different flavors of medical writing. But let's say it's regulatory like you know that you know what two or three pieces of advice you have for them. You've already mentioned. Try Your hand at at writing in different things. That's that's one for sure that's already out there. But if you have one or two more that you could share a love for you to show it to share them with the audience right now. Thank you for that. Fourteen T S. I can definitely relate to being two years to the end of Appease D. and wondering where I'm going to go Than what should be done for sure is talk. Talk about it It is only normal to not knowing where even if we know we might be informed. Something else in Different ways or just a genuine transparency all wondering in talk to people already. What are they are professor in? If you have a chance to go at one of the best place in Conferences you present your day or just go as students. Sometimes it's Ridiculously to town and talking. Happy whether you're doing your path in the can we being contact me though. Still your head with so many different things are different way of seeing that and also be confident. Note that you have something to bring in if we look at strictly extra me as I mentioned people from different. Some doubt different expertise on the table what our pharmacy medical doctor. Msn Zone so far. So you have your skill you bring your skill to to the table and you continue to grow so just to keep that in mind to be confident and also be confident that life for crying. I mean it's it's a way of seeing the life as well as important excellent naturally very wise words. Thank you so much. I'm super happy that you were to accept it to to be on the PODCAST. The one last thing before before finishing finding the interview would be to ask you if people want to reach out and And ask you questions about the career or you know they are connect with you. What's the best platform? What's the best way to to reach out? Yes absolutely I would be happy to discuss With the jewel if can help or inspire one individual. I'm happy to wet the best way to reach me would be my email and I'm going to give it its info at Natalie. Ross Dot com on Italy's he starts with an H. and L. I. E. R. S. DOT COM. Perfect and people can find you. Ellington for sure. You mentioned Lincoln and I already mentioned your website which is www natalie. Ross Dot Com. I don't know if we missed anything in terms of context but but clearly listeners. Out there if you have questions on on medical writing on regulatory writing It's if you and if you've listened to the rest of the interview you'll know now that Natalie will be open to any inquiries and sharing her experience so Netflix. Thanks a lot for having been on the Mike with me. Thanks you for inviting me and thank you for being so inspirational for or your krause your audience well part of that mission of giving back. I. I'm really happy to have started this project. And I'm happy to have people like you that except to come and share and show their story and if inspire is one person out there I'm I'm already over the moon. Happy with with this. So thank you and all the best for your for your projects and I guess. We'll we'll probably talk soon. If you enjoyed the insights shared on the show each week and would like to dig deeper into some of the subjects covered. You can now join the peachy postgraduate career exploration group on facebook there you will find like minded listeners but also a few of the best guests will be taking part in the conversation so to start a conversation just go to facebook. Dot Com for Slash Papa. Phd and asked to join. The show has helped you in any way and we'd like to contribute join the Public Beach de Patriot. Patriot dot com for sash proper. Phd and become a monthly supporter. You will be helping me continue to interview interesting guests and to bring you stories. That'll help you in your career journey. Thanks for listening to another episode of the Peach. Podcast head over to Papa. Phd Dot Com for show notes in for more food for thought about non-academic Post Grad careers. Always be happy to share inspiring stories new ideas in useful resources. Here on the PODCAST. 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Networking and Job Hunting as a PhD With Parag Mahanti

Papa Phd Podcast

1:01:53 hr | 4 months ago

Networking and Job Hunting as a PhD With Parag Mahanti

"Hi this week on the pitch. I'm bringing you my conversation with iraq hunting. We recorded this in november during thanksgiving break since then india has been severely hit by the second wave of the covid pandemic and many lives have been lost. Braga wanted this episode be dedicated especially to the late. Dr ashim chakravarty. If you want to support the fight against covid in india please contact parag at rodman on twitter. I'd also like to note. That parag gave this interview on thanksgiving while he was with his close ones. So you might hear some background noise throughout. Please bear with us. Because the nuggets he shared are absolutely worth it. For example. We talked about brags experienced interviewing for jobs early after his phd but also in his most recent career moves the same that i had actually told me that like any job. If you don't like the interview process chances are you won't like to chop and this is something that i continue to kind of field through all of the career professionals. That have made that. Like if you don't really enjoy the process on the people you're meeting then you're not like the people that you can work with because they represent the culture represent the culture of who industry off the company. Welcome to pop up. Each day with david mendez the podcast where we explore careers and life after grad school with guests who have walked the road less traveled and have unique stories to tell about how they made their place in the world of constantly evolving rules. Get ready to go off the beaten path and hop on for an exciting new episode of pop up. Yep specifically okay. Can we still talk about how you even though not going into the day to day et cetera. How the process of finding deciding. okay. I'm looking for a job and then interview. The whole process of how you got to the position is that okay okay. Perfect great good. Of course the andy a okay. Not no worries sounds good. Okay then i will. I will start and then we'll talk. We'll go from there. Welcome to this week's episode of papa. Phd today i have with me parag. Mohanty prog his in chemistry and chemical biology in two thousand thirteen from cornell university where his research was focused on nuclear hormone receptors steroid signaling and metabolism mix since then he has moved careers thrice i two consulting then to finance end currently informa- outside of life sciences and bio pharma strategy for expressions include me both playing and listening biotech start-ups and sending the evolution of scientific reasoning and leadership skills. Brock takes an active interest in career progression of phd students and has created a fast growing linked in group. That currently has more than five. Thousand members brag also serves as mentor for the enterpreneur. The entrepreneurship lab alab. Nyc originally launched by the new york city economic development corporation to provide mentorship to biotech health tech startups in the new york area. Super happy to have you on the show today. Thank you for being here. So prog We can talk about the music at this point. But i am going to ask you first for the listeners. Who are who are now tuning in to Maybe talk a little bit about yourself You know you have come from india to study in the states. That's a whole adventure in and of itself Yeah tell your story a little bit in a couple of minutes so people get to know a little bit more of Of you of who you are and of a and this will this will prepare our compensation for after which is how you got to the position. You're in today in terms of job Absolutely the the story. I think would start when i was growing up in calcutta india In a family that was very much interested in having a scientific career. My dad pursued signs. couldn't complete his own phd because of financial reasons of my uncle had a phd. My elder brother had started a chemistry undergraduate course and then moved to engineering. It was a very stem focused culture and family and so it was almost like all right. You're going to study chemistry. And that was it. i had. I had some feigned I had some feigned kind of a. I wanted to say that. I wanted to study literature. But it didn't really work and so. I studied chemistry for three years in india and our bachelor's courses three years and that's when i started learning about. Oh you could actually go to the us to do a phd. And i was like okay. How do you do that. People started telling me about gre that i realized one year for master's is required so i end myself in a master's program and throughout this time. I was like alright. Chemistry bachelors masters. I'm going to do a phd in become a professor. So that dream continues. Haven't we all had that dream. So i came here because that was the goal right left i was like and once again if i punt extra lies it The culture that i grew up in pretty much Really looked up to academics. And still. so if you're a professor irrespective of your financial positions or whatever you are revert right. You're respected and so and respect is pretty much. What people tink does everything in the world. Which doesn't but whatever indian culture is very different than once. I came here and enrolled into a phd program. I was like oh this is awesome. This is super cool. Smart thinking stuff. And i can thrive in this. I started doing that for first year. Second year and then by tertre was like no way like i like the smart taking part of it. I liked the science. But i don't wanna do this for the rest of my life and the main reason was i love the science in fact i've stayed very close to the signs most of my career but it was the impact of great like for some reason. I always talk to stuff that i was doing and it was not clinical translational work also right so it was not something that you would see media Immediate replies for you would see the kind of work that i was doing. You would see maybe a return or a clinical development of it in like ten fifteen twenty years so there's no immediate translation of this work so that was talk about delayed gratification. There and then the second thing. I will say this that the some of the people who i saw pursuing at that time right not at not right now because i've come away but some of the people who i saw pursuing their system professor life the professor live i was like. Do i really want to have that. Right was it was not. I wasn't fortunately. Or unfortunately i don't know the i don't know how it goes but The people who i saw out my circle pursuing an academic life one weren't inspired me to do so either and so i was like okay. If that's the case then what else is out there. And i that was tidier and more importantly think it was more like. Oh my god. I'm spending fifteen sixteen hours a day in the lab. I need something else to do. So i enrolled myself in some random courses which back then was more of an outlet. Now when i tell people to do the same thing. I asked them. Black typically do this because five years is an average maybe six years an average hd time right in europe it slid lesser in Non stem subjects little longer. But you're spending this time enrolled in university. And i came to that like suddenly some random music in my head tolerance. And it's like dude. You didn't take a single course outside of your syllabus and you're in one of the best universities in the vote for like what other than laziness how can you justify this when you're done with this and today outside of university system i can say like any of us. Were not enrolled to university. Have to pay massive amount of money to take a course from university cornell anyway right so of course so. I know myself in history of rock music and entrepreneurship right. Okay and both those courses. I audited and i was like wow. This is pretty interesting. And i met a whole bunch of new people and then from that i started realizing. Oh just like undergrad. Grad school also has clubs that you could join manhattan's societies that you could join us and so i started joining the graduate. Society joined the consulting club trying the finance club and again all of this is to just kind of spend a little time away from lab. Just keep my sanity not yeah. I have a question. Not i didn't do enough of that although eventually gotta get you know when i was towards the final years of my phd. Also trying to to widen my horizons a little bit and and finding resources and career counseling things like that But how did you Manage the time to to to be implicated in these different things. And how was that perceived. Maybe around you in the lab Because often one of the obstacles we have to as a pj student to do. These things is this is going to be perceived as me disinvesting From from my research. And it's going to disappoint you know my supervisor. Maybe my peers. Can you talk a little bit about that. Yeah so yeah super interesting questions so number one of to manage the time I and by the way today. I would say i'm trying to practice what i preach. But you'll see me preaching a lot about imposter syndrome and ben of not not feeling insecure. About how much these days right totally different mentality. Twelve years back or or or ten years. Back back. That i was like. Oh my god. I i have sixteen hours of lab work. Seven hours left But i cannot be saying by justice. Sixty dollars of flatwork. I will push into more your two more hours of additional stuff right And this is. This is not new to grad school. I was. I spread myself to ten. In undergrad as well and people said like what impacted was my sleep. Rather than anything else right so i i did my work that i do undergrad but then i did a whole bunch of other extracurricular work and then i was like oh my god i have to sleep and i slept for three four hours right so time management back then was more like how much how worse i can treat myself to get the stuff that there was no time. I'll be very honest right. There was no time management. If i would have banished my time better. I think i could have done a lot of other things. That and lot of other things better and the other thing i will say here though is Thankfully unfortunately i met my wife during my phd here In cornell ithaca and that was a big kind of support system right because like there were certain things. You're not spending time like you. I found her. We were interested in each other dated and then dumped checkmark on that so there was no more spending time on finding another person and in relationships. I think that was Another kind of like all right. I can now focus on work. And i can now focus on kind of grounded you it did exactly and to be honest for although people who love aca i mean i like i like it for what it is but it's It's middle of nowhere right so you have to wait for someone like me. Who's super extracurricular and extrovert. I had to involve myself in a bunch of tanks. It was again more of a necessity than a hobby for me. So that's the time management question and then the question of How was it perceived. I i don't think my adviser knew that i was part of the consulting club finance club and the graduate society. Well clearly by the by the way you you did it which was just to put more waking hours in your day. I think you you circumvented that. That's right so coming back to the question of who how do people perceive it. So let's break it in chance right. My boss was okay as long as work was done. And i mean the flexibility. Nowadays many companies give in finite days of vacation It's kinda like that right. And in finally days vacation to be honest i don't i don't know it basically puts pressure on you right because it seems like you can take any anytime all but it's not exactly the opposite and so if you're if you're a perfectionist. You're in trouble. Because i always think okay. I didn't do enough. I don't i don't get to take vegas. Yes and so for for us Mice schedule at enduring. Was i would. I would probably roll into lab a nine thirtyish ten ish word for until after noon then take a break. Leave to other stuff in between classes or something. That's separate maybe come back again after dinner which was usually around like eight eight thirty and or maybe later nine and then work the light shift onto like whatever one thirty two didn't matter so much and so my visor didn't know what was like other stuff didn't take tot right so as long as work was getting done he was fine and he was an assistant professor so he was of course under the tenure gun which is why i d the work The the intensity of the work was high. However there was an internship that i did in tech transfer office at cornell for which i had to actually have a discussion with him and say like. Hey this is not going to take time away from research and convince him for that. So if you're asking whether advisers would be usually easily convinced absolutely. I mean my answer is a representation office in general. I don't think people understand unless they're sad down baby by their like the graduate committee or something and made explained to them that hey this is important for the career development and the overall development of the student. People don't understand these things like they're like you're wasting talk so no i think i think i i didn't experience anything special. It was not as if that my adviser was like yes. Green light to everything. Go do whatever you want. That was not the case. some of it. He just didn't know. Because i was doing in the side and some of it. I just had to convince him. I down here thinks that i am telling you that i did. There were things where i wanted to do. And i couldn't so it was kind of negotiation. Like all right. I couldn't do that so let me do this. very good. He doesn't so my question. I think it represents the reality for a lot of people again. Like you said the pressure that the supervisor is on will transfer to to the students And and Of course if you're choosing your phd depending on how how. Well you deal with the pressure and stress. Maybe this could inform where you know. What lab What supervisor you choose to someone who's maybe no longer under the gun under the gun of the tenure The tenure track hanno they. They're already tenured. That could be. That's the balance. It's i mean if you're if you are under if you are working with an assistant professorship who's going for tenure the chances that you're going to get a larger more than average number of papers very high because he is up on the bench for publishing and if you're one of his first few grad students you're pretty much setting up the lab with him and part of all the projects that he has just started. 'cause he hasn't diverged. You know different projects yet so pretty much almost Most of our grad students that were part of and i was one of them the group of six or so that was part of his lab. Initially each of us came out of phd with seven papers. Not all of the few but like just even seven is is a number that that people are caught seven. Not that i'm like. I need those papers anymore but now if i look back at it i'm like well. Those were really tough days but yeah i mean it. It's too on the other hand. The corner of working with the younger professor is he is still making his own network so he may not know that many people for you to know as well whereas an established professor who has been there for awhile knows pretty much everybody in the fields kind of figure out. Alright go do this with this guy or hey you don't have to worry about a post doc. I'll make a phone call any can go somewhere else. Blah blah also also be less stressed about being scoops Or or you know which can be very very very stressful for very young professor. Yes agreed The ya the projects that we worked on had two other labs working on them one of them in germany the other in korea we were in new york and so one of the things that we said in our lab of was the competition never sleeps. Because you're laughing at it now but back then. It was one of those things that's funny. It's just because of of of the times very cool. Now it's it's very interesting that you you kind of invested in this let's say networking i. It wasn't probably you probably didn't perceive it as that. Were trying new things learning new subjects and and well and and getting involving groups that worked into in things that interested you But i think we can talk about networking and how this translates to some of the things. He did today a little bit later now. I just wanted to finish this part about your your trajectory in. You know how you came to work in pharma with this. The maybe the moment where you felt kazadi mentioned it. You saw people around you following the academic path. And you didn't you didn't see yourself it didn't resonate with you and maybe even you even said okay. This is really wouldn't thrive in this environment. Can you maybe talk a little bit about when you actually said okay. I need to start looking for what's coming next. And it's not in academia and how what were the key maybe strategies that you that you used to start meeting people something that led to. Let's say your first position outside of academia yeah So this is a layered question right. So first thing that i would say is around. That third year was the time of that. Call it revelation turning point. Whatever it was was the point. Where kind of voice in my mind said prog. Academia probably isn't for you and it game with all the banks of Imposter syndrome off like Grief that oh my god. I've i've given five plus three eight years with do more years to go into studying a subject that i'm now going to be planning to leave and not really do much about it right And it didn't help that pretty much. Ninety nine percent of my friends circle off. My family knew if there was one thing that they knew was the academic track right. And maybe academic track isn't the right word research track or are indeed track right so even if they were outside of quote on quote academia they were doing are indeed in like places so that was the kind of starting point of like all right. I know i want to not to do research. But now what do i do. And this is the way. I would break it down for those who are currently in their phd programs or both doctors. I come to the realization of is it a binary yes or no because it is a binary People stopped thinking. No maybe let's do a bowl stock. And then i will realize do it only if you are forced to do it and international students have got issue. 'cause you want to go into a post doc. Because he otherwise you lose immigration status but that question is binary do i want to continue this or not and once. That question is answered even because a lot of people will tell me. Well maybe the moment you said maybe the answer is actually no. You wouldn't know if you want. I mean it's it's not that tough right so once you make. That decision comes to you that maybe this is not what i wanna do. Then starts the poll question that you're asking. How do i find out. What is it that i wanted to. And the first thing that i did was figured realized that my immediate network. My friends are amazing. But they didn't know anything about what i wanted to do outside of and so that was kind of the reason why i realized oh my god. I'm so glad i joined these societies. Suddenly i was with people who were from biomedical engineering or mechanical engineering. And somehow people who are in the engineering track. I don't know why they just know more about stuff outside of science. It's more of an applied domains that that will be the reason they they probably have already done internships. Exactly so that. Via the more attuned to that were whereas where you and i come from. It's more Basic research you know. Just to accumulate knowledge. And exactly that right so so i think so. I was lucky. In that sense that i met a few people who kind of sat me down and said hey you are extroverted. You like working with people. You like smart problems maybe consulting something you should look at. This happened to me. Somebody sat played. A few few people said prog based on what. Your personality is consulting. Seems to be a good line taught right. Did you hear what barack said. Widening his circle of contacts during graduate school gave him access to an also wider. Mind to bounce ideas with and get advice from. I've said it before but in cooped up in your lab or your department is a loss of opportunity of fully taking advantage of the possibilities and resources graduate school and university offer parag then drill down on his question a little more And then i had heard about consulting companies while in india as well. I just didn't know what they do. but i had heard that they were like really smart places to get into and you if you get into them people kind of start thinking of you as a smart person which is all force malays as one of the things that you want to you know. I'm not saying it's a good thing. I'm just saying it happens. It's a human thing yeah So that kind of started me getting more interested in in consulting as a career. I will say there was and it still is. But i don't think it's monitored well. But i think somebody has done a good job and taking that website and kind of archiving it. The websites go phd career. Guide dot com. I think it was done by i. I will not actually try to name our guest the name because i forget but it was done by a post doc. I think at rutgers. And what did this guy. Basically probably went through the same Same discussions that as we were going through or you know same talk processes and he put a whole bunch of resources in a very very well organized way in one website and what it means is that you click on careers and chose ip consulting finance tektronix for communications and you click on them and each of them opens up on a page and it tells you what that job is. What is the average salary and one of the companies that hire for that job right so suddenly have an encyclopedia where i was like. Whoa seriously i can do all of these things and so. This is interesting now when i look back back at time. Two thousand eight hundred eleven. I wasn't interested in finance. So i really didn't even click on that. All i clicked on was consulting entrepreneurship sicom science interested in science education. And i figured out. Okay these are the companies that need that that go through that on and then over one weekend and he had listed about. I don't know hundred and fifty consulting companies so he pretty much okay so like alphabetically. I don't think he listed it. I think he just grabbed somebody else's list. Because you have these encyclopedias. Right up over the weekend. I had little small notebook. I went through each of those websites to see who hires. Phd's okay so like. I had a net notebook like alright. This one this one. So now i have a list of seventeen companies out of the hundred fifty that higher. Phd's right and then. I started realizing okay. I started talking to people. Let's say okay which companies are good and bad and that's when i realized mckinsey. Bcg bane. i like the top three then. There are others. But i did that and again if i have to. Give actionable advice there. I mean the amount of time you spend on. Something is directly proportional to the impact of it. I mean one can say one can talk about. Lock fate On you know unexpected also busy but things like this. This is research. This is what we are talked to do for five years and we are taught to research other stuff for publications. Unfortunately we don't do enough quote unquote research for our own careers. Which is which is just not that good idea like we know how research can be done. We know fi. Let's get the information. I and let's filter down to a few things then. Finally we know the talk process. We just don't apply for it. Says it says if we're it's it's it's a country that we don't know the language so we see we see a no billboards or or plates. That are probably indicating the subway but yeah written in cyrillic and we just. Don't you know we just. We know how to use the subway but just because we're in a context that's foreign that's may be fear inducing. I'll take. I'll take your analogy and driving little more right. If you go to boston. i love. I love boston as a city. Just because of this reason. If you go to boston because it's It's a like biotech. Silicon valley right If you go to subway of boston the adds within this boston subway all biotech companies right now. Now when you're taking the subway in boston you're looking at all these ads if you're somebody who's doing a phd and dozen no these biotech companies. I mean right now if you're listening to this and you're in boston just go through the ads and find out what these companies do. Because because you don't you you you pass ads holdings just like you said without knowing what they are or caring about monsters one city where because i'm in biotech and pharma every i see like oh. Wow they have an ad here. Oh it's interesting. And if i was if i were to somehow transpose myself into like third year of i wouldn't know the name of many of these companies And i was just walked beside them without knowing what they are. And that's that's like the same thing it's it's just you. This is happening beside you. In your surroundings find out what it is like anyway. It's a good analogy good analogy. That's the so that's the story of Need realizing that consulting could have been would would be a good thing. And then i just joined an i had already joined the consulting club. I just took a leadership position there. Can i started organizing consulting meetings like people coming together and cracking or strand. Solve a case interview question cool. And that's when i realized. Oh okay. are these case interview competitions. That happened so we formed a team among a few people and we went to different universities. We won a couple of competitions and that pretty much solidified. The somebody had told me that. Hey you should go to these politicians. Because if you don't like this you won't like the chalk. And i loved that process like i loved working in a team making a deck presenting it to a group of people at that time. Of course it was like just interesting puzzles to solve right. The moment something that you like becomes a job. It's a little different. But i loved that process. The same day had actually told me that like any job if you don't like the interview process chances are you won't like to chart and this is something that i i continue to kind of field through all of the career progressions. That have made that like. If you don't really enjoy the process and the people you are meeting then you're not going to like the people that you work with. Because they represent the culture the represent the culture of who are the industry and after common and consulting any networking event. I went to my first question and my only question was what is it that you like about the job because if you ask anybody if you asked me to job as taxing. The job is stressful. It will take a chunk of your life when you're doing it Depending on companies. It'll the hours will change depending on who you're working with. The interesting part of it will change but it will be stressful. And when people told me that then i was like all right if it is so stressful. Why are these people. Are the smart people doing this. And so that was my only question. Every time i asked him networking events like wide do like consulting as pretty much. Hundred percent of the answers were people. Everybody said they're doing consulting. Because of the people they work with. And that was enough for me like for me as again as an extra word i was like. Oh yeah i wanna know more people and more interesting nia. I went when i was a at mcgill. I went to a presentation by kinton by mckinsey and the guy who was presenting it. It's no it very interesting. But then he mentioned the I think i think is weeks. Were eighty hour weeks. yeah and And to me it showed even on his face that he that you know that he was tired or or spent like you were saying. But if you're passionate about it and if you know if the the the pluses for you Are are more important than the. The drawbacks assured diving. Yeah now you. You had to other to other like pivots. Let's say and this distinct of pivoting. is always a moment. There's also a moment of we've not fragilities. Maybe not the word that i'm looking for but you are going into this new swimming pool where you don't really know the rules yet You might have imposter syndrome. Wanna get the position But what would you say were your go-to strategies to one one. You already said research research research and tried to know even though you you're not in the industry knoll as as much as possible as you can before going in and even before the interview process right but how did you prepare for for an interview. You already mentioned talking with people so informational interviews for sure. Must be one of your go-to strategies but What would you say for people who are straight out of the peach. What's the maybe three things. They should invest in in preparing for this. Because it's going to happen multiple times in your life. Changing the change is right. So so it's interesting. I'll start from a higher level and deeper down into the question right. The one thing that i've always realized now on hindsight is that i'm lucky to have a little bit lucky to have an extra extroverted personality because that makes things easier for me to talk to people for sure And that's pretty much my first point talking to people as many people as you can is pretty much the only way opportunities that don't show up on job pages will open up to you. That's like you can call it networking you can call it. Whatever but it comes down to building relationships by talking to people and it does not mean you go to a of course with govan now. That's not the case anymore. But for those who remember you does not mean go to cocktail networking session and just exchange business cards. It means once you have exchanged business cards during thanksgiving or during the holiday season sending them a note sending them like. Hey you know happy. New year are whatever keeping that network going finding an article that you think person xyz might be interested in sending it to. You are not doing this to get a job like that's it might be like skipping a few steps here but people say oh so. I should make relationships so that. I can ask them for a job. Absolutely no like it'll never work. 'cause in those relations will never work so. Let me take a step back. Part one talked to people Part two and in fact this could be number one known what you like and what you don't like one of the things that i learned a lot from my consulting interviews was that i sat down and mckinsey has a great resource of how you should prepare for interviews. I would suggest everybody. Even those who are not like preparing for consulting interviews should do why because they tell you how to break down your yourself and your personality right now. I actually spent a couple of days breaking down. These are the things that i did. Why did i do them blah blah blah and you can call it introspection. You can call it career interview. Prep but i go back to that notebook. I have that notebook for twelve well. Ten years now eight years now where i have these like little strategy trees of like i did this most likely because of this and this shows this and this goes back to like time of different skill sets so number one talking to people number one. Introspects number two introspective and the number. Three is flexibility. I can. I can even more cliche and say being easy on yourself. This is not easy for most of us. I can tell you for a fact that there were there have been. There is still times when i'm like. Oh why can't i do this. I'm a phd blah blah blah. I can stay up for eighteen hours straight or forty eight hours straight and you know. Finish this job. Why do i bring that in job. Search environment there are two things that people will face. And i have faced this multiple times where you would think this is the job that you want and you will not get it if you tell yourself at that point that oh my god. I am the person at fault here. That's you being hard on yourself and my first job searching consulting taught me that might hurt my last job. Search that ultimately led to me joining novartis taught me that are reminded me that is that these things are not about my abilities. These things are about a mutual fit and it does not at all mean that i'm not capable to do something is just means at that time. That company didn't want somebody with my skill set. And that's good enough me to just as long as i tell myself tad and these are these are things that we just keep telling ourselves and save me make it look good but that's not what it is. It's it's really something that we should be aware of. Because i have done this myself. I know other people have done it where they ketil rejection than they start questioning themselves and they never apply gab and one rejection means actually absolutely to doesn't mean anything just as a fact between my second my last job and the one. I was in nevada. I applied ten times and probably had eight projections. That's a twenty percent success rate. I think it's a great point you make and this many things that this elicits for me. We're in the middle of covid. People are often alone at home. They can have you know. Negative self thought can be You know having a bad impact on on their today mental health and taking it personally when you see whenever rejection is just gonna worsen things right one of the things that recently in an interview that i've just recorded the person actually said use the rejection as positive so in what they meant was if you can and especially if you've gone through an interview process and then the answer was no get back in touch take note of the name of the person interviewing you get back in touch with them and even though they might not even answer but s them. How could i improve on what i did. What were the the the main factors that meant that the other candidates got the job and make a plus out of a minus. Exactly exactly right. I think asking for feedback is one of the biggest things our biggest mistakes that most people don't do and i didn't do it up the first of the second set of jobs that i applied. I didn't learn this the first time around. And then i realized well. What is the difference between this interview. That i did get an interview that i didn't. I didn't learn anything from this to learn something and you know you're spot on on on that right so going back to original question. If there were three things that i would ask people to do. I would say talk to as many people as you can. Were different from what you are doing if you were physics. Phd go talk to somebody. Who's doing humanities. Phd's find ways find and people would mostly say. Well i don't have a network of david mendez prog mahanta creating those networks for you. Yep we are actively daily and that's how he met trying to create networks of like minded although not all from the same domain but like minded people on lincoln that was actually i i had a segue which because he will telling people should try to meet people people with different backgrounds and i was totally set going to segue onto that because one of the things we wanted i wanted to talk is well. How can people today from their home network in in an environment. That's professional in that yet. That where we're we're talking about careers and talking about the jobs is just natural and you have With with a group of people created an. I mentioned i mentioned it in the intro. A fairly large group on lincoln. Can you talk a little bit about that. And we're reaching the end of the interview. But i think we can finish on that on how today with covid locked down. Maybe at home you can still work to our towards a you know a large network and which eventually although now not directly like you mentioned. Also you you're not going to talk to someone they'll give you a job but the amount of conversations you have on the platform like this may eventually bring up. Make bring a contact with someone else who might think of you and say. Oh you know i had a chat with this bloke for from montreal. Who would actually and then and then things can happen so just to summarize for that so meet people be flexible and the second one was After go back and listen to the recording but almost like basically go go meet people. Try to find out what you have done. And the intersection introspection and then Flexibility right all of these three things when you click has other stuff in it. The first one meeting new people as you said is linking. That was my first thing to learn in phd. One of my colleagues said. Hey have you tried the premium membership lincoln right and i took a premium membership. Phd not knowing how much it would help to linked. And i got my first job. I lied to lincoln said my resume. The job came up on lincoln. Sent my resume through lynton. Somebody back on. Lincoln messaging set up an interview one interview for ninety minutes or so and i got and then the final interview and i got the job. Didn't know the story. yeah so so. And this is due thousand and thirteen twelve. Eight years have passed since then. Lynton has only become more powerful so anybody who tells me. No lynton doesn't work. They haven't used it enough. They haven't used properly and if people ask. We spend money on random things. Lincoln is an investment. So if somebody's asking how'd you meet people. You meet people through intent Same story now. If you look at it because of the same situation where i was one of the few who had gotten a consulting job random people would then message me or email me and say hey. Can i talk to you 'cause even if it was like there were a lot of people who were doing consulting after but whatever. The reason was within my friends circle not many and then their friends would call me up. And that's when i started realizing enough people need these support need more people. So that's when we started thinking or other. I mean. I had a blog. That didn't really. I didn't really invest time in it. Which i called academic inertia and which was you can keep doing what you want or you can stop but unless there's an external force you're not changing what you're doing and that's that's And that kind of led me to meet a couple of people in new york who had an alumni club from indian university and so i had my ideas so i started collaborating with them and became a co founder of this facebook group. That was focused on indian students after phd But it was purely facebook. And that's when. I started the lincoln group saying okay. Don't i think lincoln group is going to be more important. Also that group was mostly indian. Students and i wanted to end stem students mostly and my plan was always go bigger go broader and so the link group started that way and that was back in two thousand sixteen so two thousand sixteen. I'm doing consulting that. I moved to equity research which is another high intensity high demanding job. So don't get to spend too much time on the on the lincoln front. But once after i came to the waters which is of course also high intensity demanding but i could now find a rhythm and i knew how much time we spend anything so end of last year. I started realizing you know what time is now. Good to kind of invest time. And so that's when appeased career networking group on layton. Became kind of like one of the things that i was spending time on any time like outside of work hours. I would kind of like all right. Who do i need to know. By this time. Remember these years. I have met a bunch of people. Were doing things like grocery row. Somebody i would mention. She's doing amazing things. John hop johns hopkins. I knew that she's they're not that we started talking. But i knew she exists with manja. Right has been doing an enormous amount of great stuff with free the phd. And i was like. I knew vodka exists right so there were there. Were these little todd leaders. Who are all doing their own. Little amazing things and i was like okay first. Step how can i get a bunch of these talk leaders into this group so that people actually get get advised that is from people who have been there done that because the other part of making a group like this. Is that if you get a bunch of people who are all looking for jobs. How can they really help you. See value added no value added. So you start with people who actually have gotten the jobs and then you can start getting people who are looking for mentorship right so you get the mentors first and then so that was kind of a little bit of strategy Earlier in the year and then it was kind of just trying to create regular content and committing content. you're creating content which is kind of robust original. And you've been doing that. So i i found out about you through. I think twitter. Somebody mentioned and i was like you know two three years somehow through the same situations swan. Vera and vera. Doing awesome stuff too right and so suddenly this is. This is an actual example where you start finding people through lincoln and through twitter and connect the dots and say. Hey maybe this person is good for you to talk to that something. I will take a little bit of credit. Is i'm is i'm good. I'm good at connecting dots. When are people right. I'm good at connecting people. If two people i think are are suppose are should be meeting each other. Then i'm like. Hey i think david you should talk to out of work. You know david. You should talk to somebody and i confirm to the listeners that this has happened. I hadn't messages saying hey. Look at what this person posted. You might wanna talk to them but and so this. This all makes me think of this. This you know the saying that it takes a village to to To bring up a child and what it makes me think there's kind of parallel with With us who are in with people who are looking for jobs it takes a community to to make you grow into a better candidate and to lead you to your next position it would you know. I think i think the the other thing that most people make a mistake off is that if you are getting uni dimensional advice then it's union dimensional and it's binary either. That person is right or wrong. You're getting advice from a community then people with different experiences and different. You know i can tell people now about my experience in consulting and finance and how both of them helped me in my nevada's positions. Somebody says oh consulting jobs. Don't bleed to any interesting things i am. I can contest that the same thing. If i say grill consulting and finance can only lead to know farthest like jobs and then you go talk to nick edwards. Who has done like in consulting entrepreneurship and then he has hired a strategy position at another company. No it's different so period. Pots as much as people want temple ties it as much as people want to say like. How can i get that job. These are not formulas and therefore you need more than one people to to to share their experiences. That is why stuff that you're doing right. Like you have seventy six episodes seventy five episodes now. These are these. This is a plethora of information that people shouldn't be thinking. Oh person xyz said this and therefore they should do that. No you should be thinking person said this impressive wise. Set this person z. Said this together. This means i should. That's the concept of the community. That i take take it cannot be. And then the prism of your. Because you've talked about introspection you get two or three or three or four pieces of input and the prism of your values of your preferences of your personality will even than transmute that into okay. Yes it makes sense to me. Or even you'll have a fourth idea or fifth idea whole interesting that they say that this it made me think of this new thing that no one has absolutely. Yeah you've seen this in our group right. There has been discussions. That are so amazing. And it doesn't just have to be in the group if i given very easy. Example again are linked. You're you're probably familiar with the discussion. That's happening today. And we're wherever listening to this podcast at a later time will not be today for them but then truths post yes. That's an amazing post so just some the listeners. There's another content creator here. Great gate true. Non tear up on lincoln and i know her previously tooling and she posted. Hey who are the other lincoln creators and somebody else tagged me and said krog is one of the people. I came in and tagged in another bunch of people. David got attacked by four or five different people and suddenly gate roots post has nine thousand nine hundred and ninety nine comments and there it is in that post alone is an encyclopedia of lincoln. Content creators sudden likes and so it's did not happen because of one person and it count happen because of one person. It's so funny because someone who was on the show in season one also was tagged and appearance. Oh he's commenting on goods post and and he's saying oh we should start a discord channel and it's through the potential that you have in. This platform is is pretty huge. It's pretty huge. Now thank you for being part of it david. I can't say this enough to all the people who are part of the community that earlier in twenty twenty knowing that there was a pandemic. I was a little kind of like. Oh my god has an extrovert. I was going. Insane was whoa. This is another way to meet people and then suddenly five thousand people joined again at the date of this episode Just a couple of weeks ago. The was they crossed so the group crossed the mark of five thousand members. Which is yes. Yes yes yes and just for the listeners. david david. Also has david and i have collaborated to create a similar group for french. Speaking audiences dad reached hundred members within the last three months. Right through just for those. Who speak french david. Where i'm part of and the other members of the pg network grouper part of that has a stupid already. So that's roy listeners will know that. This is a bilingual podcasting. Each week we switched from french to english and so on and i approached progress at prague. I love the way this group works. The and i think it would be great to make a group in french and with offers and and and discussions. That would be in french. And it's growing well. And i'm super happy that i approached you about that moore of at first. You're a bit like you know. Well actually said okay. We should meet and talk. You've probably you didn't know me that well and now i i'm. I'm really really happy. I did it and again. I really hope that eventually l. a. reach the same number as as the father or the mother. Now i think. I think i think there's a lot of value in In kind of creating such many groups The the only discussion that i wanted to have with you because the moment you had reached out to us i was like in my mind i can. I can share this now in my mind was like well. David is probably the best person to handle something. Like that. And the only thing that i wanted to understand was that i knew you were in canada. I was like you're starting french. Groups are you wanting to go back to france or or back fan. But i wanted to go to france or something like that so if somebody comes in with like another such example of like hey. Let's do a spanish version of this right now. They need to have the the impact that you have already had like. I consider you as a leader in the space. I don't know enough. Spanish todd leaders in the space. Right those people. So that's the kind of talk ross. But i'm so glad to have collaborated with you on that. And i'm glad that we are talking to their. Yeah yeah sadly we. We've we've reached the end of the interview. I think we covered a lot of really great points. I really appreciate the fact that you you have done different pivots even after the peaches and i think that makes the your input really interesting. Because you've you've tuned this. It's it's kind of a process that you've gone through multiple times and you have. You've you've been tuning it each time. You've been improving the way that like you said. At the beginning you didn't ask for feedback. And now it's something that's part of it and i think if there's one thing that i apart from all the advice that you shared and while share the links that you mentioned in the show notes one of the things is a process you get better at it as you go when you get a no when you get to rejection. It's part of the process. It's a step towards the yes. It's an opportunity to improve into get better to get better and to eventually have that meeting with that group that fits your values you are a good fit with them. And elsie s. That is exactly right. Thank you have several. Did so thank you. Thanks a lot. I know you're on your thanksgiving vacation. Time for you know for this conversation. Which was. I'm very thankful for so have keep having a having a fun with family and friends and and again. Thanks a lot for having been on potentially dave. It was a pleasure and keep doing great work that you're doing awesome. I'll keep trying those who are listening. Phd career networking group. Yes i'll also dropped the link of course honor in the initials. Thank you thank you for. What a great conversation this was. I hope you took notes as an extra note. The grad grid now has over seventy five hundred members on lincoln and his still growing in going strong come visit and chat with some great members of the phd. Try and remember to reach out to pregnant on twitter. If you want to contribute to the covid effort in india have a great week. Thanks for listening and for sharing and stay safe. Thanks for listening to another episode of the puppy. Hd podcast head over to pop up each dot com for show notes for more food for thought about non-academic boss grad careers. I'll always be happy to share inspiring stories new ideas in useful resources. Here on the podcast. So make sure you subscribe on itunes or wherever you get your podcasts to always keep up with the discussion and to hear from our latest guests.

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Simon Moore  From Academia to Industry

Papa Phd Podcast

1:03:59 hr | 2 years ago

Simon Moore From Academia to Industry

"Today your ability to pivot into embrace new projects ski. He actually expected to change employment on a three to five five year cycle in the current job market. These pivots can happen between academic positions between academia and industry and between non-academic. Jobs jobs this week will be hearing from Simon Moore who stellar academic career has led him into a successful in fulfilling position in the pharmaceutical industry. something's wrong. You invest the time after in intellectual energy to look into it and then when something's wrong respectfully address the people or the group or whatever it is the community and explain yourself and it's important to be respectful Awesome that's certainly mobile academia but also industry I find general people do want to know the truth or reality. The that'd be told to welcome to papa. PhD With David Mendez. The podcast where we explore careers and life after Grad school with guests who have walked the road less traveled and have unique stories to tell about how they made their place in a world of constantly evolving rules. Get ready to go off the beaten path and hop on for an exciting new episode of Papa PhD. So today. We're talking Simon more. Simon has a very interesting career paths marked by a very successful post doc in neuroscience and cellular biophysics that ended up leading to transition into evermore interesting and fulfilling positions industry. I can't wait to hear what his experience in Grad School in academia was like and how he navigated his pivot into the industry arena. Welcome to Papa. Hd Simon thank you. David is amazing. podcasts going on. I wish I had it when I was doing my Grad school so all listeners should feel very privileged edged service. Thank you thank you so much I I really. I'm really enjoying the project and I really want to people to hear stories stories of success stories of transition and to know that this is not a one track Path you can really. He created path and find different ways to be fulfilled so again welcome to the show. Can you please let listeners know a little bit more about yourself and how how you got to wear. Your today was born as Montreal and I did my graduates Studies at Yale University with yourself. They added a couple of others other than on this podcast. So Chris can lock in some. Joe is one of the first ones to do missiles guy so watch out. It's really nice. You're listening to their stories and seeing how they navigated their way through. And then I went on to do a post doc in city and My soul all focused to get -sition tenure tracked position to do my own research and I had I think like you said are really good record I had a great lot of religious publications one science. I had I guess people candidate might not know of this and the Nih us us has been called a key ninety nine ship and that's meant to transition you into an academic physicians culkeen ninety nine. And it's it's it gives you seven hundred fifty thousand thousand dollars start up a lap usually get that you'll get academic position usually had some great interviews talk departments but for whatever reason big materialize realize. It's still not sure what exactly what happened. I'd love to be able to go back. Insert maybe hobbit or what nothing materialized. And so I had. The real reckoning was frustrated in its tough time ahead yours Depending on me trying to figure what the Heck I'm GonNa do and so I started are looking to industry ends. I don't know if it was just extreme water. Just what maybe just a sign of the times by attack was taking off but I found a great position. Position had a company called BUTYL therapy Cambridge Massachusetts and They're developing treatments for spinal cord injury and so my experience. It's been in a sort of neural development in fundamental mechanisms of acts on guidance neural regeneration. So it's a good fit so I started there with the idea of interfacing stem cells with their devices that quickly morphed into gene therapy so using viruses to To transfer genes into cells have some therapeutic effect. What happened after four years is the clinical program run into some trouble and might hired laid off? It's stuff that happens. Not all ideas. Even if they're good ones succeed and so look at the company was very good and was prepared for that and gave a good severance package and the whole experience. Give me a lot of contacts with the industry which is a very important have and then I did. A short stint at a company Cambridge Mass at I was doing that negotiating editing and that was just amazing exciting. Didn't know I'd never worked with genetic technology. Great experience great people there. You're very early stage research and I was contacted. Because there's this explosion gene therapy By a company in New York City so back to where I did I it was dot. Net to do the writing up for the FDA pitching therapy programs. They want to the clinic and so I saw saw big opportunity and took them on it and the idea was for us at threat to move back to New York City of love if there there but after six months there even though professionals going well people were great became clear that didn't want to family there at our lives in Boston. Just really nice at a lot of the my attack is in Boston and just didn't make sense to make so that's us What happened about two months ago? I found this great job back in Boston. It's kid pharmaceuticals Huge pharmaceutical company than what are the top fine five worldwide and. They're making a big push or they already have a bunch of gene therapy programs. But they're really pushing so they got that opportunity interviewed. Got just a great group of learning what it's like to do. Research in a large pharmaceutical is awesome. This is A. It's super happy for you. It seems that you know doors or windows. Were opening to you as you went at an night and you were opportunities which is which is great. Need to show up to to to get an opportunity to read. Is that saying appropriation perspiration. Yeah it's this also means that you know there was a a big culture change. I guess but Let's talk about that later because you know between academia and Industry for sure you have stories to tell but am I always like to start you know for the sake of the listeners to I like to start in Grad school how was it for you to Grad school even Finding Bostock how how did that go. you said your decided published well in your So what can you recount from from Your Grad school times and how he navigated Grad School. You know looking at what was coming next. which in your case was opposed? Talk where what were key things that you did Key Habits that you that you adopted with this focus and dislike tunnel vision towards. I'm I'm I'm working towards my post doc. I'm going to get. This is what I need to do. So that's a low tonight so I say I I need to put into context How I entered graduates also? I have been involved previously in a courtroom at a conclusion university before a join the Gill and I had some experience in industry doing very basic organic chemistry and my interest over neuroscience and so while still undergrad. It was my last year of Undergrad. I contacted Tim Kennedy. Who ended up mice adviser from HD at just for summer role and it was basically paid? I think he may be give me a thousand or two thousand dollars and it was very different. What so I entered in fairly early like like a a got a sense of what the lab was like that somewhere that I want each day? Tim Annoy got really built a great relationship end I able to navigate the good projects. You have a good publication Now What I. I did there that meeting successful later. I think were being intense lab with an US this later on as well as really being true to the signs might sound Corny but you. She sees US something wrong. You invest the time effort I intellectually energy to look into it and then when something's wrong respectfully address people are the group or whatever it is the community and explain yourself and it's important to be respectful And stuff like that ness certainly well both in academia but also industry. I Find General People Do WanNa know the truth or reality that the FBI told to Senator Boxer sleigh and Tim is just Tim Kennedy as gatekeepers supervisor so good at hushing or promoting the in that direction shortly the way And so I say that that was the number one lesson attitude. That's fueled you work. That's interesting and I guess this is useful in you know especially 'cause people May Like being in a little bit introverted. Or something they may avoid confrontation. And I think what you just said and let let me know if you agree. So do you know if you see something scientifically or relating to your research that it you know. That's either wrong. Just be frank but but build. Did you build your case so so that you can. You can support whatever. Your comment is with with facts. And the and also you were saying To maintain a certain level of cordiality say of just give me a little more specific than to my first author. Ships were basically countering certain aspects certain concepts Infield That were either sort of recently published in some groups actually both are big groups and doing bring it in a way. That didn't make you an amusing and like it was almost done in collaboration with them. I see perfect and And so you did you. PhD One one of the things that I remember used to play hockey in the in the hour recreational hockey team so how was a Like extracurricular life for you. How did you balance Stern? I didn't really think so. Yes I was. I was quote unquote. The captain of Are Awesome the lobotomize so fun so accurate context from Y'all pretty good at hockey I for for much Behind lottery player but in terms of International Grad School. I was like an all star for the level that we're at replying. Basically like lowest levels coed team usually half half girls guys at mostly what it was afterwards going to the to the talk to the bar and just having and so that was I think really good because he learned at the way. That started very organically like I. I wanted to to play hockey. OCOEE and I met this other guy who also wanted to play hockey but they had not together form. The team and that was earlier on in Undergrad and graduate school. I you the ropes enough that I own. Now that's good. I mean it's a very informal sort of management and all of that is basically like structure and So apart from that were there other things that you were doing you know to kind of have a PhD life balance. Yeah I did have. I ended up getting married deformity and that was I think it's very healthy to not be to involve that you don't look after yourself that way. If you're too focused I think he leaves from the trees in something like that. My wife has been exceptional national throughout both link work later on transport each other and there are difficult times Gets you had to do with the family is very important. And when you don't have that structure you don't sort of fostering those bonds to your family ends mixed definitely definitely so the next step that came was was the post doc and so this means that you know whatever was going to happen in that in the Post Doc. You're going to bring your family family with you you so it was a move. You weren't moving alone. Yeah and so the way sort of worked. It was lucky again. The only the request that my wife had was to go to the larger station heavy stuck in the middle of and she was pretty sure she didn't want to research anymore so so it would be extra hard to go to some remote location. A new post So we went to New York City and there. We had two children as a post doc which is drinking enough. 'cause you're you're spending long hours Build your career here and then not sleeping in nineteen turning research when you haven't slept on be fair and my wife was not working. She did the vast majority of the reasoning. The kids those early years But still you're you're in a one bedroom apartment and you're not sleeping hands you're still order So zeroed in New York. And was it easy to find to find your your first a position. Yeah I interviewed at a few labs. And they're all hand- clunky but I did look at all in the New York City. Has Four related. Universities Research Universities they happen to be a Columbia. And I settling down Mike Sheets and so he may not be out widely we know. He was in the discovery of kennison motors motor proteins traffic `schools and he's won awards for that. The lasker award is usually something that you wouldn't before you get a Nobel prize. He's won that as a supervisor was a very different environment the Thames lab because he has such a larger lab. And you'd also take up a position that problem spent where he spent his time in Singapore. So even Yeah it was a lot less supportive environments into Kennedy's lot but it was like you had all the financial financial resources of a large lab equipment and I think also just the other post Docs that Yankees resources. It's just outstanding and so is L. at within about a year or satellite Holliston in science. Just a super short article. But I'm not sure you can do that. Many other places and kids clout in the field. I'm sure also held up publication and so they're always take the good with that. That environment is and John and so that that was a great experience being city. Great City to live in Able to have up to children at a very nice excellent end and so how did you know you probably started looking and started writing writing emails. Letters I don't know exactly but to potential labs before you defend a How was that process You know how. How did you go about finding about you? Follow interests I guess right but then then the whole process of promoting yourself kind of you know selling your your your publication track record etcetera etcetera. How is that process? So that's it for me in my particular path nerve any pass Wrongly of doing it from you as a bit of an extension of my graduate work had sort of stuff that I want to know more about. It was like mechanical aspects of Axum Guidance and understanding the the forces could trigger signaling and so that's that McConnell transaction and that's I was seeking out labs labs that would allow me to pursue that Atop the other thing I was trying to keep it open lines possible but because I had such a clear idea of what I thought was awesome or a shoe and Saul speaks again to Tim. Kennedy letting me do that. I mean he probably also had that on no he definitely did have the appreciation that there is something there but didn't necessarily have the tools or the resources to get at it and you go to Mike Slab and pursue that. I sent him early early. Dress the papers while Hughes which is not easy to do? I'm sure he would have liked to anesthetize. And so yeah. It's I think it's going to be different for everybody. It's it's you have to be interested in and you also have to be realistic can get you to somewhere where you want to be and so I have a really good friend. Trish in his approach was a little different. He heavily weighted that She is Track cracker transitioning people to academic physicians. That's our goal. I think that's a really important thing to take into considerations. How have they been at gang if people academic positions because it's it's not entirely based on your your skills year all Secure impact and again for the sake of the listeners. Out there who might be looking for the post doc right now. How was the the interview interview process? How did that? I'm curious myself. You know because I didn't go that how how do you go. What happens once you get to the? Bi he saw. Oh you see his interested in talking with you. How does that happen that? What's what are the questions that are asked? What are they looking for? I think one of the things very quickly air that if you're a capable scientists in pretty much get any stock. You're basically very cheap labor to a Pi. You don't have to do any coursework like a Grad student. Dedicate all your time. You have a certain. You should be much more autonomous and obviously at an early sign as new course flu warrant sure And so I for me. The challenge wasn't a post doc. It was it was getting the physician in working. Wait James Street that's comedian. I'm not sure if that's what others will go through his once you didn't have much Think most of the is that I emailed called But if you have a clear idea what do you think. There's probably is mobile for in the so. Then you spent a couple of years I think five four five years working as opposed stock doc and trying to go into a professor oriented anyway into into being a Pi at Cetera. How did how did those? For years ago will end. And when did you start understanding. That's okay this might not materialize. I remember that very against against Forget was incredibly stressful. I guess just first off the way it started started off great size publication. Got A Great Review Article Michael Into Adult Mental was so proud of that. It just really entrenched to synthesize a very large body of transportation. Were after her her. And then it was trying to follow that and working towards the end just Cunanan writing the key nearly nine And getting that was used and there was definitely a fi certain that I have. I was getting implied. Physicians Talk Nurse Neurobiology Interview in the beginning courses Mawson's innings great our interview. Amy and it's an early. That's even pretty good at giving seminars. Go Navy Ovitz. You nervous giving information number few early interviews interviews not going well being to detail you need to rise above your science. And that's true. Her I think her position and fern industry needs so a larger view in bigger concepts. Nestle really's taking forward and I I I think that Early on what it wasn't doing and then end when it's like that. No sorry. We're not interested. Take our or we moved on line. That's when it starts getting a lot more real from. I had a couple of cycles to go through. So I Madonna's interviews before the key ninety nine but then I had two years with an after that first year working out Bassim Getting a little bit nervous More Serious Brenston. Networks said what am I doing wrong and might I think I'm probably a little better act. Ah but still. It's incredibly talking to get a tall. Academic research is a lot that goes into and and then when things study towards children at home and It's very stressful and hadn't deal. That stress is is coming along later for me was going going on some runs de-stressing where my wife was for about Law to the coaching. You through and that sort of. Let's do you need to bring it down to a level where you're stressed stopped at Bell Curve Towards Star installs a product. You GotTa Get yourself where you can Look at the situation. And that's where I started awning and I think my first apple accuses to mystery were so great I remember seniors acronym Siham and industry everybody else stance her current good manufacturing bosses and ladles but we're at scrum knacks guidance need cycling. GMT He did. I wrote a I wrote a cover letter saying so much book. Cycling Acquis realizing that's anyway she mutters. I'm sure they a people got good lasts over the. That's natural because I was really unprepared. Vertical industry now looking back. I should have prepared myself. Listening to people Thought it was and then just Tamar excellent and so you just you were saying before then that that once he started getting a bunch of Of Thank you letters rights that you you went in and started to try and get some feedback on what you might be doing wrong Were was these these these people that you were talking to was provider. What what type of help did you find? What type of A good input. Did you get dog here. It was And other than the department cruelly out remember this one seminar that I gave and it was just basically giving my job tonto other most occidental art. And there's Warner too I remember being there and he was also really good mentor and they gave me. Some advice was based into tobacco rise above bigger concepts less details bigger nonsense and of course also family. I mean there's take my mother had a very good career in it and she had some sort of. I implies the everywhere just basic career advice on how to keep reevaluating your situation and turns you where you want ago and it comes in all forms. Lots of advice. Some of the bad some of her stay here as long as it's come from a good source I trust the source and and Ye could shatter Way where you WanNa go or your hopes instigations and it's it's it's a messy process. I think most people get there but I guess once it's shattered especially if it's some by someone you trust. You can rebuild it to be a better and you have to do that but also keep your dreams so I don't know where it's somewhere between. Sometimes yeah yeah he got a yeah. I think what one of the things that I hear often is. You may get lost within yourself and something that you were mentioning before like people get their research and lose touch with the outside world. Let's say in this case. It looks like you know you someone who's serves very self motivated and self reliance and at a certain point said okay. The self reliance is good but right now. It's not serving me. I I have to go ask other other people around me. I think it's very sound advice. And and it's wise in your peers. Even people have just getting inside of yourself and they can be doesn't have to be older wiser more sometimes Good advice just another brain than yours. Right just decker. So this I guess brings us to the end of of your your path in academia. Amy Writes and this is where the transition happens. All right so we'll take a little pause. We'll let the listeners go heavy little drink of water and and we'll we'll start again at the moment where you got your first Job Offer in industry before going on with the interview. I want to thank you. You're listening to the show. If like an episode infuriates. Help your inspired you in any way Cherokee your friends. Maybe it will inspire them to at the bottom of the puppet. PC website you'll find out how to subscribe to our newsletter and how to receive a resource that will help you in your career research and be sure to follow up a PhD on facebook and twitter and to subscribe on your favorite podcast APP. Happy listening and sharing welcome to part part two of our interview with Simon More partout is your transition into industry. So you know you had this This great but we Gatien track et Cetera in in academia but at at some point like we just said it didn't materialize the PI position didn't materialize and you had to to think about and You know the exit strategies let us know maybe a little bit more about how that was you know how. What sort of questions did you have to ask Yourself Elf at some point because you were you were in the states but you're Canadian How you know? How did you navigate that and What what you know obstacles obstacles you found? Was it a anchor Janik for you in a way Yeah let us know more about about that transition point definitely an ANC Zeo Genyk what you said a lot of anxiety. A lot of Sierra just being very uncertain about the future so there are a lot of things that go into getting academic industry So I figure you're marketable skills are and at Columbia University on the resources have was the sky was names uh-huh Tavern Gatsby and he. I think he went around to all the different universities in a little lecture and workshop the Workshop on transitioning industry and he the major that I got from that was was on rant and not sure how earlier people are that and basically here it as an elevator edge. I didn't figure out what you're good at. What industry can would appreciate Nestle? I think globally as a teach the design experiments you can Literature search great scientific publications and stuff like that. y'All still so probably did a giving saying in front of people what to do and presenting your work and so those are our everybody then you also have Specialized but you also probably very very incredibly focused on. It was probably not marketable at all but it back in so for me. Even though US during very fundamental issues of accent I was looking at she. Green forces rose comb was very good at is halter neurons and keeping them Very healthy on artificial scientists and this company therapeutics. You're trying to do their program in. The clinic was scalpels in it looked a lot like a cigarette filter which never not to use that analogy there. That connotations basically was cigarette out out there. That would dissolve biodegradable. And the idea was is that after spinal cord injury you have this ruse in the Middle Award. You go in there and the scalpel very delicately get all that bad bruise material that you take that scalpel hold in put it in Helps preserve the structure of the song court in their better outcome for the the the the the research studies were done Zaandam at bottom line huge person at MIT founded several companies. And he's basically one of the original by Lynch ears. A biochemist chemical engineers. He has I think more or or he's only second second. Thomas Edison has. He's also an incredibly supportive. I imagine guys is he has. His lab is basically basically larger than a lot of companies. He never ceased to me as I could send him an email of personal though. Does something you'd get back so that fell within five minutes answering that drunk. Meaning the right thing. I think I mentioned before that our company when it failed laid off all Unia helped many people positions and so he's again he's people like that is such a good thing to do and you realize that's actually successful people to nine her. I guess you know t both of you. It's empathizing realizing that people are in different situations. It's very good intrigue now. Yeah and so then I was very at at interfacing of your substrates had to do to measure those forced polyacrylamide are different substrates. Exploding Blazers crazy and so I was like you WANNA put neural stem cells on the scaffold on the best person to do and so Very high level so that when I wrote the letter to the job postings wasn't a big networker job posting and I write said this is what it adds allocation record. Give him the. CD came to the job. Having of US members only about fifteen mass in song giving credibly high level. And just like okay. You probably doing this what I have experienced doing. Really help you digest sort of keeping as a discussion also coming off that they trust being a scientist long way it. It goes a long way. Just the personal person. That's very ordinance. GECAS Through anything anything alive or her research partner needs so you need to fit the team. You need to fit the culture and being rational long longest year you eat the research work. They're doing people a your enemy And so the company that I went to this new of views pretty small company on forty people financial in an interview process. The first step was berry the berries Explaining I give a talk and at the time I was still bracket only weak. It's a head state in Hershey Pennsylvania and on my way home I had rented a car as their We called them missing missile. Hey we're having this thing in Cape Cod economy and I had always plans to have Life she's like absolutely honestly sweeter all distress It is going to help you get this position. I went there and basically a weekend Bob Lanier has like discreet cottage. There you're staying at the hotel rates. Slided bitcoin over his house. And it's just being personal and Get along along with everybody in that I got an author and it was way more money than I ever made in academia and hours and industry are way better than you still working happily stress levels lower. It's not existential team A single scientists pushing something you have so many other people you had legal business Manufactured clinical the holidays people. You're all coming together. They're all sort of contributing working together. And as such a Rijn barbeque thing. I appreciate in academia discovery. It was it was. I didn't see that for me. It was basically just await circle what was looted industry. I guess got it And getting there I was like Google and then the idea actually bringing stuff in those lives better. It's since Israel Polish Maybe if he people cited a inspire the two started here. It's just when you're industry's so some real life impact to what you do plus a team that that supports you and that's working toward the same goal. That's that's excellent then and it's funny because again when you're in academia and and you haven't been industry it's kind of a black box you don't really know the the culture you don't know you know the products you see them but you don't know how the process is and how the culture is super interesting that you that you share that with us and Did you have anything else. You WanNA add up making that transition cursor. I really hit home that it was very stressful. You now what was going on by funding was coming to an end my He couldn't really simply he. He was losing his grants. US's which is a very stressful on and these things happen to find ways to bring it down to the productive level stress and rely on your network to never really seen a get you. The job will help you perform on. Weren't looking at the very least support you definitely and You know change because you are in the states coming from Canada changing from being versity which probably has a different status to becoming a worker. You know in in a company Were there any obstacles related to that. Yeah and we're talking a little bit during the break is working in the US right now. You need the illegally and so when you go to American University for Post Doc you're technically working take your And you have all these is like. I think the most one is the J. One visa or James. I remember You Your partner can get associated with that to be able to work. It's a law paperwork. They don't make it easy. They were just based on your position now when you move from academia industry that's difficult because you need to have a visa or something LSU work and as you can typically use the word permanent but that will only that is not supposed to be a permanent solution and so you at any time crossing the border they can say no. You are in to Stadium permanently were not gonNa let you through. Wait how will your job. Who's your -partment or House? So that's very stressful Are but what you can do that you. You don't have had amazing scientific career that is you go through these past gangrene and the air there The one that I use was national interest waiver. each here. It's not cheap. It's I think a table the government. I think it's a five hundred dollars in should get a lawyer to help you walk through all this stuff. It is very complex and what you had to do there as I had set. Contact all the people who had had not worked list but it cited my work to in writing recommendation mark. Some people you haven't worked with site were attempts your competitors I was contacting me my like some local competitors Scientific pretty friendly environment that they would be like why you contact God no you. That's the point early are we. But I work it's Mojo. Wow Okay so you do that. And you stressful as you like for me I was on. GNV's laws lows at therapeutics and doing to get off that is to stress Be One crossed the border So across the border and so what we did is Started that process in network. You are a year's time without sorted out and now or green card holders at. It's something that gives you that mobility but if you you don't have that it's very tricky to get industry John So if you take a post on. US IDEA building industry. I think he can start that the different startup processes here as in okay. Who doesn't have a good one woman who did it? She was from Iran. Which Imagine Gotcha harder and Choosey will be a national interest waiver and solicitor as as Dr Okay? So you did have a bunch of obstacles and anxiety and you're already mentioned that you have a kind of a support network that includes family CETERA. That's an and I guess you use that to kind of help you go you know go through and the and the bureau now which is which is great now a question that I like to ask and talk about is transferable skills and and you know you're still doing science pretty much I don't know at this point some some people that I've interviewed are working around often. It's funny because they kind of stay around science so either either side communication and things like that. But you're actually actually tell me if I'm wrong but you still in the lab pretty much. Well since the yes I say. Yes I'm the lobster and Definitely not I the position or have their alerts at eight would've style it'd be like you might go into the lab but I'm not in there a lot there are others. That are actually do a lot. More of the hands on. That wasn't true even when I was at rocket my last company. It was really more of a hassle hostage situation whereas Jason Bench were but it was doing a lot. A lot of writing for the and getting like undies. He's now that excellent so let's senior position today because one year at the bench. It's fairly easy to you Sir Mayes. What the transferable skills from your your dog and your dog are right but what about the the these new things that you that you you've had to learn in your in your the positions of more and more responsibility How did you know how did your your path before Be In new peach or on your post Doc How did those help you? Or how do they still help you today in doing what you do. Why why did they make you the right candidates for the position that you're in today is? Is there some impact backs or are there. Is there stuff that you had to learn from scratch and then on your own. Yeah definitely the thing I would say nothing. From from scratch scratch. Everything is applicable designing experiments. Bigger more eighty complex scale that involves many departments times external vendors academia as well as a the project you're doing writing up becomes a huge scale the having to your of at all good at writing insight typically. It's a huge bonus his you can understand the science right and so that's been various over me and keeping her very very Just a broad interest in under another interviews of when you have really can't focus focus on the technical details like this angle either songs yourself like that's not it looks. It doesn't get you anywhere you you really have to understand why is the has were like just keeping bigger bigger bigger. Bigger Picture aww That's something. That's I think again in Grad School of developing there and also had a work in teens. Hopefully you're involved projects that people just helping out like that sometimes leading hundred zero and yeah ice age is everything that's Benny in certain different direction. I'd say in in industry. It's you you have to Another thing learns just draw objects or not being if he has product that goes on around in published isn't a negative result. But it's basically the attorney laird. Work Navias mystery time money and something's not working projects going quickly drop it cutter and it's hard because invested chewed through years. You know we got you got to move on from this and now and need need to rate it for missiles so making sure that research going fast enough or they can the management. Everybody concerns. That okay is this going to work with students and drop it a if ah dropping is probably maybe a new skill dropping projects no interesting. It's it's it's sounds funny super interesting and I'm sure it's super pertinent because like you say you know it's time is money and You don't WanNa lose more time than necessary in something. That's not going to work for sure. The teaching part time has nothing. Is your programming. Co. is involved in that program yield. But it wasn't. My Central Focus focuses on the program that involved the gene therapy and that was born. Ron Really Nice. We're making great. Progress could have been agreed therapy happy but then the lead program. All your money goes away in company installing needed because they hated US didn't have this year award our only shot early on. It's it's cruel. It's cruel but I had zero also analysts warned Jones that everything was handled so I don't think any hard feelings. And the I guess you were pre self-reliant throughout throughout a Grad school and post doc but there must have been well with and we'll talk about that too because I I always. I always like to due to ask people to remember who had a big influence in their in their study and in their professional life but I'm thinking specifically typically you know going into industry must have been a learning curve for you in terms of culture in terms of specific skills. Did you have anyone did have mentors. That helped you kind of hone these skills and learn the ropes of this. This new university were getting into. Yeah Yeah and so. That mentor before entering industry had very pretty big learning curve. Inside from that guy a Eh Kevin against the things I was nobody really knew. Even at Columbia had transitioned industry. But once I was there there is actually GonNa Start off as miser loss But he was sort of air and he had a teaching each scientists who've been at a couple tax names layer and actually came by Manage he was really good at just touched on their respecting others understanding the situation. They're going through rubel helping them out Further career and you at every level conceal the do this even. If you're just starting out there are other people doing stuff enabling them as much as also is a very good skill. But having million Bob Wires huge academic guy. He's still does still the right thing to do so he he wasn't a mostly by example that he would do That's that's that's the way to do it and He was real nice. Still keep in touch with prince. You know and so every jump that I've made since new you eric edicts. He's had a big role. I'm just sort of his. You have to have references in Hugh they WANNA Next job You you work closely with him. He's in Tim. Tim Kennedy Occupations improviser. He's another personal talk to and and once you're industry making contacts and you can talk to other people that are the but I think enacting trying to reach alred's tricky at least I wasn't very good and just Out of curiosity you get to mentor people in your position today. Yeah I mean it comes in a lot of not formal settings every time he interacts was either an issue or less experience than anything. You ETERNUM DIS trying. This is what I did. Not Musher seasonable business. I know this is what I would do the time. Yeah definitely and and Still in on the mentorship aspect. Can you share share with With listeners one or two lessons that you know or conversations even the that you remember with with one of these people that were important for you and that you know not changed your life but the were important in in Getting you to where you are today in the chicken remember go back and say this conversation. Listen I'm here today because of of authority this advice that I got from for my mentor so I think my earliest tour is my going to start off with Mice she had a very good career nights and I remember her saying this and she still says a plot even after she retired. Is You gotTA constantly ask yourself. What are you gonNa be when you grow up? Because it's not going to say it's going to keep evolving Aguirre Gary Whatever you graduate High School Graduate University Ragu piece is not I think? Hopefully it won't stays. You're you're gonNA have all things will change in May stay the same for a little while but some points. reevaluates Ask and Aspen I test Barnes recognizing other people need how very good trait have in helping a distress yourself. Don't love distress Find ways to get it productive low stress. Okay and I guess these two last ones that you're saying you saw them by example like you were saying Bob Langer Rick Layer. It's a Tim I find their these shining stars. That that's University Zuhdi while they're very very helpful. Hopefully using those those are the characteristics that not WANNA trying tournament. This is almost the end of the interview. But still clearly these at least these people and well your mother's your mother but you know they really inspire you a lot and and like you say they're stars in the in the sky of your life. It seems that you may have been lucky to cross paths with them in a way but you probably we also were listening. We're watching and these. Oh this person I need to get closer to that person. What advice could you give students out there to? You know to keep an eye out for someone who who could be. You could have a positive a very positive impact on their life and they knew that they may not have noticed at this time. recognizing it when it happens is term. Stay listening for me. I can be very difficult. Time Zelik you'd like to sort of be the one talking but really listening and calming yourself down. Like for instance when I was trying to think that transitions industry and that was a second part of the interview. We're all bloggers cottage hundred people there at. There's at one point where there's a he's going to get a drink or something around. Doing that stops us. Couple words couple. Words are your moment maybe asking the question or or just listening until the Mike is listening to what he was saying his analogy Agassi's somebody's eighties. Companies was that each one is like a child in your Arabs loss. Is Your children honor and children are going to be who they're going to be and you have a certain amount of sort of Najing but there are the are the art from the moment. They're more of the pretty much the irony trying to help them develop a use. You can't say okay. No I want you to. I want you sir. It's just never going to work at. The personalities are really agreeing. Companies are alike that And so so to your question right stages try your best to listen or this and the again I I count myself as a as an introvert and and for someone who might have you know identified someone who's interesting and might be afraid to approach them Would you have some advice. You know some you know little pep talk trying to get an awesome. His clear hers. Somebody News really busy Can Be like two or three lines. I remember yeah. It's a lot of people are just maybe you too busy night. In cracking clean beat around the Bush too much like this is not a law. Very all that would be money by some. I mean you have to do it. I think in the age of you known Fire off emails or sons-in-law the Lincoln message or something just But do it right if the worst thing than yours overhaul McCain right a super long thing like I think biot- lately if you're asking for some don't do that to realize and as you for that other person if you know how they can help you just tell just a contest or whatever it is you. Could you have to talk about this yes. It's amazing like I've had never really had no but when I was looking for a different position where such doing that I had coffee with. If your company great conversation turn into a job but I learned a lot during the contact it was enlighten excellent. Right and so the last question I have for you. is Is just kind of a free to sum up all your experience until today and And to to tell the listeners that are now either. PHD OR IN THEIR POST DOC And that are considering going into industry three given two or three pieces of advice to to you know make that transition a as as easy and as as effective as possible and and And also maybe some advice as to how to identify their. Let's say dream job term figuring what you WanNa it do it soda and it's An. It's I think it's talking to people and having caught. We're here to do that. I'M GONNA PUT IT in other words if if I was in my post doc and wanting to to to go into industry and I wring do and said Hey You don't know me I'm David Mendez and I I saw. Oh you're linked in a super interesting path you know into your position But you know I'm pretty deep into my research my CV's very academic. Do you have a couple of pointers that you can give me. What would you? What would be the first like three sentences? You would tell this person consented. There's this really hot cast series by the lookout. You really need to listen to those because when I'm going to say won't you compare as probably what I do right now. I'd say sure I get often. Times will be people in the area. Mkaku drink with them and I've done a quarter times waiting because I like off your ear off of a calling. Somebody is doing it over the phone own against your personal immunes better. Obviously than an email. But I don't know I've never had that Call me I didn't know usually it's through conduct plans or connection to that person like whatever it is Usually enough I stay away this or if you don't have that then you send it off just hilarious and follow it up. Very rarely will a person's thing they WANNA know you're serious that is they're busy and that's like how post argued all right all right and And so so from from our conversation our conversation and one of the things that I that I took and that probably you don't need to repeat is taking a step back and and zooming out of your of your research to be able to tell a story story. That's more compelling right and really up enough to see how what you're doing something at the company's CEO and I know that this question for gene therapies the immune response to bear his something. You're awesome Simon. It's great advice Do you have any links anything you want to promote. No I don't really have anything MIC. It's definitely a Investors on and a good luck. It's fun it's fun. Time in her whole life ahead of you and only one. Last is being appeased. Forget how few teaser. These are in the wild. I think I saw a statistic of two percent of us. You're very unique. You can forget about that one. We're I started by. I think this is a great way to finish the interview. And it's true. Even you're you're saying this and I'm like I hadn't realized that myself I haven't seen those numbers and he threw that when you're in your hd all you see is bts and Bosox around you so awesome. Simon thank you so much it was great talking with you and It's great hearing your

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Ins Thomas Almeida  A Winding Journey From Biology to Musicology

Papa Phd Podcast

51:16 min | 1 year ago

Ins Thomas Almeida A Winding Journey From Biology to Musicology

"We're fresh into a new year and this time of year is one of revaluation decision taking and renewal for a lot of you out there. This week you'll hear Greenish Thomas Almeida's recount of twenty years starting in Biology Bachelors and leading to a PhD project in musicology with many twists centers. In between he niche brings a story of self questioning of determination of resilience of dealing with mental health issues and of reinvention. So stay tuned. It will be worth it. Well I have to say I am very glad that my life turned in all these ways in all Liz confusing curves roundabout because now I have this maturity which turns out. It's very very good for me for my pigeon for academia. I think I would not see things the way I do if I was twenty years younger. Welcome to pop up. Each day with David Mendez the podcast where we explore careers and life after Grad School. We'd guests who have walked the road. Less traveled traveled and have unique stories to tell about how they made their place in the world of constantly. Evolving rules get ready. Go off the beaten path and hop on for an exciting new episode of Papa. PhD So today. I'm having tea with eastham either. Someone that I've known for a long long time since since biology in the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon in is has a very interesting and very peculiar path. She's not in biology anymore. But I'm I'm GonNa let her tell you what she's been doing ever since. And that's it She's an example of coming back to academia after a long long time away. Let's say so welcoming to pop ichi and let you tell the audience a little bit about yourself where you come from where you are today and what different steps brought you to where you are. Thank you very much Well my path has been indeed very very peculiar I'm Portuguese actually. I'm half off Portuguese. Half Dominican so I was born into republic my mother comes from there and my father is Portuguese. So I'm a mixture of many things and I think this shows up in my whole life I started studying biology at university But I must say I had be study. I had been in studying music since I was eleven years old. So music was always very present in my life and As the time came to you choose what you want to study at university because I always knew I wanted to go to the university so as time came to choose what I I would like to study. I decided to go to biology because I always had this urge to learn more about science and I my whole life. I had been learning experimenting things with Science I. He studied chemistry at the high school and everything so I was very interested in this so I went to the university to study biology. But I still will head my music. Classes going on because I was at music school in Lisbon. It's not a conservatory but it's Also a music school which goes up to the whole music study. You have to go in order to play an instrument very well. Oh my instrument was piano so I had eight years of very expensive piano practice and I was still doing this as I entered the university and this sets up the first big choice in Asia to make so I was there and I was a student of biology at at University of Lisbon at the Faculty of Science and I was also ending my piano course and at the end of the Peon of course yes I had to study about seven or eight hours a day because it was very huge. D- amount of things I had to learned to play very very well very rapidly so I was very divided between two things and at this time also I discovered that I had a voice. Yes so to speak. I discovered that I love to sing and then my my singing voice was not so bad. Had some Um peculiar things that I could use if I did had the two proper training so I was very divided in my biology course and at some point I decided to stop the biology course and to study only music. This decision decision marked the first big pivoting her academic and professional life and it was not without challenges is was a very very difficult. Holt decision for me to take. Because at the time I did I didn't know very well what I could do professionally in music or I had this dream of being a professional music better but I don't I didn't know exactly it was possible it if it was just a dream If it was impractical ways Something doable but I decided to take the step anyhow. So I quit my hi biology course to the very disapproval of my parents which were completely shocked and but I decided I'm very stubborn. I'm a very Serban person and I when I decide something. I do this till the end so I did. This and I started studying music only really as domain thing in my life so the step was done. But how could I proceed in becoming a professional musician so I I. I had this singing classes. I studied some years alone with a private teacher. And at some point I I entered identity examinations for the Superior Music School here in in Lisbon. It's a school like a university. The city where you can have your major degree in music so I entered. This and I was only one year there because my singing singing teacher. move to another city in Portugal which is called every so I was living in Lisbon and as my singing teacher was was was going to another town. I went as well to another town so I quit this first year at university so to speak of music and I went to the university diversity of everything in order to continue my voice studies begin. This decision meant closing unfinished chapter this time to follow her mentor mentor and Follow Up. Her Voice Studies so my parents were very very shocked by now because it it was the second time I quit an university. Course this now. This time I went to ever and as I was there in ever in these other city I realized that the material possibilities of this university at the time were very very. I bet we had almost no place to study. No pianos no It was everything was due was done under under the the minimum Line you have to. You need to have in order to learn properly and These were very very rough conditions and I decided you know. I didn't quit my biology course and my music course in Lisbon to come here. You and you're an and study voice under the desirable conditions. So I started looking. Where could I go in order to study voice properly? At the time I had a chance of participating in some actually I did not participate. I was chosen Rosen. I I had. I was chosen as the very best students of the university. In the course of music Two years in a row so I had this public ceremony where the Minister of Education in Portugal came to give me a medal and there was also some money the price and I use this money these two years where I was awarded the best student at University. Use this money to in order to go oh to Vienna because in my imagination if you want to study music and if you want to study Voice and you want to become an opera singer you know. It's very tricky. You don't know which music teacher which coach you should take but you know in Vienna. They should know so in my imagination when I go to Vienna and I just look if I find someone who can teach me And I did I went to Vienna. They had this international international masterclasses in summer and I went there with his money with his price. I had been given and I remember remember you know I i. I was the best student at university. I have this award. I went to Vienna and Had description for an international master class saw in invoice with a very well known soprano and I went there and she told told me no no no. I can't take a student because you're very bet you don't have the minimum requirements to come here so if you want to. You can listen but I cannot teach because there's nothing I could do about your voice. Can you imagine my as I heard this because I thought that was the best and she told me non. Your voice is nearly ruined is very bit so there's nothing I can do about this well but I was. I was in Wien. I was in Viana so I said Okay but if you allow me I listen to the others and maybe I can learn something by by by listening so I did than every day of this masterclass which took two weeks I was there. I was the very first person to come to the masterclass. I the whole time I was taking notes and writing. What did she say to this? Tunnel what did you say to this. Mezzo Soprano and so on and at some point of the masterclass ask. The teacher told me you know. I've been watching you. You come here everyday. You're the first come. You're the last to leave. And you're very concentrated writing in everything and you know you. You seem to be to be very interested really in learning so I'm going to give you a chance so tomorrow if you want at eight title clock in the morning before the master class starts if you want you come here and I will listen to you and I will tell you something this episode. It shows how perseverance and steadfastness can help you get a foot in the door and get the attention of of someone in domain that interests you. Let's see how how it went from there so I was very very excited and I prepared. I barely slept in this night because I was so nervous about the next day I went there at eight o'clock which for a singer is very worst moments of the day to sing so I came him there and I sung and she told me okay. This is very bad. You need to do everything differently but I could teach you. I could teach you. What do this exercise this this thing and this one and I started doing this exercises and I noticed a big a huge change in my voice so this was the kind of exercise needed and the kind of training I needed so for me? It was very clear that I wanted to study a further with this opera singer. So the masterclass ended. I returned to Portugal and for me. The only purpose in my life was to find some money to go abroad and have classes with this opera singer. So I did. I continued going going to the voice. Of course in in these university in university are worse but I took every single side job I could. I did everything. Everything is sold cigarettes at the beach. I was because I had this biology background. I worked at the Science Museum in Lisbon. I I did every I did babysitting everything so I I worked so hard I could Gather some money and then with this money I would go to Vienna or to Hungary to Budapest because she lived awesome Budapest or to Germany because she was always on in one of these three countries teaching and this last two years for for two years I was always coming and going fallen her. Whatever she wants and in these two years I I saw The German music schools and I saw that the German kind of seeing technique was something which interested me very very very much so I decided you know. It's so annoying and so expensive all these F- tickets and having no money in having to work decide aside jobs in order to come in to go into fly to Germany and back. Maybe if I lived in Germany maybe I could seal have this kind of training and then it was it would be all in one it would be not. It would much simple not so expensive so I did this so I went to Germany on two thousand three. I went to Germany. I did some examinations for lots of schools and I Got To choose at the end which one I wanted and so I ended the whole Shula truly for music cantata hostel It's on the north of Germany and studied. They're singing so this was the only course which I graduated. After five years I graduated in opera in this university and finally my parents were very very happy. I it Ted been a long long path so I graduated and I started my career here in Germany as an opera singer. So I- sending lots of theaters small ones. But but I did and I. I all even got a an award and international ward. So I was very happy because now I was becoming awards of something which I in my field would so i. I had battle so much has struggled so much for this now. I nine while I was there so I was very very happy but then it happened. One one thing which happens to lots of people and lots of women which is I decided to have kids decided to have children and you know so as a as my years as an opera singer in Germany I was leaving in a train mostly. I was traveling from north to South East West three weeks year ten weeks there. Two zero eight weeks eight weeks. They're in different opera productions or concerts or Auditions whatever and at some point. I was very tired and I wanted to settle and I wanted to leave in Berlin because I had fallen in love with some Berliner Guy and I wanted to have children with him And in Berlin you have like thousands of very good offers singers for very few vacant position so It's very difficult and I. I decided you know I want to be here and I went to have kids and I want to see them go to the same school now. Don't want to be always the traveling. I want to be here so I decided again to take one step back and redefine my life and do something differently so I quit the opera career. I decided I had I had already had this fifteen in minutes of fame I should have I had been singing different stages and I could sing with different. Very reknowned owned in wonderful opera singers in an coaches and whatever men Mastro's and I had been given awards towards a Nice I decided you know. It's it's very good. Let's let's leave it like this oil. have very good moments to remember to share. But now I'll do something different. I wanted to turn the page and I wanted to do something different. It was always very also very It was really tying all the time to train in. The competition is so huge. You don't imagine this you think that the music life in the musical world is is so nice it you just what you want. But it's horrible. The competition petitions really frightening at this point in his described. How deciding to have children meant changing? Career paths again and finding new outlet for her creativity so I decided to do something differently. But I didn't know what and I was pregnant. I remember I worked until the very end end of my first pregnancy. I I was eight months pregnant as I stopped working so it was really. I was entering in the last month of the pregnancy and so it was really extreme so finally I had some time for myself with the baby came to the world and I did not know what latch do but I did not want to come back to this competitive competitive opera sing world and I know that I had dischord this call. My baby was seven weeks old and I was trolling. Would lots of diapers and Milken I was I was is going mad. Actually with the baby and I had this phone call and it was like hello Are you miss in Istanbul. Summit yes yes it's me. Oh it's from I'm calling you a from the First Lady of Portable. The first lady wants to invite you to come to a TWA lunch to an official lunch because the first lady of Germany is visiting in unofficial visit with the president of Germany. Not a counselor. The president is visiting is making an official visit to Portugal. So of course we decided to invite you to this launch and I was like. Oh it's I'm very tired. I don't want you know you just doing some funny joke joke but I I you know I am not interested in. It's not a joke. But why would you invite me you know I was full of diapers and things like me and denying okay because The the the first lady wants to have some some went to have lunch with people who somehow are Portuguese but were in Germany. Doing something you know. Can there arts somehow bridge between this tool countries and I it had been there had been some some news on the newspaper about me because 'cause I had won some war in your name came up and they just called me why not. I'm not doing anything so I came. I took took a plane to Portugal and had this this lunch with the First Lady of portable in the First Lady of Germany and is lunch. There was this incredible writer Portuguese. His Writer D Lene does your son who Had studied also lived one year in Berlin and I did not know her in I learned and I saw her for the very first time there at this lynch and I remember thinking you know. These people are a bridge between Portugal and Germany and this was so interesting. So the first lady's okay. They did their job but the the people who were there at this lunch there were so so interesting. They had such incredible stories to tell and I was like you know. It's such a pity I am the only one hearing these stories. They hey everyone should know this and show this bridges this particular this similar things and is different things between these two countries so I came impact Germany with my seven week old baby and I had this idea. Maybe I could do something. In order to connect these two countries to speak about connections of the two countries. So I I give this lots of thoughts and Six months later I launched a magazine. An online magazine called but Linda which was an attempt to do some cultural Working to talk about the culture of Portugal and of the Portuguese Speaking Countries in Germany. This was a huge success. It was such a big success that after a few months I decided to organize a big cultural festival in Berlin for the Cultural Festival civil for the Portuguese culture and the for the culture of the Portuguese Speaking Countries. And this you know I said I. I am very stubborn. Dublin and I am so I decided to do this and I spent one year of my life just finding out. How could I have some money out? Could could I find the funds the funding for this festival and I did it and I managed to find huge fundings and I did very nice. Cultural Festival One one month of duration in Berlin and I could invite people of Mozambique of Brazil zeal of Portugal. The Portuguese speaking communities that were already in in Berlin. I guess yes. Of course the people who are already ah there and and I could show for very a much bigger audience. What they were doing and it was really really nice? It had literally threw tweet had a cinema and music and art was really nice. Can I ask you how. How did you go about of meeting the people well in getting the know how on how to get the funding? Oh I just but everything single book I found about a fundraising using and such things and use my my skills in communicating with people and everything and I always have one idea era which was my rule. Actually one rule I discovered I imposed myself. which was I decided? I was going always going to speak only to the person who decides. I never never submitted something you know. Like there's a I don't know a contest for something or you. There's a chance you can submit your proposals. I never submitted a proposal. Never I waited sometimes. I waited six months because I wanted to to know who is the person who's going to decide to this person. I submitted the proposal. I never never ever you know for instance I remember I wanted to have of fundings for the from the German A Ministry of Foreign Affairs I know that they they knew at the time they did this kind of funding. But but I but I did know how did not know how to get to them and I thought you you know if I just write a proposal to the ministry and say I have this wonderful idea. Let's do this and that it's going to land on the pile on the secretary and in ten years have not seen them since and if they did I am going to. You know there's a parlor some. Oh I'm we're sorry but no so. I decided I'm going to wait. And I'm going to find out who decides this and after six months of going to every cocktail in when this embassies are asking people and you know what the caucus would just pick you have this idea. But I don't know and then at some point I found the person who decides is not not person. Actually I find someone who knew who who this person was. And this person wasn't a former ambassador which was already retired and and he said you know former German ambassador. Oh this is very interesting. You must talk to these people to this his call like this so and so no it was. She's skuld so and so I was like. Oh how do I get to so-and-so oh I will call them and I will say that you're going to Oh thank you so so as I called old this person and I showed the proposal I already have You know like the the presentation someone who found that this was a good idea and I got these these fundings because of course the proposal was good otherwise I would. I would not have the funding but I I was it was a very A bit of a very not a bit it. It was lots of diplomatic work. Okay stations I guess asics says it. It lasts for a whole year so at some point I did this festival and the thing is the Dan the pitch turn because the festival was very successful in lots of people came at at at one evening I remember I was showing a film from Jockey. He's in a writer and filmaker of Angola and the House was full of Angolans and and not only but a lot of people of Angolan and at the end and some some guy came to me and told me you know I want to congratulate through so nice so nice. It's such such a pity that no one does this kind of work not on the cultural side but for this pool kids on the hospital. which are they're having? So many difficulties was like which hospital kids talk. You don't know the hospital gets here in Berlin. The ongoing often was what so I was very curious and I wanted to know what this was before going on with the interview. I want to thank you for listening to the show. If like an episode and feel that it helps you inspired you in any way. Cherish with your friends may be willing inspire them to. If you have a question or a team that you'd like to see covered in our interviews you can now simply go to anchor dot FM poor slash Papa. Peachy recorded message to the featured the episode and be sure to follow up a peach. Young as to tutoring instagram and to subscribe on your favorite podcast at the end of the previous section. We so how inish found her way into the domain of cultural promotion. And how she she was about to be propelled into the domain of community support. So I did. I was too tired and I did not know what to do. In the meantime I had two kids not just one I had my second also and they were very small and I had a nervous breakdown. I just collapsed subst and I did not know what to do. It was too much for me. I remember I had the feeling I have all the warriors of the whole community over my head so it was a very very difficult time for me and for a year I could not do do really. I couldn't do properly. Anything and I knew this was a turning point. I had to turn the page because otherwise to to pledge will not turn ever I would stay there forever or not even stay so soul at some point. I had a medical help I had. I want to the upside colleges and I had everything to do. I did therapy everything because it was really a very very difficult moment for me. So after the therapy gathered myself together and I asked myself again the question what will I do next and I know I knew I did not want to continue this social thing and difficult. It was to be this NGO had grown too big for me and I decided to come back to Portugal with my kids and luckily there were old so almost Immediately some Group of people they decided. Okay we'll take your NGO from now on so it still works without me which is wonderful something credit and legacy i. I don't do anything for this. Enjoy and they still work in. This is for me a very very nice thing so I decided to come back to come back to Portugal and you know I I was like my whole life. I had been the best of off these in the best of that and now I'm just I want to go back to to studying and to learn things. This would be a nice thing to do instead of. I'm trying to resolve to solve the problems of the whole community. I'm going to do something which is good only for me just for me you know and maybe it's good for me. Maybe in this way maybe knows indirectly. Maybe I can help others if not. It's okay so you gave a lot. It was a heavy load on your shoulders. Your Body. You're you're you suffered and you had to take a break and then pivot to something different. which was is more taking care of yourself and your your curiosity and your will to learn more right? Yes exactly I. I wanted to do to to do something just for me and to center on my own needs and on my only intellectual needs because after all I I had been away from academia and from University for seven years so I decided maybe I'll go back so I decided to call call one of my teachers from the time. I was awarded back then the best student of the University of every I called him and he's a very very very Renowned an important musicologist in Portugal soul. He's Emily musicologists means is doing research on music music and I. I told him he was very very nice. Invited me to take a coffee at his place and I told him you know I just want to. Oh come back. I don't know maybe I don't know possibilities and he was like you could do PhD PG No. I I majored in. I graduated Eddie in opera and I did not want to combat to opera. I did not want to do something with his. It was this which had been turned so many two years ago so I remember he was okay. Well I don't know what do want a cup of coffee. Maybe we'll talk after this. Can I fix your cup of coffee. Oh yes thank you please do. So he went to fix this Cup of coffee and for a few minutes I was was there in his living room. And I saw these wonderful Portrays and lots of images he had in in this living room and some of them recognized that there were this description of something which happened in seventeen in the end of the seventeenth century as the the Portuguese. Not The queen. But the daughter of the Queen went to She married the King of England. So there was this huge embassy coming from England to Portugal and they took her to go to London to marry the king. And I recognize this image. Oh this is this one. Oh yes and he was. My the teacher came with a cough. Oh yes but to NASA wide. Oh because my my late uncle which had passed away less than a era go by then my uncle. He studied the the seventeenth century. It was some one interest of his. And I remember as a kid too I remember being at his place. And he's showing me this this whole images and talking. You know I I love this thing and I love the to know the the things which the travellers back then told about Portugal Ogle and about what they saw because this was one point at my uncle studied back then so I remember I recognize image because his image depict something that the travelers at the time saw in Lisbon and my teacher told me but there you have you have a wonderful thing to study on your be it that that that would be very nice. What would yes? You could take your German skills. You could read some about the German travelers who came came to Portland to report reported about. And then you have you can do your PG and musicology you talk about music but you you have this a a bondage to your to your uncle and two euro the things you like and it was like oh so I was very very thankful because I thought this. He's a great subject and so I started. It was three and a half years ago so I'm now finishing my PhD in musicologists so About the German gays the music portable in the late eighteenth century according to German travelers. And this is one of. I love the subject. I my whole life now turn to this PhD. Into I spend my whole. Today's just looking at some old eighteenth century German manuscripts in Cohen Shrift which is the their their gothic manuscripts Wave is horrible and I love it so seven years after I stop I I after I ended I did my. I concluded my singing my opera course and manny many years after I stopped my bulge because I came back to academia and I'm writing my PhD. And since then I already published lots of papers in international venues. I do do lots of talks. I get invited to talk about the subject. I discovered that I have lots of things to say about this such which which fascinates me. So now I'm back to the academia writing a PhD about music about the eighteenth century. So this is really a well you know life his moves in particular ways and minded. It's a bit of a roundabout way to come back to the studying into doing a PhD but clearly an and people are not seeing you. But it's something clear you love and you enjoy doing and I guess you could go to sleep reading those things that you just mentioned and and how. How does that translate into meeting New People? Maybe traveling to go to talks the how. How has that impacted? How does that brought new things into your life that you thought? Maybe maybe you wouldn't do because I started a family and now so you came back to Portugal rates to do this. Yeah how is it to be back. It could be now in this other universe and in this theme that you love so much. Well I have to say I am very glad that that my life turned in all this ways oldies confusing curves and roundabout in. Because now I have this maturity which turns out it's very very good for me from pgn for academia. I think I would not see things the way I do if I was twenty years younger because you know in this twenty years between going going to biology for the first time and writing the now I did search An amount of different things and all his work with the kids and everything all this our life experiences which I can use from a PhD. And I do use them. And maybe you know people tell told me that I have this Different kind of way of looking to things and that I sometimes can tell things in in a way they never thought what about and I think this has to do with experience. The thing is i. I'm I'm forty two three now so I started my pg with forty And actually elise a great thing. I'm very thankful in very glad that I did not start my PhD. With twenty or twenty five because I would see things differently in would not have recognized some things you know. I read the text of some guy or a woman who lived two hundred and fifty years ago. Go and of course. There's there's I read what they wrote but are also with what didn't wrote I see you know. He's straddling the hand. Maybe he was old. Oh She oh ooh I know oh maybe Zeller's or or his doing some you know I see yes this intersex quality. It's for let me something very easy to to see because I have two kids because I had a breakdown because I lived in a different country because I did. I studied science because I studied singing because I was an opera singer. Because now I'm writing something which has to do with history. There's so many things that come with life experience experience and this has been a very very good thing for me and I known for instance last week I had this conference in aerobic important loop nope dum international and I never ever have seen the old. I have to struggle because stem appears later. It's actually it's it's very very good his me and now they're kind of the gaze of kind of global into an iconic sealed. Concentrate is right on on this particular thing. I'm not that I have like this big this big picture and also by Mercedes' not easy easy to write a PhD with to smoke. It's and these I have the I am very lucky because My my parents living in Lisbon and they leave on the same house. I'm building And so it's an easier for me to ask them if they can if they can take care of the kids for an afternoon or something or when I go to local everything like this and it's not easy because this the the the most challenging thing for me You know when you have your when you're in the flow you have this idea. You want to write this inured. I would like Oh for months. I've been thinking on this subject. I've been struggling with these things I have here and now I understand. Okay yes non. Now I'm going to write it and you start. It might be and and sometimes you have this question yet. Not No no need to ask you this because it's about why do have to die and all so you know you have to stop things and close your book and Close Your Laptop and say okay thanks so this is like follows now. Now I'm going to talk 'n this gives also these you know these in this life flavor to your pg life is is is. What's happening to you? It's not only your scientific thing is everything and then you'll learn from it and you you put all your life. Experience would happen in what is happening to you on your edged and this is a rich. This enriches your and I know for a fact that actually your kid's life is enriched by by all the things you've done by what you do today and and that's fantasy like if they wanted to scientific experiments well who who's who knows about biology and science mom Sommese yes because they they will very at the beginning and they they're teachers. They're like doc but their mother was an opera singer She's Rodney. PG Why you'll notice that. She knows some some things about so many things about electricity. The and and chemistry because in their birthday parties. I'm always the one who does this. Chemistry show or two days ago. I showed them how to Create Electricity Former potato. And were like and you know I bring this on our lives lives and they love science the love it and of course they love music and everything but from these things I didn't in my life like music and science they stuck to science and I'm always taking this things I've learned in chemistry and biology everything and give them to the kids and they're just just so happy. I'm very happy that I did this crazy path because now I have lots of things to show the kids. And they're very very happy they clearly they love it and the robots and there's little robots sometimes. I want to do well in your story. It's you know there's a lot of chapters in it. There's good moments bad moments because life's like that right but the thing that I think is very cool. Oh I see today and you really passionate about what you're doing and it looks to me like you could dig into this team or in this area of studies forever. Look at you. And that's the feeling I get and be super fulfilled with that and what you went through kind of proves it is be patient and you'll you'll find your path but just be open to the experiences that that show up during life and you know in that frame of mind and we're getting to the end of the episode what not to share his for people out there who because not not everyone knows when they get out of university exactly what they wanNA do and for. Those people might feel inadequate. I should know what I want to do or people who are stressed. Why don't I know what I WANNA do? Why can I define my mind? Not Normal like the other people on me. What can you share with them? You know based on your experience in terms of advice to really take it easy in a way and take the opportunities that arise and give yourself time to reach each the goal that might not be visible right now. Well I think from my experience what I've learned is fight for what you want. If you like something. If you want to do this then go for it to study just work. Just do whatever you have to do in order to Luke follow this but be open to whatever comes to you. Embrace whatever comes to you because sometimes you're looking at your path breath and you think it's going to be a linear thing and then if you're open then you'll see things you did not see and maybe they are going to be much nicer and you're going to enrich the path and maybe at the annual and there were. Were you wanted to end. But you you ve learned lots of things so follow be consequent follow your line study and don't be sourcing opinions. Just follow. What whatever your dream is and whatever you want to do in your career whatever but be just opened And Open to whatever comes to you and that said don't be too hard on yourself because you have time I was In my opera years I always heard. Oh it's too late all we have to you have to we all opera singers. I have a thing with ah aged day. All wanted to sink Feick if they're in the mid forties butts being in their early twenties and this the age thing is Oh Ooh you're thirty now. You should be twenty nine. This is a huge thing and what I've learned in this is nonsense age. Enriches you so use your age a news all your experiences in order to follow this thing you wanted in. Never think you're too old or your. You should by now. It be knowing exactly what you want to do. A new should know your path. Now this is not your path comes in whichever way it has to come and you will follow it. In whichever way you are going to see an whichever ways best for you just make the best of what you have and just be open to wherever comes to because it will enrich you. That's perfect and what can you say again to help people who might be dealing with with mental. Oh health issues you know in terms of dealing with taboos with the self doubt. Can you share something with the listeners. On that side Oh of course because because I'm the champion of the breakdown. I swear one in my life but it was really really big so my only advice is Get help get professional. Help you know if you have a mental issue. This is something that most people see is a bad hat thing or it shows that you have problems and your complicated person. It's not at all if ever mental issue. You're like the most normal people in world because almost everyone in some point of their life is going to have some mental issue. So it's like going to the dentist or like going to Oh to orthopedist when you have a problem foot If you have pain on your abdomen you would not wait at home and say oh you know now I just have to or if your tooth aches. You're just not only maybe if I smile more maybe do some more sports now. You go to the dentist so if you have some mental problem or if you have if you're struggling with some difficulty you knew you seem that you don't seem to put things together. Don't be ashamed. It shows that you're the most normal people in the world because almost everyone has this in some point of their lives. So go to ooh therapies as for professional help and never ever feel ashamed of doing so. You're the very most normal people in the world. It's I'm the proved that it's possible to just go further. And just you know you have a problem okay. Like I had an operation my life focus. Why had the mental problem It's okay then you go back to your work. You learn to live with this Maybe it's something is going to to accompany you for the rest of your life when you're going to learn to live with that maybe something that gets fixed and you never ever have to struggle with this anyhow. Go to a therapist. He or she will tell you how it is and it's perfectly normal so it's nothing to be ashamed of. It's a it's a part of your way way. And it's the most common thing and I learned because at some point I published my experience with this Mental issue and with my never never spread on and everything and I was just so shocked to see how many people wrote me in private messages and talked me and phone mean inculding to say. Oh me too yes yes me too I did. I had this someone was like. Why don't you speak up? Everyone everyone I know. Have this so you know we feel so isolated we feel like Oh. I'm so different. I'm I don't know how to go further. I'm I'm I should shoot. No I should be normal. No normally that you don't know more Mo- more this is normality that you don't know so you ask for help just like you would. If tooth ache so we'll just be cool about this. Go to a therapist. And you'll see that's somehow you'll learn more and somehow you're going to go further. He Nash Rush. Thank you thank you for your time. Thank you for your story. which is which is great and thank you for your input in your messages and your insights for for the listeners? Out there thank you. Thanks for listening to another episode of the Papa. PhD PODCAST head over to Papa. PhD Dot Com for show notes and for more food for thought about non-academic boasts Grad careers. I'll always be happy to share inspiring stories. New Wadia in useful resources here on the PODCAST. So make sure you subscribe on Itunes or wherever you get your podcasts to always keep up with the discussion and to hear from our latest guests.

Portugal Lisbon Germany Berlin Vienna University of Lisbon writer PhD Faculty of Sciences eastham Liz Science Museum Asia Thomas Almeida Holt David Mendez Minister of Education Grad School
Expanding the PhD Career Toolkit with Mark Herschberg

Papa Phd Podcast

1:05:49 hr | 3 months ago

Expanding the PhD Career Toolkit with Mark Herschberg

"Hi welcome to another episode of papa. Beach team this week. I have the pleasure of sharing view one of the longest interviews of the season but also one of the most with insights and advice on how to take control of your career as a phd did in academia or outside of it. So be sure to have pen and paper before play on this papa. Peachy interview with mark hershberg. Having a plan doesn't guarantee success but greatly increases the odds of success and the kids. Your plan is not at least once a year and talk about other timing that you can do in the book at least once a year. Sit down and reflecting say okay. Is this still where i wanna go. How far have i rest you wendy to do local correction. Maybe just a little tweak. Maybe it's a little slightly. Or maybe i need to do a hard right turn. Welcome to papa. Beach with david mendez. The podcast where we explore careers and life after grad school with guests who have walked the road less traveled and have unique stories to tell about how they made their place in the world of constantly evolving rules. Get ready to go off the beaten path and hop on for an exciting new episode of papa. Phd welcome to this week's episode of peachy today with me. I have mark hershberg. Mark is the author of the career. Took it essential skills for success that no-one taught you from tracking criminals and terrorists on the dark web to creating marketplaces new. authentication systems. Mark has spent his career launching and developing new ventures as at startups and fortune. Five hundred's ending academia. He helped to start the undergraduate practice opportunities program dubbed mit's career success accelerator where he teaches annually at mit. He received a bachelor's in physics a bachelor's in electrical engineering and computer science and a masters in engineering in electrical engineering and computer science. To focusing in cryptography at harvard business school mark helped create a platform used to teach finance at prominent business schools and he also works with many nonprofits including techy youth and plant a million corals. He was one of the top ranked ballroom dancers in the country and now lives in new york. City welcomed papa. Pfc mark thank you for having me. It's a pleasure to be here. I'm really happy to have you here. I always love having a on the show people who have spent inordinate amount of time thinking about this question of career transitions and about You know how to find your path in in in a in a world which can be confusing Which you know you you may not have the exact the right cues or you may not have a model in your family to follow and you may be the first to do these things such as hd and then you know having someone who has done all the work and then you know written a book on something like this is always a pleasure for me. he run the show. I'm glad to be here and hopefully secure some that knowledge with your audience. Yeah well that's why we're here and I'm I'm really excited to have this conversation with you. But let's start at the beginning I already talked a little bit about your academic journey But maybe if you can talk a little bit more about yourself and about how you came to this To thinking about this question of of figuring out your career and to and to eventually do it. Think about it enough to to rights the creator. The creator toolkit now. I came out of mit in the ninety with a couple degrees. I left with my graduate degree masters and phd and started software developer. And i really didn't have a lot of great direction. That i i want to be a physicist for various reasons i shifted from that and wending your science and just kinda found a job. I wasn't excited about it. Was there seemed like the best of the worst options. And i was wondering and it wasn't until at this point. The company was at at a falling out between the founders and they split into and the cto by reported to said well leaving a former new company company. Why don't you come with me. And the existing founders said. Oh you know he's leaving Staking people that we want you to stay and for the first time. I rose ahead decision to me. Okay well how do i do. I stay or do i go. I need to figure it out. Evaluate this. I started thinking about what's important. Where am i going. And then realized. I had more than two options. Because the dot com era lots of people were hiring software developers of course and so i had to create a framework right all of us when we're looking at our graduate studies. We don't just say. I wonder if this is true right. We say well what exactly emma i trying to prove or understand. What's my thesis. And then what is the approach to figure this out. And that's basically what i didn't like rear it on about. Where am i trying to go right. What's that engel. And then how do they figure out which of these paths is going to take there and it was a more concrete way of thinking that started my career and then a little further down the road. When i was interviewing people and i'd ask a technical question it might been software. It might have been an accounting marketing wherever their field and they give me an answer and okay right. They have their degree good. They actually detention. But then i would ask a question. What makes someone a good teammate. What are the communication issue. You might face in this role. And i would get blank stares because we don't teach that in high school and undergrad and graduate school. We don't teach it but this is so important. What we do and i began to recognize there were other skills. We needed that. We were never taught and around the same time Mit had gotten a grant to start a program. Along the same vein. I got connected to the guy who is starting it as a look. I've been focusing on this for the past two years of the company that i've been hiring for an team i've matching can help. Yes please so. I helped develop some of that class. And then he said you know what we have all these great professors but they're not in the field and i'm a tremendous respect for my The professors i work with at mit. But they don't spend as much time as practitioners so we brought in. He asked me to come help. Teach him run. Other people like me who can bring in a perspective from the field. I'm so since then. I've now had one foot in industry one foot in academia And so can you just talk a little bit about this. You know your foot industry what it looks like you know coming out of of Of your masters you had this. You're in this company it's split. What did they develop into in terms of career specifically. Let's say so at quit. I realized i knew. I wanted to shift into management and the reason much as i love engineering. I still some level of playing with legos martin. There's a reason. I don't play with legos. Every day it's funded. He once in a while but are very ex- type of problem right. There is a small solution space. Legos compared to other types of activities social engagement likewise problems. I would face as an engineer. As an individual contributor were relatively constrained in compared to the challenges. I would face of management. It was a wider problem steaks. I found interesting. So i knew i wanted to move in that direction and i knew long-term i wanted to be a cto chief technology officer. I also understood that being the chief. Technology officer doesn't just mean. I am the best programmer back backward terrible for members. I don't like voting. Or i'm pretty rusty but i knew and certainly as you move up on recommend nearing okay i. It needs to be good programmer. But i also need to understand how to hire people how to communicate with people in other departments. How to budget. How to strategize how to do partnership deals. These were not skills. I learned in my undergraduate computer science program. So what did i need to do to develop. And i created a belt and plan that included heading certain jobs. That would advance me along that half and helped me develop and so. That's how i chose. What would be the purpose job. What's gonna get me to where. I wanna go in the future. That's really interesting because one of the things that can block us. An empty of myself know when i was in the hd very you know maybe the the way i was thinking was very. I was thinking of one track. I need to find the path the track the job and it feels like the way you you. What what you described is more Any kind of it might sound weird but shoot i which means get get his first job which is maybe not exactly what you want and then aim after and then with the years you kind of narrow in made it more laser laser focused what you wanted in and you you like you said you started choosing different opportunities. Were teaching the skills to that. Brought you to the position that you kind of. Let's say your dream job in a way. And because i think the fact of this this will of finding the right job may block you from finding even the first job bright's certainly we often in industry. Perfect is the enemy of the good. Now i don't think my strategy was great. In fact probably. I definitely had a job i out of college. We're osei probably wasted a year of my life because corrected and i didn't take the best opportunity for me. It's important to recognize like it's not about protection the way i think about. Start with your long term goal where you wanna be ten twenty years down the road and it may be a title for you. It might just be a concept of what you want to be doing could be fuzzy. Could even two or three things apps. Okay but then start to back out from there to get there. What do you need to do. So i knew i need some of these other skills you might say. Oh i want to be. You know this tenured professor okay. Well if you're in stem that means you have good access to research grants so somewhere along the way you bear know how to get money right. Well i writing rams building connections with industry. If you run that that you know senior person lab you need this skill beyond just your great research. So what can you do in your next few jobs to develop the skills. I knew for example. I need to get better at marketing. So i chose jobs. I actually work as a cto. Had marketing companies where there was some learning by osmosis. I also read marketing books molly marking classes but also being in that environment being exposed to marketing issues. How we think about marketing products helped me understand marketed. And i chose that job. Not because i was super excited about marketing arrest my life of because it would help train me and get me further in what i did. Y do and marking was voted. It totally makes sense now. That can be another situation too. Which is an i think it. It might be likely fairly frequent of getting to. Let's say the last year of your and and just noticing. Oh i didn't spend one minute thinking of anything else but tenure and it may not be materializing. Can you know when did you or maybe let's say based on on your on your researchers in on on your work. When would you advise people who are disposition of being in in a graduate program and not being sure you know what the future has has in store for them. When is the right time to start thinking about these things and start like you were saying. Start building this this this system and this framework for preparing the transition so the right time is honestly a couple of years before whenever you have to make a decision. But if you haven't if you're saying. I have to make the decision now. The right time is now heard earlier and this is a few reasons one is these are not decisions you have to make by yourself. Yes it's ultimate your career. You have to be responsible and you make that final decision but you're not doing it in a vacuum get input from other people talk to other faculty members talked to other students. Talk to friends in industry talked to lots of different people and get input and listen to what do they lie about their job. What don't they about their job. One things would do. They wish they knew when they first start down. This path one thing. I don't think. I appreciated consciously. Was that the nature of some of the work is looking to do would have been fairly narrow isolated so in physics if i'd gone into to research on being very focused specialized field and i live in focus on some very narrow problems. Maybe plasma physics navy astrophysics Hanging around with a bunch of other people in astrophysics or whatever. The field is an app. Said and i mentioned earlier. I realized i wanted to go from engineering problems to a more diverse. Set of managerial problems. Which you're less likely to get in that field now. I kind of had some maybe instinct. But it wasn't very conscious if i had gone out. Spoken to people famously. When you talk to lawyers. Everyone sees lawyers on tv right. We see that dramatic courtroom scene. You suddenly blurts out the truth than got up octa any lawyer. They're gonna say absolutely not act most of law you're never inequality many lawyers never set foot in a courtroom and you're singing by yourself. Pouring over law books reading now online case law. Redlining documents What a lawyer means and lots of people they see on tv like oh. I wanna do that. But they don't realize this is what the job really. It's only by talking to people that we start to understand and get a better perspective and we start to hear what might sound interesting or might not at the same time. Whatever pass we go down. It's important that we build up a network and networks networking is not. I went to a public last night. Collected six business cards gay. I've never networking is about building relationships. It's not about collecting cars building relationships as we know takes time so you really want start now. Not for tomorrow but for down the road. Have that network ready. It's a we love that you say that because often i come from from stem my my cheese and cell biology and often when you are doing research in that domain you know you you're on research gates or something like that and i tell people go on lincoln start talking with people on linked in. Do you have an opinion on that. And also you have other strategies than lincoln. I dunno That's that's my go-to because it really works for me. But i wonder if you have advice for people who maybe even are a little bit Introverted i dunno too because it's not that complicated on a platform like that to say hi I'd i i do this research. I'm i'm inspired by your. You know your your career journey left to chats. Is that something that you You would advise people to do. Absolutely an introvert is wet. I am naturally an introvert. Here's the thing we think about that. Stereotype of networker. Who does go to the conference. Moosonee everyone rs yet. that's not networking. I mean it one way to do it but that's not the only way if you've ever had a friend you know how to network of believe everyone here has had at least one friend. It is just building a relationship. That doesn't mean everyone in your network. Is your personal friend right. There are some people who are my friends and there are my network. There are some people. Were just business context. We don't hang out on weekends but you know we can call each other reach out and we have a relationship so don't think about half to go to the room and i have to go and meet lots of people overwhelming. Think of it one. I need to meet this person. Chat developed a relationship over time and that's less overwhelming than the rue in figuring out. Where do you find these people. It is anywhere so you can start with your university and start obviously with people in your department you can talk to people neighboring department. You can talk people other departments. Yes if you're studying physics of they've talked to people. In chemistry ups have nearby me. Only talk to people in history and english talk about their pets and shortly might not be talking about how to run a lab because the nature of that work is different but people in those areas. Still think about getting tenure right and what this past. Look together a tenure package right. It's the same no matter what field you're in the even think about doing outside work versus staying in academia or what a path outside be why they might wanna stay in academia or league and that could apply to you as well so we can go to a university. We can go to our alumni network. This is underutilized resource. That's undergrad graduate. School where you are. Currently you have this massive alumni network and the thing is that we can reach out to people on lincoln now. Academics are mary open and giving right. We're very much. Oh fellow academic yeah. I'll share my research. Paper happy to chat is all about sharing ideas reaching out to strangers on the internet. Who don't have that mindset. You might not get as much of a response But we can reach out with people we still have this troubled mentality and when we say oh hi. I went to the same school. You did right. We have that connection. Where in the same tribe much likely to much more likely response. So you can. You can reach out to those groups. You can also whatever city or town. You're in their online community groups and their physical community groups. There's also unlike community groups more soho. Those days as these fisher. There's lots of resources even think of family friends of yours because maybe your cousin has a friend who's in the same field or a nearby field and you had no idea right but by talking to your cousin finding out. Oh here's someone interesting to talk to so really taken a burst open mind towards you. Speak with his. It really can be most anyone know for sure and if your spouse especially introverted and i also put myself in that club not not extremely. But i'm on the introverted side of things You may want to reach out to your colleagues and to say hey. Do you want to organize a career seminar and we'll invite people and then that way you won't be you won't have that stress of maybe worked bugging someone because so often you feel people can feel like that all but i'm going to be annoying the person if you organize something and you bring someone on zoom call to share their pat. They'll be happy to do it and you can. You can take advantage of that as a group to. I think it's a it's a. It's an opportunity to this. Is one of the will secrets of networking my friend. Olympia fox coban. She wrote a great book. Called the charisma dot charisma's a skill that you can learn just like accounting or baseball or anything else she has. She's taught us that one. The great ways to build your network is to be on effectively the membership or awards committee okay. What does this mean practically speaking is what you just said. Imagine there. These people really want to reach out to but highly seem. They seem impressive. I'm a little intimidated. Imagine you organize an event and you say hi. I think you are so special cylinder I would love to have you at the event. I'd love to have you speak to people so i you've now had a good reason to reach out not a if me hell it's valuable to you you up on the estelle you can. Also it's very normal. Say hey just want chad ahead of time gets no little more. Valuable can speak bound. You can build a personal relationship with this person as well as get advice the event it can be multiple people you are also now the organizer ever looks at you and says oh. You're the person who's connected. You're the organizer. Everyone knows who you are. No they might even say hi before after the event he will come to you when you organize the event so it's a great strategy for really building out your now. Well glad it can you. Can you just share again. The the name of the book and the author that you just mentioned the charisma by olivia ox combined. See a all right. I'll see if i put that to on the under the show notes. One other thing when you're on your in grad school And and when you you you well when you finish grad school and you know tenure or academia doesn't happen for you or you decide it's not for you you kind of you kind of switch into this other world. War has another culture. another language can be industry. If you come from stem can take different forms. And maybe you can bring some examples from from the humanities but one of the issues that i think give some anxiety to people and and that may yeah the me. It'd be stumbling blocks for them. To getting that first job is Kind of switching have this mindset of this language which is the academic language in the the academic frame of mind. And when you move the job market. The people who you're gonna talk with they speak a different language day. The they come from a different culture. Do you have any m advice on how to prepare for that and you know. I'm thinking of the interview process. I think maybe just we can focus on that because it's kind of the moment where it all happens rights when you have to give that impression you have to answer those questions and you know. Make them feel that. You're gonna be a good team member and it can be challenging for people coming straight out. Let's say do you. Do you have any insights on on that. And in any tools or strategies to follow to to make it easier and to guarantee a little bit more of success although guaranteeing is a bit of a strong word. I'm to share. A story of this is one night i have in the book that might background as you mentioned. It's mary stem for quantitative. So i was trying to think of the world as physicists. Engineers trained so maverick conditions and constraints and systems of equations. And this is how. I think about the world. When they're what problem facing. I might not actually formally right out. What are what is the system of equations. But that's kind of how i look at this. And how do we solve a solution within these constraints. So many years ago. I was working at harvard. Business school. I was driving this very old beat up car. It was probably worth about a thousand dollars on being generous. We'd had been stolen. So i always locked the doors. I put a car club on. That's a device. You put over the wheel. The soon will. Yep lock it and one of the professors. He's a finance professor and we were in my car one day and the saami like us the club they said. Why are you doing this. This car is so beat up an old. You're your time as a no. No it's been stolen. I think it's worth it and to me. That was just okay. We you know we disagree an assessment of risk and the end of it. But he's a finance professor. Now if you work in finance risk is what you learn to think about. Finance is about balancing risk. Time in compensation. Do you think about like basic stocks and bonds. It's about oh year stocks earned more because they're more risk and of course when you buy a bond a short term bond as less long-term bond 'cause you're holding money less time usually the under mental units of hal finance people so he instantly looked at this and said marcus mispricing risk. He knew how arbitrage it he said. Okay i'm going to sell you insurance. I think you're wasting tom. No one's gonna steal this car so you give me fifty dollars a year. You don't lock your doors. You don't clubs. I'm saving youth thirty seconds day. And you pay me fifty dollars for this time savings if i'm right. I made fifty dollars if you're right mark than targets stolen okay. I'll pay you two thousand dollars. He saw this difference in instantly knew how to arbitrage. I never would have thought that what i realized having spent a year working with a couple of times press with this is how they think and i learned to think that way as we develop the class i learn to think in that mindset when i work with accountants. They think differently when i work with lawyers when i work with marketing people. Hr people we all have different mindsets. The un's from our academic training and comes from our fields of work in comes from just innate mental preferences that we house em so one very useful skill is to begin to recognize different models. We have and the different language that we have in how we think about this. If i were saying down to interview with a bunch of engineers. I'm going to speak like an engineer. And i'm going to talk about constraints and i'm gonna talk about. The engineering triangle are cost time scope. How we trade off. I'm gonna use nearing curbs. If i'm going to speak with a bunch of people in finance i will talk about risk reward. I will talk about compensation for time in risk and i will use different language. I will use different mental models. All of us can benefit from learning some of these other mental models now. I'm giving specifics down to a discipline. You ask a very broad level which that academics industry we start. It's almost like the the top of the hierarchy ever and certainly in industry we think about you have to deliver its adding customer value. It's making sure this project in the end actually go somewhere and is cost effective for the company in academia. We can spend five years doing a research project that goes nowhere once we're tenured zoom the critical. And we're okay. We're okay saying oh you know. The three year project is turning into five your project. that happens sometimes. Yeah as long as we can get unders department head to believe in the value they say okay on an industry that might not be acceptable in. May if you're in some fundamental research for but for most organizations no you have to be delivering value in justifying the money being spent in your department arben. It's getting that understand that chef do how do they think of that from how we think about academia and the ways you can do. This is by talking to people right. It's like having these conversations whether they say i'm yeah. Sell you insurance on your car or just listening to. What's the language that they're using power they think about. Oh i won't have thought about that way that's interesting. Why do you think about this way. And it's by having that diversity in our network including people in industry that we can be exposed to these ideas ways and it's really interesting because you know the idea of going to talk with someone who either you know isn't has the position that you you kind of be looking up to and having an informational interview with the person it's something i've i've talked about on the but already a lot but you you're going to another level here which is kind of this idea of learning the language it's a bit meta. It's like we talking with the pre one or two or three people. You just tell me if i'm interpreting right if you see terms that are coming back You know or or like you were saying patterns of thinking that that happened in two conversations you kind of have to take a mental note of that and say okay this is. This is a commonality between these two people. It means it's probably something. I need to take note of and maybe bring it out in an interview. I is this. Is this kind of what you're you're you're saying yes it and whether it's in an interview or just other engagement or things. We read our podcast. We listened to its get to that mental level and those of us were recognized. When you see one data point you say you know. Maybe it's at nominally when you see two or three those of us in humanities what do we do it's pattern recognition. It's looking at the cycles of history. Or what the deems in the literature. It's the same thing. Just apply these ills that you've developed a now to our everyday conversations and look at these conversations with other people in the same way in the same lens that you use to explore your field of research and say i am learn and of course learning doesn't mean just getting getting the knowledge set. What's that deeper understanding model. You're trained to do it. Just apply in other disciplines. I love it and well now. Maybe maybe talking about something different. We we were just talking about you. Know how going into a new domain going to into into a new space. There's this language there's this culture that until you learn it and you're able to have a kind of a how can i say equal equal not exactly but more equal equal conversation with someone from the domain. You will probably be lacking and and you know you. Probably you'll hit a wall in a certain sense of not getting that position yet. Because you're not there yet. But there's another part of especially when you come from academia and i'm taking a n of myself and going to do something outside academia which is the how how you value your time or let's say a tin on a looking at the other way how you don't really learn to value your time and then when you get this question of okay. How much do you want to make the first time you get this question. Coming out of academia. It's you know you can use your your mind. Goes blank you. It's really. it can be really hard and and scary. Because how do you throw throw a number and i know that. Now there's there's a platforms out there online that you can go and already kind of see what what what the numbers look like. But you know this question of Estimating utah you were talking about this guy who who put a value to the security of your car right putting the value on our time and also being realistic as to what you first sorry can be. Let's say out of out of academia. do you have Do you have anything to share about that. Because people can be quite lost in terms of those types of numbers coming out of. Let's say phd. Okay this is a very broad and deep negotiations. In general in salary negotiations typically. I encourage everyone needs are a skill that you should learn so managing the fog scenario you get you get a job outside of academia. Take your first industry job thirty years old. Let's say they offer you eighty thousand dollars and you negotiate any one thousand not a not a massive lift right. We can all imagine doing that. You do nothing else. You sit in that job the rest of your career. You spend another thirty five years working at this one job. Will you just may have thousand dollars more for thirty five years. You just made thirty five thousand dollars. One negotiation tiny lift thirty five thousand dollars. Now imagine that you don't just sit in one job right. Of course take other jobs. You get promotions yuna goshi eight those again you negotiate for. Maybe just a few thousand more heavy list or not some world-class negotiator. Just in a little better. You can literally add tens of thousands even hundreds of thousands of dollars to your lifetime. Income will worth it. What of course we know negotiations aren't just job negotiations. In fact we negotiate all the time we negotiate with our colleagues about howard divvying up work. It was suppliers and partners we negotiate with our spouses with their children to get them to eat their broccoli. Deces lert to which happens all the time. Learning to negotiate pays huge dividends. And i i always use negotiation as example circle back to the questions jobs ethically we can see. Okay if i do better thousand dollars more overtime that adds up all these other skills if you learn to just speak a low barrier if you learn to be slightly bird teammate to lead a more it's not about being the world's best it's about gang that going from eighty to eighty one thousand gain that little lift but if we can do that across these different skill sets we become so much more effective additive over time and it will literally be another dollar in your pocket it will lead to faster promotions more opportunities at work and it will only deliver value hundreds of thousands of dollars the direct cash or other value to us. I enjoy meant by opportunities by the things we like to when we go into a job negotiation. Hopefully we've read negotiation. We've learned some negotiation skills. It begins with doing some research and so you can go to online. You could on salary information. The career office in your university as undergrads. We went there and said i need a job. What can you tell me Even as grad student post doc. They have some information and short. It might not be as detailed for post offices for undergrads but still they can give you some guidance. Likewise you can reach out to people feel these alumni these other people say i ask them. What do you make you can say. Hey what do you think for this type ajab. Can you give me a sense of what should expect we know. Of course it's going to vary by a number of factors right if you're just quant. Phd going leaving academia going to wall street. The fact is they can find six other. Phd's just like you if you don't take the job the other hand if you are some Some researcher and you're going to a remote area and but there's a company they're trying to hire you. They don't have allowed. Researchers like living in this area is not may. Phd's in your field so you're more of a rare on you get a little more leverage that way. So you're gonna figure out and what your strengths and weaknesses are where you have leveraged where the other side has leverage. And then you're going to go in and most importantly do not negotiate salary negotiate. Compensation salary is one component. It is the most important component we do need that money to live style. But we're trading off against a whole bunch of other things including the nature of the role including flexibility including resources including our rear growth. And what we learned negotiations. You want a more complex negotiation. You want more issues that gives us more opportunity to come up with. Solutions are acceptable to both size. So that's that's taking literally. Phd level researching locking down to about three or four minutes. I do strongly recommend you invest in just learning some basic negotiation skills and your university probably has negotiation classes or club that you can join practice again. Advice that in this discussion. That has not happened yet on the podcast. Thank you for for mentioning negotiation. Do you have a book that you cut. The two could also may be recommend there are. There are a number of books of course my book the career tool kit essential skills for success that no-one taught you does have a chapter on As perfect on jobs other books. And i reference these in mind and you can find them listed on the website of my book. I'm getting yes. He's a fantastic. Starting book the arbor negotiation project. Go to philisophical. It's an easy read although it's not very concrete. But he good starting book. I would say bargaining advantage as by richard. Shell out of warton. That was it's it's a little little thicker a little more academic but given this audience this will not be a challenge and it's a lot more concrete and okay. How do you approach it. How do you think about making that offer. Counter offer very tactically owned a very advanced negotiation book. Three d. negotiations. Forget the professor at a harvard. Business school nassar really great book. So those are couple starring books and there's a lot of other good books out there some which are listed On the website for my very good and you mentioned a compensating. No negotiation compensation in not only the the number and the salary and I do have a. I know from from friends who work in. Hr in in companies who hire people. Who do programming that today. A lot of people are not asking the so much on the salary and asking for vacation time. And that's how they they get their their the rights the rights deal for them and that it's happening more and more people want a lot of flexibility. And and you know that's a it's a currency in in itself in a way they we'll see certainly in my field of technology where people are carrying about lifestyle and were able to work remote as we go back to the offices wearing a see people saying it's not about getting an extra five thousand dollars a year it's about can i work from home one or two days a week or work remote even even a month of a one week a month where i can just go off and be on a beach and see people off because we all know yes dollars are important but it's not the only thing that matters to us companies are recognizing doing this tradeoff allows for eleven to attract more talent in create more valuable compensation packages or laurence. Yep yep things are changing and this whole covid thing has brought a whole new set of challenges into is pushing the systems way. It's it's interesting to watch and all this the much. More flexibility as solutions are rising these days for sure. now. I have questions about You know the moment where. I had a lot of stress which was okay. I'm not going to keep doing research. What am i going to do. And i you know i started seeing. What seeing ron me. What others graduate students were leaving doing in of network my my way that way but You've talked just just before you talked about this first salary you have and then you negotiate a thousand dollars more. But then you're going to change jobs that and we know we're kind of talking about it And i i see or feel that in your head. There's kind of A progression and this. It's made me feel of. It makes me think of a career of having a career plan. And and i know that you find it. It's important and i wonder though. Does that career plans start at the first job or is it also something that can start in those two years before you finish your ca you know. Can you talk a little bit about this planning aspect. Which i think you know. I didn't do myself. I you know by at the last year of the. I was like writing and i need to finish and then that i started scrambling through my network with friends family etc people. I knew but. I know that if i had planned a little bit earlier on things would have gone smoother right. Can you talk a little bit about. Y y should have a career plan and i imagine work on it throughout life absolutely so for anything we ever do. That's more than some trivial activity. We need some type of planning. We need a project plan. Companies do annual budgets and strategy. And will we do projects at work. Okay what's the plan where we trying to achieve. How are we going to do it. And so we know it. Even your your thesis. You don't say day day. One uh hd studies okay. I'm going to go research this. I'll see you in five years. Hopefully i figure it out. What's the plant. How are you going to gather the research. How are you on your approach. It and then what you're it what's the process for finding it during the stuff out. Of course what you thought you would do. Every every phd says why id and at the start of this. It didn't quite work out that way. Yeah harbored nasal on the way and you adjust your plan and that's true for us in our career plans so the earlier you begin the better and maybe you start to three years before you venture day and maybe it doesn't change much. Maybe a does talk to people and explore more. I certainly had plenty of people who has a finish their start to say i am so light. Bill i am done with it. That could happen to you even once. You're out let's let's pretend does stay stanic for when you start to win you. You first get your day or finished a stock and now you move into position faculty position or industry position at that point now. The rubber meets the road. You're gonna start executing odd. Yeah moving towards this longer. Term goal developing these skills. Along the way you may discover. I wanna change. Where i'm going or i think i've developed these skills. Just efficient level time to switch to a different skill or this is more complex. I thought so. I want to change up. I really thought i was just going to be a code or want to be a really good program or number of years until i realized. Oh i'm more interested in these other types of problems so it's fine to happen. The mistake is to say you know what. It's never gonna work as i plan so i'm not even bother with a plan that is asking for disaster and having a plan it doesn't guarantee success but greatly increases the odds of success and the key is your plan is not fixed at least once a year and talk about other timing that you can do in the book at least once a year sit down and reflect and say okay is still where i wanna go. How are rest. Do any to do. Low course correction maybe just a little tweak maybe a little slightly or maybe i need to do a hard right turn holy up to you And one of the things that That people have crossed paths with Have felt is even if they have this plan or this dream job. Let's say often when you're coming from from a different field say again because warren buffett. Pg you come from academia going into industry often people who you will be talking to within an interview. They will they will. They can be surprised at to there because european you have a phd in this. Why are you here. And then you'll have to persuade them of your interest in the position but maybe also you won't have access to say this matching that the career is a tall building. You know you won't be able to To start at the tenth floor. You'll start though they'll make you start at the fifth floor is this is this okay. Can this be part of the of the of the journey and and you know is it okay to accept it and then give yourself a chance to prove yourself wants who within the organization and then go to the tenth floor and then and then resume the plan because people suffer in companies. Where they they today. They feel like they're they're you know they're they're they're kind of the outer and and and they have to kind of prove or yeah prove every day that they deserve to be there or or that. It's not weird that they're the answer is very much. It depends and we've seen this happen when i was in grad school. You typically went from grad school you got your hd and then went onto a faculty position tenure track and sometime i think it was around the ninety s. They started adding in this. This extra floor to use your analogy and eh gingko right into position you had to do a post doc or maybe even to Early now in some fields are certainly in stem. Ho stocks are very common. We don't see those docs as much humanities so it depends a little on the field and might even depend on the university major universities. They typically say we need to see some post docs small ones. If you just go into teaching they say oh yeah that's fine. You don't need the post office so it can vary giving university examples. It even varies like company early. If you go into a large company if you go into the stem side. Let's say microsoft right. They hire lots of lots of technical people. They know how to incorporate them. If you have a humanities and you go into let's say mckinsey consulting company there are various to hire engage. These know what to do with you. They know how you fit in. They understand the value. Add if on the other hand you go into some small company and you're the only the first phd in there. While the few it might not be as clear how you fit now. This is a blessing and curse And this this is true not just for this example in general when you have well defined roles some people like that. They liked that clear path and they say okay. I understand where i fit. I know i have to do. And if i do x y z. I move up against to that next floor. If you like that structure and you don't. He's other companies. It might not be as obvious on the other hand. It's not obvious to them to say you belong over here. You fit clearly on this floor so you can kind of talk to people on all these different floors. We're not torturing the analogy two months up down you might not be residing on the floor but you can go up and down interact with people and value and you can explore and create your own role you can define it because no one else knows what the role should be. It's really up to you and in your discussions and even as you talk about compensation it's not as you have. This pays more. But i'm going to start me on floor five. I wanna start in four seven so even though it's salary or better salary much live. I'd rather be here for seven. It's a more interesting opportunities. And that's what you're going to have to trade off. Yeah by agree. And i've met someone who told me exactly that she. She's in this big Cro company we know regulatory medical regulatory Writing company but and she has very important position. Let's say for her age even and it should the way that had happened from you was i. I started in a small company. And they let me try everything they let me learn all the skills because we it was small was almost a family size company. And so yeah. There's there's opportunity there. But what i've i'm thinking of this person. I actually felt bad for her thinking. If there was so much resistance for you to to come in as a. Pg maybe you should have should should've said no because being being in a company where every day you need to prove yourself after having done a phd. I don't know i. I know you don't you. Can you don't know exactly what i'm talking about. But i think when you're having a conversation and if you feeling that there's a lot of resistance you know maybe think okay. This is not the place for me. Or maybe it's not yet maybe in five years it will be but maybe right now i should look for somewhere else because if you putting yourself in a position of suffering the day-to-day in the in this new in this new position coming out of the hd you might leave you mark than an hurt. Certainly you don't want to play for your boss says yeah. I don't think you should be here. Great bud depending on i. Just what your own preferences are. I like challenges. I don't want the Do do what you're told. I want a place where i do have to prove myself in some way. Even if it's just to myself where. It's not always clear what i'm supposed to do what the answers are. Knife to find ways to deliver value that i happen to enjoy and so depending on where you are on the spectrum from. I just want people to ami problem. And i'll get back to him done versus. I'm figure out what the problems are. You may like one versus another to the more concrete statement that you're talking about where company feels like how. Why why are we hiring. This person will someone there clearly wanted. Someone said i think you are useful. And on who that person is they. They're certainly a support. There is this concept of A rabbi not a clergyman of someone who's have senior organization who looks out for you may be your boss chiefly someone more senior right so if say the head of marketing says look. We really need someone win. Background in anthropology. Because i want to understand our customers and how they engage with our product so it says director of marketing go find something with a phd Marking says. i'm not convinced on the says. Well i am go. Find this person higher higher okay so now. You're in the director of marketing. Not necessarily your biggest fan. The chief marketing officer is so what you wanna do is make sure you understand what the chief marketing officer was expecting. Then figure out how what you do can make the director of marketing succeed in his goals. Right to align that and be helpful to your your boss and if you can do that in turn this person around now you have. Two people were very excited to have you there and every resources at the director's total jerk and just says look. I hired you. Because i have to build a living hell and prove that we don't need you a not not a great place to be and situation. Yeah no it's it's super interesting this of having someone that champions you and it's a very interesting. It shows that you've seen a lot of things mark getting to the ends of the of the interview. But there's there's one less thing from your book that i wanted to talk about Which is this idea. And you know you've talked about expanding your network you know having conversations and and enriching your Your your culture your mindset in terms of of learning new new languages etc from new domains. But one of the things that a buzzword that you hear luck today and You know. And i think young people have get this quite easily. It's the idea of creating and promoting your own personal brand. And i know you mentioned in the book and i know i. It's not really a segue. From what would we just talked. But i really think that. And we've talked about lincoln and you know there is some personal branding. That can work on on on a platform like lincoln but in your experience and And even with the students in the program you know in the in the mit programs you may have. It had to have some examples to share or or some advice. Some common advice that you'd that uses that you usually give. What can you say about this. What what's the importance today of having good presence Let's say prof professionally online. And and how. What a simple steps to start working towards having developing this good personal brand. He's about getting. Get your name out there right. Figure out what you want. Be known for the clear. You're not getting known for something that doesn't align to your goals or doesn't help you may be hurt. You figure out okay. I want be known as an expert in this field. I want to be known as someone. Maybe not the deep expert. But i can communicate. Well i think carl sagan right fantastic. Physicists really what he's known at least in public. It wasn't his research. He was known as a person who could communicate science and get people inspired and science right. Neil degrasse tyson inherited that that mantle right. I don't know if he was a good researcher. or not. Certainly good known for this. This other Skillset so understand. Okay what is it you want to be known for. And maybe you're in specialism some specialty. Now how do you get that content out there and you have a phd. Okay that certainly gives you some credibility you clearly understand this field this some area to some degree. But how do you make sure you are known for that. Particularly outside academic circles elementary i would inactive circles a common mistake. People make is a say okay. Well i've done the research and hopefully it gets around in the book. A phd is not enough which is fantastic. Bokan every phd should read this out. One of the things the author talks about is make. Sure you finish your your thesis adviser or people on your committee. Go out and socialize. What you're doing they promote. Hey this is my student. Look at what she did. Look at this great research. I wanna make sure people are aware of it because we all know. There's some great research out there. We don't have time to read it all of course and you know something's just not getting. The citations is even research showing the network effects or like a virtuous ambitious cycles of gang cited else getting cited more so make sure you get your content socialize not just about abingdon content making shorts known out there in industry we can do this by certainly having public profiles it might be linked in. It might be on other other social media. It might be tweeting about it if that's what you friends. Phd's a tweet about ai. Research napster thing. However you choose to do it make sure your brand is and quick out content. that shows. You aren't expert and have people get to know you as the okay. Then that makes total sense. And i do see a lot of people in research and in in in in young researchers a research graduate researchers that are like you say on twitter posting the better know the latest article that was published or figures and no. It's it totally makes sense. But from what. I hear the important thing is to have kind of a vector. Don't don't do it Willy nilly have have an idea an image an image that you want to To put out there but that's That has kind of aligned. The has a the tells one story if you post a lot about. Let's say roman history this area. You'd like tweeting bat. See tweet about the latest books. Maybe even tv shows certainly research paper earth. Where you're tweeting about that okay. You're well-defined if on the other hand you're twenty member roman history and every fourth tweet is also what you're captive today. Oh and you also like talking about bacon into bacon and okay. i'm. I'm interested in roman history stuff but now that's one out of every five tweets. There's a lot of noise so what you want to say okay. My twitter account is just about roman history. My facebook account. That's where you can also save pictures of my cat and bacon. Whatever and so. I'm just gonna use twitter for this one better as you say. It doesn't mean you can't ever say like a happy that you know biden won the election. Congratulations those get thrown in from time to time but try to stay on message build that brand. Okay mark there is so much more in your book But we're getting really at into the end of the interview. Where can people find your book. Where can people find you. Also if they want to ask you questions directly and Where are you on the on the social media that people can follow you. Interact with you you can go to the career. Toolkit dot com. That's my website from there. You can find the contact page to reach out to me. You can see the social media accounts. I have to all be. You can find out more about the book including to buy it. There's also a number of free downloads. On the resources page links to other resources including many of the books he mentioned here. Many other books mentioned my book. I've just found useful on the way there's also a free app and city can find links to both the apple store and the end route store. And what the app does i know when i read a book like this again. This is really helpful. And then i forget it and then a month later because i'm onto the next book and other things to worry about. So what the app does it does. A passive reminder. We all know spaced. Repetition works we used to make cards to study you know or periodic table or whatever dates in the roman empire so instead of flash cards because no one wants to do flash cards for book. You download the app and simply each day pops up a reminder one the tips from the book and so you look you see the pop-up swipe it away or if you're about to say go into an interview you can open the app and then quickly you through all the interview. Tips too quick crib. She'd refresher course right before the actual that is very cool for some icy that and yeah. I just want to note. This is a tool kit. This and the the app is kind of really shows that shows that you really thought about this book in a way of In a way that can help people do Take a based on specific questions. So it is the name is the career toolkit and i think that's for a reason mark. We're at the end of the interview. You know people are now a lot of us. lockdown to different degrees. I don't know if you have you know in these last. Few months interactions with with with students or not. But i just wonder whether you'd have a word of support and maybe also of advice of what can they do in this situation of being at home that can be work towards either their personal brand or their networking. You know what how can being stuck at home. Have something positive in this. This this question of careers. Sure one thing. We didn't have a chance to get to is a great way to develop. These skills is to do so in a group. We've typically learned the fundamentals by on our own. Just say okay. I'm going to get knowledge by physics classes. Were saying the air as the professor scribble equations on the board i had frantically oppy them down and hopefully understood what was going up. And that's great for knowledge transfer. These skills are not simply knowledge. There's no formula for networking. There's no algorithm for leadership and so we want to learn by getting exposed to different people having different conversations while we are at home and especially needing some type of social interaction form these groups to them like reading groups that you've probably done with your with your groups with your departments. Think of reading groups but focused not around your disciplined but around these skills and so bringing people from different departments. Even people your friends who are in different universities and say we're gonna form this reading group and this week we're gonna talk about networking and next month. We're going to talk about leadership and we're gonna take some content. It could be a book. It could be a podcast. Could be an article. We're gonna read it. We're going to discuss it and we're gonna get these different views and this is going to do. A few things can get you different. Perspectives is going to emphasize the skills. But also gonna build your network is especially if you say like if you and i were going to build this say get to. Friends of yours may get to friends of mine Other people were meeting and building relationships with f. You wanna know how to do this on the website on the resources page. You can download a guide. Here's how to do it. I have timelines and schedules setup for my book. If you wanna use that or you can use any other books. We mentioned and use that as the content and do these groups. So don't use this time to just say well. I'm stuck at home. Uses time to say. I can still engage in reach out with other people and develop these skills and build my network at the same time. I love it mark. This has been a pleasure. This is great advice. I might even you think. I'm gonna use it for myself. I'm gonna steal the idea because It's fairly simple now. Everyone has zoom or some other sort of of a software to meet it to google or whatever. It's a great great advice mark. Thank you so much for having taken the time to come here on a phd I've really inspired by how much work you've put into into the system and the into the career kit and I think the listeners are going to have a lot of take home messages. And hopefully they will also be able to To act upon it and take some of these tools and use them in their day-to-day absolutely it's been a pleasure being here and i wish grown success in their careers in academia or industry perfect. Thanks a lot. Thank you for the privilege of spending this hour with us. I hope some of the nuggets mark shared resonated with you and that you'll start working on your career readiness today remember. You can find links to mark social media into his book. The career took it in the show notes at pop each dot com forward slash one three and if the public beach the interviews have helped you in any way in finding your career path you can always show your support on me of dot com or unpatriotic. It'd be really appreciated and that's it for this week. Happy listening and stay. Sharpen thanks for listening to another episode of the papa. Phd podcast head over to puppies dot com for show notes and for more food for thought about non-academic post grad careers. I'll always be happy to share inspiring stories new ideas and useful resources. Here on the podcast. So make sure you subscribe on itunes or wherever you get your podcasts to always keep up with the discussion and to hear from latest guests.

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Career Conversations  Setting Standards and Knowing Your Worth as a Researcher

Papa Phd Podcast

1:04:45 hr | 1 year ago

Career Conversations Setting Standards and Knowing Your Worth as a Researcher

"Deciding to embark on graduate studies can be a big step to take for a lot of you out there. It represents your first leap into independent life and can can carry a lot of unknowns especially if you're a first generation graduate student one of the big challenges this decision carries besides having to deal with stereotypes to to do with staying in school versus getting job. Is that for the first time you will be fending for yourself as an active adult and negotiating your way through applications and offers for what will be for all intents and purposes a five year professional engagement leading to your degree this week Stephanie. The host of the career conversations channel on Youtube. We'll be sharing her experience in her ongoing doctoral research and some insights she has drawn from her work on career conversations. I think everyone has something to bring to the table and we just have to know our talents lie and kind of play to those strength instead. I love having the feeling I have to everything that is being offered to me and I don't really have a choice. Actually the one career consular that I've interviewed said that everyone it in the top ten percent in some skill so I feel as soon as we realize. What else kills on where we have to bring to the table? We can negotiate a lot more and we can be a lot more picky about what we are choosing the welcome to pop up. Each day with David Mendez the the podcast where we explore careers and life after Grad school with guests who have worked the road less traveled and have unique stories to tell about how they made their place in the world of constantly evolving news. Get ready to go off the beaten path and hop on an exciting new episode of Papa. PhD before we dive into today's episode. I just WanNa let you know that I've prepared it for you. A resource sheet to help you take a snapshot of your current situation and start defining your profile for the job market in your areas of interest. You can download it by visiting Papa. PhD Dot Com and following the instructions in the website footer. Welcome to the show so today. I'm here in in Montreal talking to Switzerland talking with Stephanie. Who is the host of career conversations youtube channel dedicated to sharing some Some experience from her PhD experience with Other students out there that may be struggling and dealing with what's going to happen happen after my PhD. GonNa Finish this. How can I communicate my data my research etc Stephanie? is pitchy students currently Lee in skin cancer research. The Youtube Channel is a side project. She she develops because she she wants to share this knowledge with with her colleagues with her you you know with colleagues around the world and the way she does. This is by showing people the features in their careers that they they have control of. It's true while you're in a PhD. You can feel that there's a lot of that is out of your control and She has she's that little voice in the darkness. Says look you tall and this this and this just take control and you'll see things will go better so welcome to puppet PhD. Stephanie thank you for having me into total pleasure and and I'm super happy to have you here at heavy. Share your story and some of your of your insights now. What ask you is to do talk a little bit about yourself else? Thinking of the listeners out there let them know where you come from how you can have interested in science in biology in cancer research so I am from from Germany. How developed an interest in science? It's difficult to say because I think interest something that you just have or don't have so that's always good at biology in school. I did Some career counseling when I was fifteen or sixteen actually interviewed by council. Hit for my podcast and Recommended to for me to study molecular medicine which is a combination of biology and medicine and this ended up doing and mm-hmm yeah realized that I kind of always understood cancer better than lots of other feels. Like for instance immunology. I'm terrible at so yes. This is how I talked to become interested in Kennesaw. I used to work in a London of researching metastases justices and so on so this everything that I did so far was on cancel. Then from very short time I worked at a big company and ultimate ship allowed to say which because they're very particular about that public appearance. Nobody was a big Pharma Company. And then I realized I really want to do a PhD. Because it failed at this time. This is what your needs to climb up the could real at all or at least I was not happy with the options that I perceive back then that ahead without a PhD and Yes this is how I started to apply and how I started my PhD. I have a wonderful Tabei up so right now. I'm very happy that she is also allowing me to do something undecided at Yulia Research. That's that's really really cool because a This has been mentioned on some of the other episodes in some institutes in some departments. It may be frowned upon to especially in in in the life sciences domain. which which is the one that I know better front on that the students take time for things that are other than the research? So it's it's super cool that you have this opportunity and I think it's super generous of you that that that You take this opportunity to share something with the others out there. That may be struggling so awesome. Now you don't you you really summarized. Is Your your path very well and because you come from a country and the reality. That's that's a little bit far from what I know when I question that take that came up to me was And Tell me if I understood writes in highschool you had a career adviser which whom you discussed your your. You're a you know what jobs would might be good for you. This was in high school. That's exactly was that part of what was offered normally by the highschool condition. You talk about that a little bit more about the process no not at all. It is something that my parents paid for. Love was about which courses I'm going to choose For the last two years of high school because caused quite important for when you didn't want to go to university so was Mandy to do with that and Yeah but it was unfortunately not of the office that I have that we have in Germany and that really unfortunately the good initiative there because definitely. It's an age at which if you know if you think back at the time that we're not equipped without the best equipped to take these decisions without some help so for show that must have helped you and clearly if you're today studying what you're studying You know there was something there then The part that you kind of went through a little bit quickly was Actually actually university. Can you tell us about how that went. Did you right away Fi find what you wanted. Did you also the degree that you studied lead. Was it the type where you get into kind of a common Come section and then choose the path later on in your degree or can you talk a little bit about how went and how it goes how things work in Germany. Yeah so first of all. I hated university to be honest because well first of all I. I was a very very lazy student back in high school so I never really learned how to study and I just made it up as I went on and then I realized University University. You can actually do this any ball because the amount of knowledge that you need to have in the end is much higher than what you can get into your head within the night before Royer exam so this was something that has struggled with fight a bit in the beginning And then also I'm a very independent person so I hated how a aw huge choices we had at universities so we have special boss and he just basically at his school but in a different in city at least it felt like that for me and that I was living alone so I was looking forward to more independence. Basically we didn't really have that by Bachelor was quite useful. I would say in terms of what I have learned legos the typical biochemistry. And so on so oh still some parts of it. I'm using today I found my masters was a complete waste of time. It was also Maleki molecular by Medicine but the thing is we had things like pathology where we had to study all kinds of different diseases But only scratched the the surface and the thing is research you're usually focusing on one disease. Maybe than any opposed dog. y'All focusing on another disease but you definitely don't need this. It's broad overview of tons of is. Mostly my master's and then we had a few practical courses where I felt we already knew every i. Yeah at least already knew all the methods that we've learned as I feel I could have kept my masters and would have known just as much I imagine and tell me if I'm wrong you you'd still cross paths with people in the masters that that probably are part of your network today. Yes that is true from a personal point of view was very nice from the university studying of unilateral curricular part not not so much Yeah that's something that interests me. which is how does a a Grad school and in this case your masters and now even? Up but in terms of networking how that transfers into your professional life and Yeah can you talk a little bit about these contacts. You still have. Maybe even with professors The that you crossed paths with Yes I don't have any he contact anymore. I guess I could contact them for recommendation letters but then it would be like an average recommendation that I guess because they probably forgot who I uh-huh yeah. I still have a few friends from university where I'm in contact with a lot so I'm going to see them again next or this much in Hamburg so we are trying to stay in contact But Morris Friends I have not had any professional advantages from this yet with missile. It'll come eventually. Have they stayed in in the biosciences domain. Yes awesome. Who knows now the other curiosity not that I had a you know in your story? Is You talked about a little stint industry. This was after masters of it was after your masters Yeah I am curious as to how did you find your way to industry with their career. Fairs that you went to Could you navigate that that that first transition this is actually where network concentrate plays because I Got The background story is actually And that I went traveling I for about six months through Australia and Asia and I have decided during travelling. I will never touch a pipe again in my life so which didn't work out where he will but a fresh that about my job right now so I got the wrong impression and then and I came back and I just needed a job to pay the reds and I When's to party and there was a goal that no body was really talking to a a lot and she was doing an internship in industry and Yeah connected with a little bit and then later contacted time after if she knows someone will also sentosa another spot for an intern and she You someone and forwarded application and this is how I got traffic excellent and so I imagine you know your CV was put on the table. Someone called you and the how. How did the next steps go and Was it easy. Go you know going to go through. That process are by easy. I I I said that application by Future Boston called me. We had five or ten minute talk with my Mazda Project and then he asked you want your status patio and I said yes and That was it. That's for sure. Yeah that's cool and can you share a little bit of what you know what the role was. It was at that stage that you got into that stage. I got into it as an intern and then later on my contract was Continued for few month because I Worked on a project which later turned into a paper and and I was lucky because I was so well. This is actually how I got excited about science again because my supervisor back then was so inspiring and I got so much into this project that really pushed it and I ended up co first off the paper actually but this would not have happened. Had I not been bet that excited about it in that I not have had such a good supervise so mostly for the most part. I was an intern and then for a few X.. Amount to finish the project I was shorter and for okay excellent. So that's where you you kind of got the bug of science. You got re inoculated with the bug. Ugh of science. That's so interesting that you went all the way to industry to to kind of get that that passion for science again. It's it's it's really cool and term so in that case I imagine that if you were an intern. You're an employee you were. You were doing experiments. You were without sharing you too much. What type of Just just people out there can imagine okay after my message I can go do this do that. And these skills will serve me. In in an entry level industry the street Job was actually very similar to what I'm doing right now so it was bench work And the only difference. I'd say an industry is that everything is pasta because they have more money so they can provide pasta equipment and more ready made solutions and so on so this was very convenient to be able to do one western but a date rather than yeah like even have it started in the morning warning and have it ready for my meeting with my supervisor with not a lot of troubleshooting I imagine because if you're buying kits If using kits and things like that. It's it's not foolproof but much you know but she's yeah and the other thing. I really liked about industry and it might be controversial that People in industry Very happy killing projects rather than dragging them on because if something doesn't work and visits nut profitable they don't have have an interest in continuing it because using money into into a whole road. Yeah and the problem or one of the problems that I have with. Academia is that people want publishable initial projects But I hear from many colleagues that what they're doing might look interesting but it's not going to be relevant for the patient and there's a something and that bothers me a little bit. Okay cool that that's very interesting and it's funny. I one of my other guests that. What are the things that he found on and he went into industry after a bunch of years of post doc? was exactly that was killing. Projects is part of the of the process. You you try something. And if it doesn't work for an X. amount of time or tries it's not worth going into an so dispassionately you just you. You know that it's time to cut it into something else in for sure. I find it super interesting that even at a time you felt that and he said okay. This is this. This is really a cool Kind of mentality. That does not exist or is not fostered as much academia. Cool and random now out of curiosity to as a freshly minted Masters That was a I an intern and then a new employee were you offered where you given training How was the on boarding process? How did they help Q.? Kind of move into the mindset of of industry coming fresh from academia. was there something in place for you for you to to follow. Yes so in theory. I had someone to supervise me Practically she had some health problems at the time so are yet but this is something usually they have something in place But for me this was also the opportunity to spread my wings a little bit so actually I enjoy the freedom. You're your independent cyclists. Happy and again had a very good supervisor. So Yeah I felt I could always come to attention for questions nations and apart from buying no buying things that are maybe premade etc.. Were there are other differences that you felt that Some people might appreciate or some people might actually not like but the difference between the lab the bench and the bench within a company So there was one restriction about one antibody company. I'm Detroit I'm also allowed to name them because they were not treating animals very well so we were not allowed out to auto antibodies from them. Which I've never had an academia but there's something that ultimately liked that yeah? Animal Welfare played a role It was different in terms of Your not only one well that different research groups but they are still meeting to exchange ideas so even though you're working on your project you're also collaborating allot more and everyone is trying to push a project into a certain direction. So there's a team a team aspect to the Yes to the whole endeavour excellent and then the last thing I noticed that was really strange range. was you get a lot of briefings about how to talk about a company and how to not to talk about it and a lot of political correctness things and so once every month you have to do. Some computer had trainings about how to Kate. which was strange to me? Well I imagine that nowadays you know they they need to be very very careful about what comes out not in terms of intellectual property only but of not saying the run the wrong thing in the wrong way because things can spread and get viral surly fast. That's it's interesting to see. That's one thing that I wouldn't have imagined that you'd be trained on and there there you go and were you other like many other aspects of the communication training. You think you still are useful to you today. No naturally because most of it was common sense. Okay okay excellent and so you you had this Stretch at at this company in which you learn all these things sender and you published then came the time when you felt. Okay I need to level up like you were saying and so here I go again now and the I'm going to start you know trying to get a PhD position somewhere. I was it easy for you to decide to do that. And was there eh was some anxiety coming back it was. I don't know how much time in between your masters and enduring. Pc there was but Was Was it an easy decision. I think it was totally I told her I was one and a half. Yes it was Well I promise to myself before that to a touch of pipe it again and so what it was a bit of a struggle like a Go back to academia because before I have decided otherwise but then again I enjoyed the work so much that I tried not to have my ego have too much they in it And the application process was also against. I had a very nice to provide. Industry has helped me a lot because certain yet that was this. Actually a funny story How I ended up in my net because I was actually applying to another group because industry was the only time where I was working on cancer and that was a group that was kind of collaborating with the group that I was working at an industry sleep? So I sent my application to the Grad School. Here but directed towards this group and the thing is that map occasion has never even reached the group but it was forwarded to my current supervisor and she then invited me for a interview and then I realized I really really liked this so And took the STUB. That's so interesting. So do you know why you know why that didn't make it to the group that you because there is. This program is college trek through program so there are two ways to get into Grad school. And it's different for every Grad school actually Not on the ends. But in my case either you can apply directly not to a group and then enter Grad school kind of with the permission of the group or you can apply to Grad school to the Grad School without having the group and without having formerly a group enlisting few of your favorite groups And the group that I had in mind I was actually a Not Looking for a PhD student at this reason the application where Sanchez some group was looking for a PhD student. which ended up to be my supervisor? uh-huh so there was some serendipity there and you were you were a good match and here you are after now. How many years for three years for us Three and a half years a little bit less than three and a half years and clearly. You're super happy with with your project and and with science it's great you. Can you reconcile with signs and here. You're he has I think of it why I thought I had two times was really the university and studying and so on which it didn't go well with me but as soon as I had some independence I really found up with signs again and one thing that that strikes me about what you've been and you know this change in mind. Is that clearly your supervisor in industry and now your current supervisor are are mentors to you that really Somehow and maybe you can develop a little bit on that brought that passion back to you and it's funny how you can think back. Probably anyone can think back to teachers. They had in high school. That really made them hate a subject and then others that it's not even their favorite with subjects per se but oh man that that history course with professor x was so awesome because it felt like we were there. So can you talk a little bit about how these these at least these two mentors kindled your your passion for science back again and what inspires you doing them So with the first supervise an industry. It was really just to see his excitement about new data and I was lucky that the project was evolving passed so I was always presenting Significant data which was Yep completely by chance away so is not like my good quality work. But just that have prophecies has worked and so on And what's so interesting to Present you data to him and then to have a of light up and to see discuss the data with him on C. Bit of thought processes there was more like his excitement and how he Looked at the data. That has inspired me. It was just my his mindset to what sign that has inspired rather than what he said. Yes so you kind of you kind of said okay. Science can be fun and you can get excited about science. And that's that's something it's not nothing it's a and science to people that are that are upside academia in other domains appeared boring and nonsensical even at times. And the fact that you have someone in front of you who lives. Is this This Activity which is which can be frustrating. A very singing frustrating at times but leaves it with excitement and the for sure that that massive Asif that must've been very inspiring. Yeah and for my current supervise up I would say When inspires me the most about her is actually her Lucia style? He 'cause she is a very very kind person but she is definitely not a pushover. That sense yes. She's a very very kind person. One one thing that was actually my most successful tweet about that you said to me was always trump as the best version of yourself that is available to you on each particular day. So She does not get upset when some things don't work as well when sometimes I'm really really tired of stuff like that which happens But she is really understanding and I realized that one of the most important things in terms of Pushing your employees I guess at he's from my point of view is loyalty because she has such a kind person that even if I hated my project and so on and even if everything think were would be super difficult I would still continue to work on. Its because I also also hope project so I wanted to be good so Yet and I think that's people blonder estimates the value of loyalty intense of achieving goals. Anything kind of all the people who believe more in the rat race diaper reality Yeah they they I think they have. They probably wouldn't put loyalty in their in their equation. But I read that. It's it's something very important in enriching and that kind of creates a bond that's stronger than than just. Hey your employer your employees or something like that but one of the things that that This kind of brought to my mind is in Europe in Switzerland and Germany as a Woman in science How do you feel that? The status of women beaten at your institute or in university. How easy is it or how hard is it? How easy or how hard does your Supervisor have it in inner institutes and the also the the follow question is our girls that want to get into science care how much successor they have in in in in getting into the to the low main In your experience So for my supervisor in particular I think she has it quite easy because everyone likes us. Everyone wants to collaborate with hub So she also just had a big Career jump and became like also responsible for something. Nothing else again. I'm not sure how much I can give away about this. But I think part of it was also bad. She just has a lot of empathy and also has has an understanding of politics like Institute politics and so on so I think in that sense it is well. I don't know how difficult it was. Faw Aw Ha I think there has certainly some difficulties but I think she does it really well so I'm curious whether things are getting better and better with time and we we're in two thousand twenty. I hope they are and And I wanted to get your your poll. The pulse of the State of the recently my institute has been hiring hiring There were lots of open positions of and two or three went to woman Also I was as part of the hiring process because that odd different comedy so that's also PhD Student Post there's a Pi comedy. And then there's the actual comedy and everyone is kind of giving Advice I have seen a bit behind the scenes and what I know. Is that when a tie between a man and a woman then the woman will usually get the to support gender equality so right now in Switzerland I guess it is a good time to be a woman in science Yes in terms of is difficult for me to say because Still at a PhD student and Post level that a lot lot of women and it suddenly usually gets a lot less when it comes to professor nevels level. And I'm not there yet so far I didn't and feel like health bank toy I wouldn't know how a distant future I cannot really comment on that from personal experience but right now like I said I didn't feel like a tall by being a woman would just what you mentioned about Having a having a kind of a mechanism to tip the scales a little bit and and bring balances is just a great thing. If it's done by institution it's a good thing now you just said something that piqued my interest and we're almost getting to the points of the interview but which was Europe part in committee that that Has Something has some say in the hiring process process in your institute. Is that something that all the students do or something that you yourself Got Into somehow theory everyone can do it. Bats lodged in practice. Most people think they don't really have much say it is true. We don't have much say because of the end and the hiring process there are so many factors so many different different factors that not even the comedy has as much say as we think. It is really complicated though because Usually the committee then then give their favorite candidates to the university and other universities as well no but all experts at reasons. This is not a good match so I joined it more for the experience to read some Sivvy's of Some applicants and see how people will alter experience a bit like the Ten pint of someone who is interviewing because so five only been interviewed and I realize there's some people who have horrible To not do that. A one person for instance. That's what she was opposed dog and she was applying for walk position as a tenure track professor something like that and when we asked her what is a weakness what she doesn't like her response was. I don't like it when people at other nick and I feel this is like the worst thing if you want to work in an environment with very ambitious people so this was something for me. I wouldn't say this but yeah I wouldn't say there's any way but yeah. It was interesting to see the hiring process from the other perspective back very cool and and I think it's very very very good initiative because you're gonNA YOU'RE GONNA learn a lot and you probably already are like you're like you're mentioning and For sure now whenever when will have to interview beats for academia outside academia. You'll have this. You'll have all this baggage and oldest oldest learning. This is this is a very good very good takeaway from this for the listeners. Out there is she can think parts in In the different institutional mechanisms of wherever. You're you're setting where students are supposed to take part in. Do because you'll meet people. There's there's there's a network the networking aspect but also you know you learn the ropes of something. That's a little bit outside of what you do on the bench every day. So I but really Kudos for you to do this apart from all of the things that you already. I think I think it's a an example. People should follow definitely the other things that I wanted to ask. You is throughout this time. Have you had training on interviewing and on tailoring your CV and things like that or is it something that you've you've had to you kind of learn on your own no. I don't think I've ever had training. I'm lucky that my father is hiring a lot here so I learned from him. The council yeah. I didn't have official training though but I imagine that whatever advice your dad gave you. has been useful and that you've probably taken it taking it And use it okay. Stephanie says Super Interesting and I found some teams here. That were unexpected but That are very very interesting to me. And I hope to the to the audience too. So we're GONNA take a little break and And then we're going to resume uh-huh and hear about your other current activities. I'd really love you the audience to play an active role in the show. So if there's a team you'd like to see covered on the show or if there's a guest you'd like me to interview head over to anchor DOT FM for slash public beach. Steve and drop a voice message to be featured on a future episode on the website. You can also subscribe to our newsletter and get our resource sheets at the bottom of every page and you can also leave us a message context page so here. We are two of my interview with Stephanie From Career Conversations and well career conversations Tell us a little bit more. About what what that's all about. Its history because it's It's changed in time and And the motivation that brought you to creating this platform and were you communicate with students throughout the world yes so career conversations as a project that is touted because there are lots of huge these students I observe a lot that there is a lot of anxiety a lot of depression and PhD. Students usually feel like kind of the victim of the system. And don't really if you're in control of the future because in the end we feel that our career relies on a well we published. And how will we publish relies on both whether journals like our research also very often still whether we have significant novel data and uh-huh Those two things we are not in control of see where the executive comes from and my idea was more to show. PhD students what aspects of their career. They are in control of an streak. Those things so lately I'm getting a lot into twitter. And how to promote your research online because it has been shown that there's a direct correlation between the amount of citations that we get and the amount of tweets that we have a re tweets that are publications and business for instance one of the ways that show people how to retake control of their careers at the the whole mindset of career conversations and So so now you're you're mainly producing and hosting On Youtube right but in the past you've done some some episodes codes In podcast form so get. It tells a little bit of about this this the history. Let's say Karim stations when started you. Know what was the click moment when he said you know what I'm going to start this and and how then you went on to to make it to to what it is today. It actually started started even earlier than the podcast was again one of those opportunities. Where did something outside of my Ph d still for the institute's organized a career semi now for Uh Institute and I realized that I had so much fun with it and I planted so fast? That was disappointed. That planning was over a and so I am pitched my idea to Um something that's called the graduate compost it is like a career platform for PhD students at all university diversity and said that I would like to continue organizing seminars and Since I'm very picky of WHO I am bite I thought okay. Let's do a podcast where I kind of check whether our Guests have something eloquent to say so the PODCAST. It wasn't the end only a disguise to not be the PhD student. Who says by the way we fight and fight you? Could you tell me a good so it was kind of like like testing the semi Nagas And then I also enjoyed this well right away. The career conversation semi not that our university is still ongoing. Oy So I still organize them. Also imperative but this is on the lasagna unfortunately and Then I realized I I had so much fun with it that I wanted to wanted people to see it or to listen to it I had to get better at algorithm things. Because I did the podcast Mary. Unsuccessfully to be honest I feel what only my father maybe my mother and had other wretched compass with it listening and maybe twelve people Yeah and I feel. There's a such a pitchy if you're doing something on lead like halfway so so then. I did a course on how to do proper youtube videos because I realized the one problem with podcast is everyone is using a different podcast so you cannot really put out one link and then all of your audiences on twitter. We'll click on this link and they will all use the same at so This was also one of the big reasons I moved to Youtube. Because that's only one link that everyone can access Yes and this is how I started said to do Youtube. I also started to get an editor because I am so. I cannot do everything and luckily the graduate campus was willing to pay for my editor and the funny thing is under et. I was writing in this team. We don't have any another about social media so please bring social media knowledge of with you But in the end didn't well my editor awesome awesome video editing but it would have been too much to also give her the social media part so I had to get into it and learn it and I think there's some value when some people I spent about social media and A good from beginning on but actually struggled with sixty nine twitter followers ball three or four months and it never really increased. And there's some value in learning something consciously so I'm not an intuitive social media user and I didn't really enjoy social media. I didn't even see the value of twitter and when I started to get into it and understand the strategy I realized iced how much value it can have fall below Ph D. students and post docs and think I would have never noticed the this if I had just been a twitter I use that just for fun uh-huh and this comes to what you mentioned to me before Before we started chatting which it which is that You're planning and you're preparing an online course on how you know. Students can promote their research on I know researchers at large can promote their research online to to kind of disseminate research a to as many people as possible. Can you elaborate a little bit on. That is yes. So the overall idea is As research has we are very measured. incitations this is not a good way to be measured. I don't think it says anything about the quality of a researcher. He's such a but this is still the reality of how research Research has a Hiatt of bray off also not the only factor but it is a huge factor And we are not in control of whether people like our paper but we are in control of how many people see our paper And since I realized that we can tweak the algorithm especially twitter very much and that there are lots of scientists on twitter. I thought why not show people how to do this So this is going to be one idea of course and the idea is actually going to be doing a video abstract and I think the value of video abstract that you put on Youtube is that you mentioned this in another video is a search engine. So if you're able to tweak your title In a way that people will actually find you than it is an evergreen sale machine in a way to your publication because The only issue of twitter is that you do a tweet and people will maybe see it for three days and then it has lost basically so you have to tweet about it all the time so I think having those two things together as going to really get you an advantage jumps off. Yeah being found and also people just generally generally being interested your work. Yeah it's super interesting because not long ago I was at a meeting in Portugal. Actually and One of the things that came out and and for me was importance of Even for students of being good at communicating sites and definitely if you cross us that with using the technologies that are that are at your disposal using social media and platforms like Youtube can even propel that to an even higher higher level. That's that's really really interesting and I'm curious to see what's I know you're working on it I I'll be watching out for for whatever whatever whatever comes out. Now you've mentioned that could real compensation are also series of seminars at the career. Let's say the Career Center at Lowe's on the diversity. I think it's very cool. So you still part of organizing that took part of organizing this so we already have few plans about twenty twenty so five was really very very career focused Semyon ads but now hopefully the The first Amino is going to be about Mental Health Pasta Syndrome. Those kinds of things because people are starting and to realize that the way that you're performing during your PhD is going to affect very much. Your career future does not only the application process in itself but also also everything that comes to fall super interesting super important and I can't I can't stress more and I try to to touch upon that In every episode that I can in that it that it arises that it's possible and so really a great idea now My question are the English or the in German and English by follow person was. Are you gonNA film them and put and post them on Youtube. No I wish I could. It depends uh-huh for the last time I asked and the speaker said they wouldn't talk as freely So I will ask again for the next to me but I think given that it is a very personal subject. I don't think that people will be comfortable with it. I would watch those videos for sure because it's something that I really really really interested a and I think he's very very important but now we're actually. I was getting was organizing the seminars in collaborating in the organization of seminars and You know talking with different speakers you must have a learnt a lot and You must say there must be Some take home messages. That that you have internalized for yourself In doing the right you're talking to me about the importance for PD students students of setting standards for themselves professionally Even when looking for PhD's or when looking for a post doc position. I'm GonNa let you talk talk about it because I think you have a very interesting points and I'd love the the the audience to to hear what you have to say about that because I think it's it's it's really interesting. I think even relates a little bit during those seminars. Because the one thing that I learned from those seminars us to just ask Um I'm for whatever you want you will be surprised by how willing people To help you so in that sense. I think people don't treaty have enough standards because they cannot really achieve it for instance I feel. PhD students and Post. Docs don't really feel they can make proper Living and have a proper salary the and still do a PhD which is really not the case And Switzerland for instance we Read the proper amount of money and we live like a normal adult would be living but I think You will not really achieve that unless you say I won't settle for anything less spend X.. Amount of money with which I will be able to afford a proper flat and so on and I think that's also an important point to be made to actually support those employers and those universities that serve value because most people don't really realize how how valuable their talent really is and I hope that's going to come a day where universities everybody competing for talent by offering offering proper conditions of this appetite in Switzerland. Very much everyone should come to Switzerland. Here you get very nice very nice salary and and also we have very good papers that we're putting out actually so we can compete with top universities of a well because one of the things that I felt when we were chatting chatting was sometimes when you repeatedly students and Depending on where you come from and where you're doing your pitchy you might go into into the experience hoping they're going to do the favor of letting me into the program and am I hearing right so I think this is a mindset. It's not helpful writes. No I don't think it is a help pledge hall. I think everyone has something to bring to the table And we just have to know where our talents lie and kind of play to those strength instead of trying to Instead of having having the feeling I have to take everything that is being offered to me and I don't really have a choice so Actually the one career counselor that I've I have interviewed said that everyone is in the top ten percent in some skill So feel Yeah as soon as we. We realized what else killed on what we have to bring to the table yet. We can negotiate a lot more and we can be a lot more picky about what we are choosing in the end. This makes me think of a lot of things but imagine students out there who don't have it. Any example in the family of someone who has the HD who has looked for a university and who may be in this mindset of oil. Let's hope they accept me. Do you have some advice for them. As to how to kind of empower themselves into say no I am the talent and I'm going to get a PhD that's you know that breaches my standards. Is there a couple of pieces of advice for students. Students who are kind of in this situation of May be maybe doubting the value and not following themselves enough in the in the scope of looking for for a abused position and looking for a good university or institute Yes so my first advice is is something that my father always told me as an every sort of negotiation and in the end everything is a negotiation. In a way you have to be willing to leave the table so I think it is helpful to have a plan B. and to not feel that the one in position that has the negotiating right now is the only position that is ever going to be offered to you in your life And it takes a certain amount of bravery for which identity have much Advice unfortunately is just be willing willing to leave the table. But I'm not sure how to reach. This does something. That's I guess I had inside of me but I don't know how well eventually eventually a situation will arise when when you say okay. This is the moment that's really really good. It's it's it's very very condensed in shorts. It's very very good advice because if you if you go into something with with this mindset. You won't be disappointed because the negotiation failed. Because you said well if this is simply didn't reach my my standards it didn't didn't meet my condition so I'm going to look for for the next the next Interview in the next thing that's and also to acted as maybe deep So I always drew. I don't really draw a lot of south value from any success but a lot of south valley from being a trial so amid this is something that is very important that I value the process of getting going to the interview and trying more than I I would be myself up for not getting it. That's a great way to go through life because just by design life is made of you know bumping your head and learning something and then not bumping here the second time so if you try things you growing you learning and that information that Experience will feed into whatever you do next so I I. I'm in your club. I'd say excellent this this is it's very cool And and he's really really good advice and The next thing that I that I wanted to Ask You Was Not everyone will have a supervisor or an institute where they'll be able to who easily take time off to develop projects such as conversations you. I think you really and tell me if I'm wrong but the the university I see where you are the group where you are. They have a good culture a good a good environment. That glee feels to me. I think I have fun doing a PhD there. Because they're the good vibe that you're transmitting there but it's not like that everywhere based probably on on on things that you may have that may have been covered in your seminars. How can how could people still be able to develop other aspects of their life of their personality of their creativity while doing their pitch and successfully I neutral on the best person to give advice on this because I've never been in the situation but what I could imagine Helps is is to acknowledge that You have to come first yourself so I think that I'm sorry. Employers are going to get you into working working mall and nobody if you're not in a work environment where people are looking up to you by definition. You're the only person who can look after yourself. I think this is an important mindset to have that for instance if you I have an eighty five percents contract so I if I were in an an environment that is less supportive and if I knew where I would want to go then I would be sure to not work. More than eighty percent of the time and to invest the rest most of the time into developing other kilts let's say so. I think it is not a supportive work environment. Then be short. Sure to be supportive of yourself and take the rules very very literal and Tom's off. Yeah if that were paying your eighty-five percent on he worked for eighty five percent. Unless you want to stay in academia this is another thing about publications and so one okay so eighty five percent contract. I have not ever heard about about anything like that. Can describe a little bit. How how that is actually how a contract works for you which university what they expect expect from you in and how that's all contractually these? Yes so I I think a one hundred percent contract would be working. Forty two hours per week Which is I think what post docs make or like a post doc? thing but I'm not sure. Don't put me down the salaries because I'm not post Yeah but since I have an eighty five percent contract I am paid for eighty five percent of forty two hours. That's what much and then I also do teaching so in theory. Ten percent of our time supposed to be spent teaching Which is why also teaching comes on? Top of the eighty. Five percent Yes so this this is how it works of. I'm not sure how it is. It is like a normal Contract that he would have with companies. The only thing is that we already clock in and out it was just something that they trust us with and usually PhD students with more than eighty five percent of so do all pediatricians teach Yes at least the Matt Institute and also in some other institutes that I know. I don't know anyone who doesn't teach batch of an atop so we'll listeners out there if you you not attached to where you live. Kgo Ago said he'd Switzerland that seems to be very that nurturing environment for for student for peace in because a apart from everything else you come out of it with some teaching experience too so this is not common. I didn't know that well not not everywhere for sure. Because because people the people I've crossed in the places I've been people have their stipends that they that they They apply for and then they work fulltime on the other project and It's really really interesting now. I'm curious I'M GONNA I'm gonNA maybe maybe Either chat with your read about how the system works in Switzerland is clearly. It's different and I think it's well. It's well designed. Yeah I can add to this. You can even even teaching English. Because he and his people speak French. I don't speak French and still I can teach excellent and you teach lab classes or yes. I teach first year students. This is a lot of fun but sometimes also Yet you make make sure that they don't kill themselves or anything but yeah usually they are very nice students and yeah. I really enjoyed that super super interesting and oil I. I'm glad I you know I'm glad I that the story brought us there and then then I asked the question because It makes me think how many different front PhD structured exist around the world and how different things may be between the continents between countries is interesting interesting. The the fact that it's part of the contract and that you have a contract that allows you you know fifteen percent of time on your activities so I guess that's that's what he means right during the work hours. It's very different from what happens here in North America. Yeah I mean in a way you still have to compete internationally in terms of the amount of experiments that you do and so on so most people still spent one hundred percent of the time During research judge but this is not a Swiss thing and like I said we are competing with everyone in the world still foggy publication so and we are in the in the life sciences. It's very time consuming doing the research And if you have What type of models and things you work on but it can it can be can really take a lot of your time but still steal the fact that that you have this contract signed that has this percentage? I imagine that if you don't spend one hundred hundred percent of the time it's it's more conducive to not feeling guilty of taking part of the time to do yoga or you know I think that's there's something smart there in terms of even the your mindset towards that contract in towards your work is that is true I guess it also depends on the but then again I have a very supportive. I know lots of other people that Don't feel the same so well. It's a case by case I guess anyway to me. It's very foreign i. It's the first time I hear about this. I guess I'll need to get instructed Mar Stephanie. We're almost at the end of the interview. This has been really great so far. I'm super happy that That I invited you in thankful that you accepted Ed. And we're getting to that part of our And I know we kind of already talked about Some advice for for the listeners. Out there but You know so now thinking of not of students that are going into their PhD. But that are like you in their last month's or last two years of their PhD One one of the things that that's important is keeping focus and and uh they may have you know. Hit some roadblocks recently. A your are dealing with. Okay now I have to right. Oh my God what you know. What's that all about timing? How am I going to do that? And what I like from you is. That's you share any advice on how you're dealing with this kind of last year or less two years mindset how oh they can also adopt a a kind of outlook on what's coming up to make it's the smoothest possible and to you know to due to Take on this part of the PhD lifetime that That has different challenges and that takes a different type of focus. Yes yes so Several things that come to mind the first thing is It depends what you want to stay in academia or not Because I think when he didn't want to stay in academia then you should stadia PhD for as long as possible But I am quite confident. Infinite that I don't want to stay in academia so my mindset is that I want to be done as fast as possible and then maybe I might do a post doc to finish my papers and canceled most likely I will but I want to get this. PhD Oba with so this is How everything is that? I'm doing And and what my mindset is that. I don't really debate with myself whether I have motivation to do something because I just want to be Getting this title and Aiba. Abe cannot believe in Parkinson's law that is Task as always going to take as long as you give it so this is mostly my mindset and I still have the possibility to extend my PhD. So one right now wants to be done in September In one and a half months we will know what as some experiments need more time and I will have to ask for an extension on But I'm trying to be as unemotional as yeah as unemotional. That's possible and true thing. I want to finish it in this time then. Most likely I will manage to if I put my mind to it. Nexen I I think the emotional part that you just mentioned is very important is if you too attached to your results and if you to identify with with European PhD admit feel too much importance in its in in weighing how good your life is going you are almost certainly Going to to have some disappointments some suffering that comes from that because the PG is looking into the unknown and finding in a negative golding there that no one has seen before. And it's it's hard and I think For what you said just that that would be unemotional about it. I think it's It could be our take home message for for the question that I that I asked you. You which is focus. Don't get anxious or angry or stressed. Keep an eye on the prize and and put as much much energy into it as it takes and not an ounce more kind of Loops back to what you talked about in industry which is be be ready to close a chapter when it's time to close the chapter and the next one writes yes. That is true excellent Stephanie. You are online in different platforms. How can people reach you? How can people follow you? Follow what you do. Follow the things you have to say So I tweet every day My twitter name is very bad. It's career converse are one and this was a uh done when I still had no idea about us so it is bad but maybe it is memorable because it is so bad yeah and overall the name career conversations You can find me easier on Youtube and the career conversations Damai Channel POPs up immediately and yeah those are the two main aspects. I will be right now. My website is under construction so at talk about that. Yes other things youtube Japan's twitter career conversations or career confessor. What perfect so I put those in the show notes for episode and eventually when your new you refresh Website is up. I'll put it there too and that people labelled to we'll be able to To See what you're up to again Stephanie. Thank you very much. This was a lot of fun. I think that's a lot of things that I that didn't expected. They think our listeners will appreciate lots. Yeah wasn't that are fun. Definitely thank you for having me. Thanks for listening to another episode of the Papa Peach podcast head head over to pop up each day dot com for show notes in for more food for thought about non-academic go sweat careers always be happy to share inspiring stories new ideas. He is in useful resources here on the PODCAST. So make sure you subscribe on Itunes or wherever you get your podcasts to always keep the discussion and to hear from our latest guests.

PhD supervisor Switzerland Youtube Grad school twitter Stephanie Germany intern cancer PhD Dot Com professor Kennesaw graduate student David Mendez London Yulia Research
Emploi et doctorat en 2020 avec Amandine Bugnicourt

Papa Phd Podcast

1:07:01 hr | 1 year ago

Emploi et doctorat en 2020 avec Amandine Bugnicourt

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Maryse Thomas  Part 2  Science Communication in Academia

Papa Phd Podcast

29:50 min | 1 year ago

Maryse Thomas Part 2 Science Communication in Academia

"In part two of my interview with Marie Thomas. We talked about the role. Scientists can play in disseminating sound scientific information. We also went into the concept and process behind the useful science website and podcast and discussed how being director of the Science Popularization Platform fits in Marissa's academic career for actually participated on student newspapers. I was a design editor. So I wasn't a you know typical editor. You might think of but I was doing graphic design and the layout But I got to see the process and how it worked And after that I also participate in undergraduate science journals So those are more established groups that have been around for for a longer time. Abbott those can give you the same kind of skills and maybe even connections to SICOM path eventually. Welcome to pop up each day with David Mendez. The podcast where we explore careers and life after Grad school with guests who have walked the road less traveled and have unique stories to tell about how they made their place in the world of constantly evolving. Rules get ready to go off the beaten path and hop on for an exciting new episode of Papa. Phd Her so. Welcome to part two of my interview with Maurice Thomas and we were talking about a being in a post doc. But one thing Mary's I'd like to ask you is what about finding post talk a lot of the listeners out there are now in the in their last year last two years of PhD and may be asking themselves. Hold do this. What's you know. What are the steps? What what should I do? What should I prepare? How should I prepare Can you talk a little bit about how you went about Authority mentioned that you had crossed paths with with Europe. Future supervisors but what about the process? The regular process of finding a post doc and apply applying for stocks. How does that? How does that happen? And how did it go for you? My situation was definitely not the typical person's situation. When looking for post doc I had that connection and so in the end it was the only physician I ended up applying for But I think the average applicant would maybe choose something more like five or six possible positions that they're interested in and I think most of this research happens through Through email so looking at a post doc positions that are posted either online or through institutional newsletters for example I think the IP end sets the neuroscience program at McGill. I think they post post doc opportunities at the bottom of their newsletter every week. I think you would start with that and you would look for something. That's first of all of research topic that you are. You want to be in so this is about developing your skills and thinking about if you do. WanNa start a lab. What skills do you WANNA bring to that lab? What do you feel like you're missing? What do you WanNa learn and so you really WanNa find an opportunity? Where maybe there's a balance of of Things for you to learn but also relevant enough to your previous research that you can also offer something to the lab there and then I think he would reach out by email either replying to postings or maybe you could directly contact professors were. You might be interested in working and then the post doc interview process almost always included job. Talk so for me. I did my job talking person. So that means you visit institutes and you would give about a forty five minute or hour long presentation about your work and then you spend the day getting to know the lab meeting the meaning other labs in the area and So I think that is pretty common experience so you could expect if you're going to contact five or six professors. You might end up giving five or six job talks and now I know Dr Happening through zoom and so that might be more of the norm for the next year But I think that would be something. You can definitely expect Did you prepare for job talk? Did you give it to Leah partner or colleagues before you you went on in the and the extra one definitely and I had a a milestone coming up for my phd around the same time. I had a thesis presentation to give. It wasn't the defense but it was before that and so I- manage to time them pretty close together and they were almost the same talk and so having that original run through with my thesis committee was very helpful and preparing for the talk excellent. I think this this is Maybe very Very important advice for people who are wondering what happens. What should I do so prepare? Prepare this talk. I think this must be a very important point. Rehearse it train train. And then it's just a question of finding the interest you and seeing if you're a good match for the lab for the Fisher Moore is now in part to to focus on science communication on on what you've been doing in science communication and we talked about it in part one. It's called useful science dot Org and it's a website where scientists let's say digested and presented in simple terms to the general audience. My question is how was a useful science born? How was the the origin story? Let's say he's signed started at McGill actually so it was the summer of twenty thirteen and the founder of useful sciences yawn out of star so he was my friend at the time. We've known each other since first year. At McGill and Undergrad and He basically reached out to a group of his friends. Who were all either going into research going into Grad school or who had already started doing some research projects and Proposed this premise to us in the premise was simple. It was that we would start writing these one sentence summaries of scientific articles and we you know. I jumped on immediately. I said Yeah I think this is a great idea simple. It was a good time to be starting this. Because if you think back then in two thousand thirteen The character limit for example on twitter was still a hundred forty characters. life hacks were trending. That was becoming a thing and so there was this kind of trend of shortening. And making things quick and easy to understand that contributed to the idea than This this group of original contributors moved to Grad. School moved to different places. And basically through word of mouth it grew until we reached about sixty contributors within a year and the website itself launched in two thousand fourteen. So now we've been around for six years. Well the amazing and and now you have the podcast which is fairly recent. I fairly recently learned about it When was the when but gust born? I think if I remember correctly I think it was about two years after the website started So now it's also been around for a bit but we have thirty three episodes. And so this this is now. Let's say a platform where contributors like? You're saying around the world wherever they are are Are sending in their their work to be published. How did you go about widening this network And and making making it into what it is today was simply too through word of mouth. How did you go about getting more contributors and promoting? Let's say the the website and at the beginning word of mouth was was definitely a major part of it That's what led us to gain more contributors But we also had a pretty big email campaign. Were we Science reporters at basically let them know that the website had launched and we know that a lot of people most of a over four hundred emails in most of them didn't get a reply But the replies that we did get mattered because one of the actually from Malcolm glad well okay and so we have this tweet. If you go on our website we still have the tweet up. The tweet is from like two thousand fourteen But it's basically him Sharing our website and that kind of attention is what definitely gave the website momentum and lead more contributors to reach out to us some. That hadn't that we didn't know necessarily personally but Who just started reaching out now. I've been the director since two thousand eighteen. And so now the job has fallen Warren me to continue recruiting new contributors and now we tend to go more with an open call for contributor style on twitter or on different volunteer websites. And that's how a with this How saying recently we've had a major increase in the number of applications and that's been now through these volunteer websites which Actually been pretty useful for us to find volunteers. Excellent and I'm curious do you get feedback from the public from the General Public Who reads the articles listens to the episodes How how are they digesting this information? Do they write back? Things? Thank you how. How does is there any interaction to get any feedback from the public? We occasionally do. It's when we do get it. We've we've received positive feedback. One time I remember asking I send out a tweet and I said have you made any changes in your life because of a summary that you've read and let us know and then someone replied and told me that they had they had read a summary Where we mentioned that using a meditation APP at work at helped reduce stress from employees. And we put a link to the APP it was. I think it was head space. This is not an ad for them. But it just happened to be the one in the study and That said they actually started using that APP and that it had helped them so we love hearing things like that but mostly it is. It is difficult to It is a bit of a one way. Communication Stream and the feedback. You get is only a percentage of the people that are actually reading and so sometimes it's difficult to know what the reaction is to the to the content that you're putting out so that is the limitation of having a platform where there isn't a huge Emphasis on that kind of two way communication. Same thing with the podcast where you have a lot of listeners Maybe we'll get some emails back from people asking questions I don't know how many emails you get for your podcast on. But for sure it's a small percentage everyone who's listening so it would be nice to Talk to even more of them got some comments on some episodes really a few of them by the hand but some twitter messages some direct messages. But I'm still fairly new and and so it's been really a one or two one or two but those one two felt really good. Yeah exactly and that does remind me that a lot of again. A percentage of the percentage is a people offering to contribute their own time. And so that tells me when they see the project. It's something that they do like that. They feel like something that they'd want to contribute to this very cool and they. I really love projects where the idea is to give an and and this is definitely one so people are giving their time to your project and you're giving information to the public that they might not might not understand if if it was just given to them in their in its raw format so I really love that you're talking about people reaching out to contribute and definitely at the end of this second part. We are going to tell people how to reach you and to to offer their their contribution but this makes me think of Science communication as a whole and of all the students like when we were at McGill at this science communication event. All those graduate researchers were there were interested in science communication And this was really striking to me. I was really happy to see all the the enthusiasm and the energy that was in the room but for people out there who have this interest and a who want to try their hand at writing Maybe could be blogging. It could be editing. Anything related to science communication. Do you have any ideas that you could share with them on how to try their hand and do it at the same time as their. Let's a finishing their PhD or doing their poster. Yeah and I think McGill is actually a good example of this When I started my PhD. I didn't see any anything about science communication. I don't remember seeing it in for example. Email newsletters about conferences or projects that are being offered by either the university or by other students But then towards the end it really picked up and I feel like it is unfortunately in some ways the students who have who have picked up the slack and you have created these opportunities for other students for example a workshop that I attended in my last year of my PhD at McGill was run entirely by undergraduate students But that was a science communication workshop. It was called spell your science and so now. I do see those opportunities advertise much more with a newsletter so I would suggest anyone looking to get into them To kind of scan those newsletters that you get From your program and those opportunities pop up a lot more now there's also and I think more of them are also university sponsored. So the one that we were we met at that was sponsored by B. L. Totally Louisville exactly and so I think universities are finally catching onto the message that this is an alternative type of learning and professional development that students want to participate in offer. Anyone who doesn't have access to that those kinds of resources science twitter is really an amazing way to hear about opportunities. There's a website also called SICOM board that posts opportunities available remotely kind of like useful science that can be participated in online or in person and so I would say to look out for those types of types of things. I just want to take a moment before going on with the interview to let you know that you can help me. And the show by leaving a star rating in a comment on your podcasting APP. She wants to go a step. Further goto patron dot com slash papa. Phd Now and become a supporter for the equivalent of a coffee per month. You'll be helping me immensely with the recurring cost of hosting and producing the show again. Thank you for being a true fan. Great do do look for for resources in university. I do think I just had a conversation Some some time where it was not the this week's episode was less week's episode. Someone who's in Paris and yet universities are picking up that PhD's need to learn other skills need to learn what's the reality in industry and they're starting to offer these discourses these workshops seminars. I think it's it's really great to see that happen and The the thing is students need to still look for what's happening in their university. It's not. It's probably not gonNA pop into their inbox Directly so do look around ask around and and for sure university is going to have something that that might interest you or it could be a editing in a in a university magazine or in a you're talking about student associations it it can there can be no writing and something for a newsletter of Soon Association. There's many ways that people can can try their hand at at writing in at communicating in different in different capacities. That's right and and that's a good point. Sorry to interrupt There are more traditional. I guess you could call traditional ways to to gain experience in writing That would help you insides conclusion. So for example actually Participated on student newspapers. I was a design editor. So I wasn't Typical editor you might think of but I was doing the graphic design the layout But I got to see the process and how it worked And after I also participated in some undergraduate science journals so those are more established kind of groups that have been around for for a long time but those can give you the same kind of skills and maybe even connections to to SICOM path. Eventually excellent agreed totally in like you say the more traditional but they're they're very well the structure that it's it should be fairly easy to find your way there. Now you know looking at your path you. You're not doing a post doc. You you have you imagine you imagine yourself professionally you know in in four or five six years Doing something related to to research. But the question I'd like to ask is you have been developing and cultivating all this science communication side of your activities and and you've learned for sure you have gained skills you have Accrued some some networking. But my question to you is if you project yourself. Five years from now. How do you think or even if you look five years back today? How do you think as a researcher a doing? These things has enriched you and how do you think all all these these skills this time time you have spent on this project how they will resonate what echoes? They will have in the researcher. You'll be a in the future. That's beautiful question exactly thinking back five years ago. I think that when you start doing research you kind of do it Maybe maybe you would choose the project where you feel like you can have some kind of Very obvious benefit on humanity. Especially if you're working with human Like participants were for example cancer research or something where you can really see. Hopefully a short term benefit here research but for in my field The results of my studies will probably not have major impact for for years. Perhaps are we. We don't know it's basic science research and so You're kind of taking a gamble on whether or not the that all that time and energy that you're putting on it is really going to end up having the impact that you hope it will and I guess by having these other opportunities or these other ways to interact with science into kind of engage with it and also discuss it with others and putting yourself more in that idea of how science effect the public the public interact with it. Lets you see other sides of the bigger picture and the skills that you learned as a researcher. Even if you're doing basic research skills you learn include analysis of texts of scientific articles knowing how to read the article and Parse it knowing how to look into the statistics And those skills apply to any field so I always tell our contributors I. It doesn't matter that you're not an expert in the paper that you're reading. You are an expert in In reading papers and you'll be able to apply that knowledge to pull out the the bottom line from the papers and that's what we do All the time and so. I think that that has kind of translated and has stayed with me throughout the process and one one feeling that I get is that and you kind of alluded to it but Seeing it from another side is that people who are inside com enjoy or take take pleasure or take satisfaction in giving back something directly to the community around them To to the people on the street. And if you're doing research and thinking thinking maybe more in the past we in the twenty twentieth century and being researcher. Today's something that's changing it. I'd say in a lot has to do with communication in my opinion but I think one thing that may be very enriching for for someone like you is the fact that yes. You're doing your research. It may have impact on later on. But this thing that you're doing is is Having impact on people right away today when they read the article when they reviewed the article. So I I feel that there's a social responsibility aspect there and also a feeling of community with people around you who are not researchers. Would you say there's something like that in for you to absolutely and that's the hope and you can't see me right now but I was the whole thing happen excellent so I was just talking about the twenty first century researcher. And it's funny because this makes me think of things that are completely different like the citizen scientists which is which is a very interesting movement to me. But I don't think we have time to go into that. But now for people who are now in their in their post doc. I think it's a great time and now there may be at home. You know cutting confinement to reflect on what type of scientists am I going to be and how am I going to be the best person? Just the best person in today's society as a scientist and maybe eventually as a communicator of science and I think what we've been talking about useful science and these few minutes that we just talked To me at least make me. Imagine the the role of the scientists more and more as someone that's hand-in-hand with with people on the streets versus that Very old idea of ivory tower Blah Blah Blah Blah. Which which. I think he's posse today or at least I hope I'm Murray's I think now's the time maybe to ask you the of final question which is thinking about this of all. You've gone through so far into in terms of You know going through a PhD. Now starting a post doc in a new country new city Having your projects what two or three pieces of advice would you have for people who are finishing or just starting post to and who wants to be can kind of a new kind of researcher and you kind of scientists that is more in tune with with today And and with this new tendency of of being more in touch with with the with the streets with mainstream I do think reflecting on when we started. The website for example is just the first thing that came to mind. It does feel like now the stakes feel higher in a way There been Reminders of how important the work of scientists is to to the whole world so global warming on this pandemic and it almost feels like this has highlighted at least for me the responsibility that you have as a scientist to to try to go that extra effort to as you said Be Able to communicate with with almost anyone on on the street or someone that you meet And so not. Everyone has to do it. Not every scientist has to be the best communicator to the public. But if at least a fraction of us Try to try to do so. And try to develop those skills than it could make a difference in help us in those conversations that we happen to have With our family or friends or even on the bus with some being too And so one way to do that is by trying to develop these skills. The skills of science communication maybe through attending online workshop or in person workshop were reading a bit about it or practicing by becoming a volunteer organizations. I think all of it could in some make make a big difference on how people perceive scientists both in their community and the ones that they see on TV when they have to listen to them in the media Will you're talking about McGill Few months ago. And there's different events that you can take part in in volunteer during the year like brain awareness. Week brain reach things like that. If you have things like that around you do do participate in it. You'll meet like minded people. You'll you'll get in touch with students often. It's going to be elementary school students. That's total different adventure at explaining science to them. So I agree with you. One hundred percent Maurice. Now just as we're closing the episode. We mentioned a bunch of times that people can contribute to useful science dot ORG. Can you share with the audience? How they can reach out and how they can offer to contribute to to you know in their specific domain of research of expertise. Yeah I would love to So again you can find out more about us at our website. That's useful signs dot Org. You can reach us on twitter at useful side you can eat. Ls Hello at useful science dot. Org and we really are looking for contributors with any level of experience as you have a graduate Started Graduate School. We kind of expect that you already know how to Parse a scientific paper But then regardless of any other experience in science communication our doors are open and we want to be a place where you feel like you can start that journey and kind of see if this is something that you're interested in and so yeah please feel free to reach out and you can also reach me directly on twitter At Murray's a R. Y. S. e. He Thomas Excellence. Murray's I will put. I'll put those links in the show notes So people can Can Go and click directly. Thank you so much for having me. Non Papa PG I wish you all the best for your your post doc but also for for your science communication projects and I hope people will listen to the episode. It'll be inspired Get some ideas or maybe just some encouragement to start their blog. Or maybe maybe in their podcasts. Who knows I hope so too? Thank you so much for having me again. Thank you if you enjoyed the insights shared on the show each week and would like to dig deeper into some of the subjects covered. You can now join the peachy postgraduate career exploration group on facebook there you will find like minded listeners but also a few of the guests will be taking part in the conversation so to start a conversation just go to facebook. Dot Com for Slash Papa. Phd joined the show has helped you in any way and you'd like to contribute trying to pop a PhD patriotic Patriot. Dot Com for Sash Papa peachy and become a monthly supporter. Do helped me continue to interview interesting guests and to bring you stories that will help you in your career journey. Thanks for listening to another episode of the Peach. Podcast head over to pop each dot com for show notes for more food for thought about non-academic Post Grad careers always be happy to share inspiring stories new ideas in useful resources. Here on the PODCAST. So make sure you subscribe on Itunes or wherever you get your podcasts to always keep up the discussion and to hear from our latest guests.

twitter scientist researcher McGill editor Grad school director Maurice Thomas PhD Murray Europe Marie Thomas David Mendez SICOM Abbott Mary facebook Marissa Leah
James Bowers  Taking the Leap Into Media and Communication

Papa Phd Podcast

1:13:34 hr | 1 year ago

James Bowers Taking the Leap Into Media and Communication

"We're all drawn to science in Graduate School for a reason because we're good a scientific subjects in school because we love discovering new things because we want to help others by growing the knowledge base and developing new tools and technology. It's our common thread as holders of Master's or doctoral degrees but not all of us end up having these objectives in the same manner after school in today's episode James Bowers talks about how science brought him from the bench to science popularization to the consulting arena. In the science communication space. Networking was kind of more. I had to build and create things with people right so I had to be stopped driving projects and get people to do things with me. That was kind of a participating in filmmaking competitions and and creating videos and things like that with people on every time I did things I had a good connection with people. Because you were doing things that were all passionate about a and does the ways that I created the strongest bonds which I think is still around today. Welcome to pop up. Each day with David Mendez the podcast where we explore careers and life after Grad school with guests who walked the road less traveled and have unique stories to tell about how they made their place in the world is constantly evolving rules. Get ready to go off the beaten path and hop on for an exciting new episode of Papa PhD. Hi David here. I'm publishing this episode of Papa. Phd during the covert nineteen crisis. A lot of you out. There are following the social confinement recommendations and working from home. I hope you're keeping safe while taking care to stay active and connected with your friends and family with everyone staying mostly at home and limiting social interactions to the bare minimum. I decided this would be the time to meet you to chat with you. I'd really love to hear from you to know where you're listening from and to hear about your reflections on the PhD experience. In how you envision your future professional life so if you WanNa talk with me for fifteen minutes go to go dot once hub dot com forward slash fifteen minutes with David that is go dot once hub dot com forward slash. One five minutes with David. I'll put the link in the episodes show notes and choose a date and time will meet on zoom and I will give you a shout out in the following episode and now for today's episode. James Bowers is a consultant and trainer at Asia Maggio a Science Communication Agency co-author of the upcoming Book Sell Your Research Public Speaking for scientists with Alexa. You can ski. Ceo of measure he has a PhD in molecular biology a masters in science media production over his career. James has worked TV production and as a communicator on pop science programs at measure he trains in public speaking and science writing consults on communication strategies and hosts events. Welcome to the show. James Nice to be here. I'm super happy to have you on the show you have a very special profiled say. I'm very curious to hear your story and how you got there but just to start what I would ask. View would be to simply You know let the audience know a little bit more about yourself How you got a interested in in molecular biology and science in general and how you then evolved or progressed towards Being in media production. So yeah just tell us a little bit about your story so well I mean I guess if I start from the very very beginning when I was growing up and I was a teenager in school. I had lots of things that I liked but there were two teachers in particular that I really really liked and I love the way that way. They toll on the made a kind of inspired me to go in that direction with the subjects. I did in my life. So one of them was my science teacher and the other was my friend teacher on so both of those subjects with things that once I finished I guess when I was eighteen and I was going to university and everything those two things kind of stuck with me ever even to now so when I went to university it was definitely science that I was going to study and I want to have a French aspect somehow so when I finished my undergrad which was in biochemistry I managed to you can set myself up on a PhD. Kohl's which was in Paris Iraq. Kind of attitude in my French as well so much to get to do the research science and in France. Both which were really important to me. And so yeah. That's how we ended up French lab doing like HD and so I had this nation as what we'd like metabolism by just something that kind of came out it came on my studies. And that's kind of what drove me towards that specific projects as well which was at the Natural History Museum in Paris where they do work in is tyrod home in really in the brain and we were looking at how that interacts metabolism. And so how a B C G can affect how you bring control metabolic pathways. But then also how fast you age So yeah I'm not going to go into much detail. Objects like most More questions at the end of the was in the beginning but it was great and I and I it was. It was a dream come true. Just student beat so one thing that you mentioned that I totally agree and that that kind of it's kind of a when it happens you keep it with you for life is a crossing paths with really inspiring teachers And so you mentioned that you had more of a knack. Let's say for for French. Well not not only enact but you also met teachers that were really good in in in then two subjects that ended up. You ended up mixing. Let's say in Europe the Can you just just a little bit you know? Can you talk a little bit about how these teachers inspired you? And what what was the what were may the key skills or let's say characteristics that made them special for you. Yeah I mean I think the two main ones ready the diversity inspired me was. It wasn't really anything to do with the subject. Actually we city with the people. I kind of I I went to a very normal school by English. We would say was a bit rough so a and I was very quiet and shy and kind of didn't really paid much attention to by teachers and these two in particular Both women they both kind of knew how to pull me out of my shell as opposed and I don't exactly know exactly what it is but there was something about it that they had a kind of a kind of just a personality human touch that made me enjoy those subjects because it made me feel welcome to play in that class. Whatever so I mean. That's a big the first point. I guess he's mostly in the second is about how they taught the subjects and so I think we all learned completely different ways. Everybody you know it does nothing you. There's no right or wrong way to learn things to teach things to people. You just have to try everything out on that teaching methods just kind of worked with me. I like the way that they They hadn't kind of the they got their classes to learn independently and And Interact and participate. They told US object. Just kind of made me enjoy them in effort was best rather than it. Just kind of. You know it was it. Was those two things. Ready on Exit I very briefly alluded to what you do today in your in your intro. But we didn't really get into into that part of that chapter. Let's say but I'm really curious to know whether this peration and these aspects especially the second aspect that you mentioned whether it's it has some effect or or some Echoes in in. How you you do training or in what you do today. But maybe we'll talk about it a little bit later because right now. Let's kind of follow the chronology right so you you were. You did this speech. The first At a certain point you must've known you must have understood that the the academic path was not something you wanted to follow. How did how did that happen to realize that realization? Come up for you. Yeah I mean I think as would most people who start out on a PhD. I was relieved that I was going to finish my PhD. Add to oppose stock. It and I know a research of for the rest of my life. I think is very few people that would set themselves out on such a huge tasks thinking completely differently to that but like a lot of other people. Also do ha- about halfway through. I realized it probably wasn't to me. The loss of things I was deafening passionate about my subjects Enjoy doing the research. But I just couldn't see myself doing it forever though. I think what probably changed was I. I was lacking some things. I needed some all creativity. I needed some all kinds of things that I guess. Kind of excite me as well as science of but also the same thing about a very specific research on having a very specific topic that you work on every single day and I really enjoy pretty much lawson did lots of different topics and as you said. We'll probably took a why do now later but I do it with lots of different scientists at the moment in lots of different fields and I really enjoy obviously earning each and every one of their kind of different stories in different research topics so much amazing things going on out there. And you don't see that when you are in the bubble y'all yourself and so. I kind of about halfway through impeach. Dale was really looking for things. How can I use what I've done and what got and go in and do something else waved baggage that I've already got and there was? I think it was the final of like we're hearing about now the time this. I mean they took about six years ago now they it was a lot of people. Were talking a lot less about anxiety and depression and mental health stress that goes with a PhD. Which is kind of an accepted thing? Back back then A now I think people are really talking about level on and you know. I did time outs. Us my question. Is this kind of mental pressure worth what I'm going to elevate in the end and I decided I was going to check other options before I kind of stuck with that. Yeah yeah well he touch on a very important point and one that I whenever it. It comes up in an interview. I really liked to kind of home in on it and give it more and more time. Let's say more airtime which is mental health and definitely With with time especially today if you go into onto the graduate school academia. Phd Twitter Verse. It's much more common to see people share and discuss about their their their mental health issues. And I think it's a it's a it's very important that The taboo is broken and it has been it has been a slowly eroding compared to when you and I were were in the lab Today if I feel that people have much more ease speaking about it but for sure. It's very prevalent. There's no a lot of graduate. Researchers out there are feeling Are Are living through these difficulties. That affect their day today affect their productivity and their morale So so what you're saying An please please tell me if I heard right is that this was some one of the things that weighed on on on. You starting to look for something else So once once those two aspects kind of made you start to look. My question to you is did you. Then start You know getting involved in extracurricular activities or were you simply looking at okay when I finish. I'm going to I'm going to do this. I'm going to do that training How how did you go about starting to bring this this novelty and this new this new type of experience and into into your life and into your day today? I WOULD. I would say yes. I agree with you. That was what happened. I don't think at the time I was really thinking about it. In that way it wasn't necessarily logically thinking. This is the older things I need to do to get onto something else. It was a little bit more of a kind of like a lots of different things happening at once. I mean there was a moment I guess about halfway through my PhD. When I did I needed some time off and so I had. I had a big break a big break but I had a few weeks off which is a lot. It's a lot I kind of. I kind of had a reset and I was like okay. Well what am I GONNA do now? Or how does this? How am I going to finish this thing? I'M GONNA stop. I'm GonNa take a long break Mike Banana. Just completely go and do something else and What it had to do was give myself some physical and mental space and then back to it and then allow myself to try out different things and so. I was constantly on the lookout for like different possibilities. I I was taking. I was participating in competitions coal citizen and everything that kind of thrown my way that I was interested in at least kind of nourishment. I guess with science in a slightly different way. An all of those things kind of culminated. I guess and so by the time that I finished. I kind of got like a low list of things that I had done. The kind of gave me tiny seeds of of what directors that go in afterwards so so if I understand well there was before that break and then there was an after after. You had said you you you told yourself okay. I have to do something about this. And I'm going to find the this this condiment that's the spice that's missing in my scientific life. Yeah of course because the after a Tornado. Lots and lots of distress and panic and all that like molecules in my head whereas afterwards it was definitely a kind of a clear abide as like hold on Russia. Just take your time. Just get through this and get some touch upon as much as you can see going through so so it seems to me that somehow and again tell me if I'm seeing I'm hearing right. You Got Busier after your break in your your your reflection but you were more at peace Within yourself even though you were doing more things yes I would say slightly different. I didn't. I didn't get busier. I just got more efficient. So thing is that like I think I think the law. Phd people who've been through decon empathize with that situation. Where you know. You've just had a really stressful time. And you'll sell your computer and you stare at the screen. Nothing happens hours nothing comes out and Yukon right and you just work on the same lot. The same sentence Work after I'd kind of change my mind about it and offloaded my stress and worry I kind of an identity didn't have much of those times right so I was much more efficient. I gave myself more time off. I didn't force myself to come in to earlier. Leave to lay gave myself the physical mental space needed to take the things which actually all kinds of helped itself. So I guess it wasn't busier small things in the same amount of time. So you got you. Had you had an objective you had a kind of an inner motivation which led to be more efficient with the time less sir less time to four useless thoughts or or or or. Let's say imagine because sometimes when you're you're anxious you can an idea can negative thought can bounce around your head for a long time and take a take part of that time. Yeah so can you share a little bit about exactly? What were these new things the things that you got involved in these doors that opened the or these opportunities that you took and and how did they arises. You have to really go. Look for them were they. Things organized by university can share a little bit about that. Yes so I mean. During the time that I was I was still talking about a a to kind of to yet block the second half of my PhD. It was things I knew that I kind of wanting to go into like science communication. I didn't have the time really know what that meant but I just knew that I was talking about science probably to a wider public and You know in a complicated way. That's pretty much in my head so I kind of those were the things that I was looking for. Really one of the things I did was in France we have a a yearly festival cold And is kind of a week in October. I think is hope. I'm and labs all over the country kind of opened that Dole's do presentations. The general public could come in families or whatever So the museum is a public museum. They did lots to fight that so our lab had a couple presentations and so I just kind of got involved and asked if I could help out a you know I'll do my own And I did things like that and then I mean there's loads of opportunities as well a fame lab so it's also the three three minutes competition basically. I tried out for that did very badly but I saw. Everybody works the idea of working on. I worked on a three minute speech which was in French. Didn't do very well so I didn't go very far however because it's been so long on it. I want to it so I then kind of made into this weird YouTube video which was very very badly produced but then not meant the icon of made a few videos on a got a few of us. I mean not many but like people people can slightly outside of my closest circle so know a few people had to see that I was trying to do these things in muddling around and I kind of also participated in others like a web documentary about this sides. Gyaincain website we're making and I just kind of got involved in a little bit of everything that it was generally media communication of presenting any possibility that I could find an when you drink. Phd There are so many things around you book. You don't always know to send because you just so focused on what you're doing. But there are loads of other things on the kind of the non just by the time it finished. I built up a few kind of things like dot ready so you built a kind of a small portfolio. Let's say and in skill set that kind of setting you up for what was coming next. He was kind of. Yeah I guess it was a what's what can we say like a crash tested lots of different things that could. That's that's a great idea. The crest part because some things. You're going to try and it it it. Won't they work for you because you know because because you're the way because of your personality because you end up knowing that well they really don't Not a good fit for for what for your interests. I realize that you said that their quest. I'M GONNA I'M GONNA keep that one because and this has come up in other interviews but you need to what I'm hearing is you gave yourself the the the time. Are you allowed yourself the time in the right to try things that you weren't sure we're gonNA work hundred percent and and betrayed as many as possible to kind of find? Okay this one. I really like more this one a little bit less. And I think it's some something and anyone that's listening and that want to delve into something else try writings and just James Volunteering. Most of this I guess yeah I mean. All of that was volunteering. Yeah I mean the I I guess what you're saying. What resonates with me radius that you have to go in with no expectation of results right so you go in and you test it and you lend different things from different people on if you if you release yourself as the expectation of some kind of success on a how he's going to do well then you can just enjoy it more on radio. Listen to your voice inside and say like is this something I enjoy doing or is it something I feel like I have to do on. Those things are completely different. So so you trying all these these different things and this new domain but at the same time you were finishing at the beach and eventually you were writing a thesis Can you can tell us a little bit about how you manage that. Your said that you were much more intent in you know using well using each minute of your day. Well let's say at it's at its highest potential. Let's say in terms of efficiency but did you have strategies did you. Have you know tools that you use that allowed you to kind of make this like double life working away? Yeah like when it comes to the end of the HD. I mean the reality is that everything else just takes a back seat right so whatever. I was working on other things that I wanted to be doing. Everything just stops I I you know. I think a lot of people probably do the same thing like you just have to get it done on this kind of driver of it's really hard to motivate yourself because you are tired and his heart. It's easy Eddie. Takes a lot of mental energy but at the same time let us put that driver of I just WanNa get it over and I want to enjoy it and be able to be happy to do my PhD and get through it so you both of those things together Kind of Elzbieta gets through. That lasts I guess. Six months ready and everything else was just took a backseat. Nothing else was more important than finishing my PhD. In those when he does take a lot of focus and there's time constraints and and For sure I it. Totally makes sense And you know you're meant you were mentioning before that reflection break that you took That that kind of doubt of what was coming after Had told let's say On any could have taken the form of anxiety. I don't know exactly how you how you lived through that. But did you have any any resources that you used to to keep your? Keep your inner balance. Let's say be it before. Finding your your your goal your or your professional your new professional goal or even in the in the writing and final aspect of final. Part of your thesis again. We're talking about the kind of the final hurdle right. Yeah I mean. It was focused by. It's literally that this strategy is just south of me was literally motivate yourself because no one else will motivate you find energy where you can. I don't think I probably did it in the best way. I look back on my on my thesis not very often but the few times that I have. I would have done that different. They had I donate now a I. Guess what I learn what I didn't do at the time but what I would say to people now is I think just be just be kind of Joseph right is how do yourself interesting that you bet for because you know that is very important and You know and also wealth because let's say Some some people have mentioned well going hiking. They find ways to have different ways to recharge their their batteries. Let's say their their well their minds due to put their mind to be that piece because when you're finishing it can be very unnerving you can have pressure from. I don't know from your supervisor. Because of time constraints or there can be. They can be asking reviews that you didn't expect and and it can be difficult to deal with with all that pressure and I was just wondering whether you I don't know you you juggle or something to clear your mind a little bit to clean the time. I didn't but I do have lots now time. I think was probably wasn't just driving towards that object which makes total which makes the which probably wasn't the best way the time I see all right so so we got to the end. Now of you turning in your thesis then that Hiatus. Okay after my thesis what happened next. How did things go? How did you navigate that part? Yeah so I mean I think I I stayed in a lot for a few months is quite difficult to just kind of one day because as again over the people. I'm sure there's lots of kind of the peach deep is done but he's still little things to tie off edmonds a stage for a few moments afterwards I give myself time off. Lie I just I just had a couple of months off and side really thinking about how I was going to what it was going to do and and tried to kind of build some kind of objective and some kind of plan which I hadn't really given myself fully time to integrate before I had that kind of list of the little seeds like I told you and then I was kind of like well. How could I use these? What can I do with this? How can I make these grow? A what can I do so yeah. I guess that kind of that kind of testing around a trial and error just carried on ready so I imagined that then if if you kept not testing new things and in doing this this exploration of where you go you met people you You must have you know you must have Interacted with different organizations. Where you develop these activities right. Yes so I mean for me from what I had kind of. John was the the main thing that I was kind of going towards was kind of a media type thing. I knew I knew was audio visual at New Though. I had enjoyed kind of the making video things in participating in even though I'd never donate to a professional level and so I mean all of those things they take technique can competencies and people and I carried on meeting people on building things that I mean. I think lots of people say that networking as a really really important skill. When you're in that that phase of Baz quite a kind of shy timid person networking something that freaks me out. It's not as easy as it is for some people. I think you'd have eligible Will expert network right at. I definitely my wave. Networking was kind of more. I had to build and create things with people right so I had a bit. Stop Driving Projects and get people to do things with me. That was kind of Participating in filmmaking competitions and an creating videos and and things like that with people on every time I did things I had a good connection with people. Because you were doing things dip you're passionate about and does with the ways that I created the strongest bonds which I think are still kind of around today. And those links kind of fed me into the links with other people. And that's kind of how I networked my way through. I believe a lot of us out there in the listeners If other people in in science and in research and I'm thinking of the people I crossed paths with and are are some what towards the introvert side. I consider myself to be on that on that side too. But definitely you. It's IT'S NOT. Everyone has that Capacity to really quickly and and dynamically grow a network So yeah being in projects with people is a very good way to establish to establish strong connections and and and and you know maybe foster future collaborations for sure. I totally agree. There's also something as well but I kind of needed. I think when especially when you're transitioning to a new career unique people's vouch for you you kind of need people who are respected in what they do to kind of say a a disguise. Good to all I you know. I like what he's doing a on the best way to do is to prove it to them right in and find a way of showing them that your that. Your words vouching full is kind of networking and kissing ass and try and get likes her is it's not it's not the sabers is more kind of saying okay. You need people who are expected to respect g so that Ben you can become one of the respected wants. An you decide to go for it. And there's no better way than they being in projects with these people in the senior abilities and and And knowing firsthand what you capable of for sure yeah. Yeah and even if somebody vouches for like your motivation your passion over your technique right because maybe you're just learning how to use a camera but if you're passionate about it that's often enough to kind of get you pushing the direction. Definitely definitely James. This is a great point to To our little break. Because now we're going to go into the chapter of you know you were. You were looking. You're exploring and then there must you must have found Kind of you know a path to follow a more definite path towards that brought you to where you are today professionally endo. We'll talk about that on in partout if you enjoy the insights shared on the show each week and would like to dig deeper into some of the subjects covered. You can now join the Peach Postgraduate Career Exploration Group. On facebook there you will find like minded listeners. But also a few of the best guests will be taking part in the conversation so to start a conversation just go to facebook. Dot Com for Slash Papa PhD and asked to join so welcome to part two of our episode with James Bowers and James Theodore to had just finished his PhD and he was he had taken a break. A Very well-deserved break and was now again testing the waters to see. Okay what am I? What is what's my career path. What what's going to happen? What am I going to do next and one thing that he was mentioning that I find is very important. Is the borders of you. Know taking part in projects For for different reasons one having getting hands on experience of techniques of new door new domain. That you don't know but then also the human and networking aspect of it. So Yeah James so after this testing the waters period. When did things start gelling for you? And did you start Or actually did you did something materialize very clearly at a certain point or was it again. Some trial and error. That happened after so I think once I finished and I take some time off. A deep dog hold is what do I do have to my phd and the reality that it actually is. Because I realized that I all of a sudden have was free. I had no idea what to do with freeness of so I did. I applied for lots of different jobs in community science communication. That was pretty much what I wanted. I knew people who had done science communication officer roles stray off PhD. So I kind of does what a targeted to try and get away in a and none of that kind of When anywhere because I was in France and I learned French since the beginning of my PhD? So my spoken French is pretty good. I was but written. It's never going to be perfect. So writing is really important skill And so I just wasn't quite at the level that I needed to be outright so I I kind of struggled To get like a physical job in what I want to do. But at the same time it's still carried on all these like all fill me projects. He video things competitions and I didn't WanNa Prize or the film and so kind of gave me that it will boost. I needed to just keep going in that direction. I am. I kind of was I okay. I'm going to give us about Yeeha. And still in this limbo. He has time that I really need to kind of do something about it functionally. By the end of that year I had applied to a A Masters Course Imperial College London in Science Media Production and it was funded by the wellcome trust so they actually funds to PhD graduates a year and I managed to get not the first year after the second after. Pj Monies to get those. That was just a question of time whilst I was Kinda waiting for that masters in those carried on doing stuff and again basically culminated in literally the month. Before I went to my master's calls I had been through a casting process and got myself onto a TV show as kind of science explainer a So I was on. I literally was in the studio for a week or so before will not long before I left to go back to London from France to go through these masters Kind of happened. Everything just seems to roll into place so I went back to London by the time I was back there. The show was already on the TV here. And so I was kind of already I already than had lots of Dole's started opening so because I had done the TV show here. Whilst I got coal from the Science Museum Teheran Pirates suicide applied for job. Didn't get it but because they could see me on TV they will come. Do she wants liquid them and all of a sudden jolts all kind of Became easier I guess none of it was the TV show. Did Not go on forever Book the there was a sequence of events afterwards. It meant that I got more serious experiencing what I want to do and then I became a professional. I think people side considering me as somebody who has interesting experience who had a WHO needed to do mall book was kind of on the way to deduce going the right direction and then I finished masters calls. I'm with the master's close eye. Abc size media productions. They basically trade in your radio TV and film but from a science background so after that They have amazing connections imperial with low to production companies in London like BBC and Discovery Channel. On all these type. A TV names on so I kind of flew out that. Go into your TV production. I worked in as a researcher. Awhile for about a year or two and then yeah I was then kind of set up really I kind of had I was in the right place. Yes and yeah. So clearly. For the for the massive. How long was the masters by the way is the perfect for the masters for sure so you were selected because you had so your your background was a very important if not central to you getting into the program but I was just wondering that the year before you got into the masters how you know how much of what you did. was Or I'M GONNA put it in a different way. Actually how much of what you were bringing from your PhD. Did you put to use in the different activities different projects that you got into while you were you. Were testing different things like you were saying. And before the the masters Yeah a lot more than I thought. Actually so what a there was definitely obviously the science background Rica in being able to come check scientific sources and making sure everything was You know scientifically sound. But then there was dis- skills that you have to do have to have as a PhD student which was self driving self. Motivating yourself to actually get open. Do something not just sitting from the TV all day and you know I realized that skill was actually something that I found so much easier. Because I've I've I've had to push myself so hard for three or four years now dot now when he's become a it just feels so much easier and that kind of independence and just just just pushing yourself. They ate was a skill. A wasn't something not sure how it was something that I learned to. Hd I think and And then so you. You got into into the masters you kind of described some summarily what They were training you on and you said that they were to. Phd's per year that were brought into the program. Who were the other participants In the in the program what profiles so Imperial College on? They have agreed really. Good Science Communication Masters Course on they have been media kind of branch and I think they take about fifty students per year between the two about fifty overs and I think that was probably twelve or or thirteen of those in the media side. Two of us with a PhD at graduates. And the rest were people coming from straight from undergrads and other people who had were maybe older Reconverting that Korea's discourse so these people kind of all different stages of you don't have to have a PhD to do it was just. The funding was unavailable to Canada. Excellent so this is a problem that still exists of people. There are in London and are interested. I guess you would definitely advise a that. The look into this this program. Yeah I mean that must discuss is probably one of the best things that I did Even though it's not obligatory to do closest to just stay in this field I think die. Experience was really good. I think the Wellcome Trust Fund. Phd's but I'm not sure that would need to be because it was a few years ago now for me so Yeah and one thing. I'm curious about is today. So does the networking that might of happened Even just the professors that you that taught you at in the masters Are Are there. Are they connections that you still keep in contact with? Yeah Yeah I mean through. That masters course was and they did. A lot of friends. People had similar paths And a similar way of seeing the world and so in you and it's a completely different things but all around humiliation we stay in contact and yes. I do have some contact with the professors still. I mean We we have a dog I there is. I do have a book coming out soon on the professor. What am I wrote a Nice Review of the book? Because he's he's a really big name. Sounds very happy that he did that for us. A Yeah I mean we do. We do say contact a little bit. Yeah so well your mentioning the book. I think it's it's time to start talking because you did your masters I think that's set you up for for what you're doing professionally today. You know considering all all you said maybe you'll there's other episodes before we got to exactly before you got to where exactly where you are today. But we can. We can actually start talking about that so once you do this. Master's you're fully equipped you have all the tools all the the the abilities All the skills to work in that domain plus you have a PhD in science so all the the vocabulary and like you were saying Rigor And the ability to embark on long winded projects. None of that is something that Fuse you or or there is a a foreign to you now so tell us a little bit about what you're doing today and I don't know maybe you can. You can start about to talk about the book in the just mentioned Well so I think just to kind of fill in the gap I think that that Kind of a little bit later. Actually I think the science in MTV PD level science on TV on necessarily one hundred percent compatible a food. Because you have to have this. Tv is a detainment PhD science. Is Hobbs re such so this kind of you to find a way of building that that gap that later on we experienced that I did have I? I really wants to fronts like I said it was one of my childhood dreams of an so I I came back working as a consultant so now I basically do much broader science communication. We consult on kind of where we look at research. Institutes we work with charities and we also with private businesses all who do research innovation and technology on those kind of things and we help them to get that research seen basically so that can be attempts of communications campaign on strategy but we also make videos We write articles. We create events for example. We did recently did a a a prize award ceremony for scientists which was a pretty exciting a couple of years ago and the idea is kind of like well. How do we take the science that you guys have and make sure that or the people see it will? What can we do? And how can we bridge that gap? So that's kind of what what people a cold call up on his Asia. A levels of what we do is betrayed so Specifically work with an scientists or engineers. Odd doctors are technicians. People who are in scientific fields who all of whom do communicate at some point at some level in that Korea right so whoever you are I mean if you're a PhD student or if you are you are going to have to present your work at some conference at some point right or are these original club and you know and or you may have to writes about it but also now in terms of if you for example if you have a ground like a European grump for example there is always a Section which is Communication Utah. Get Away with it you. You have to do as part of your project. So the the training that we provide is public speaking on writing and also do all citizens social media trading digital as well so all of those things it kind of aimed at the audience and how can they themselves as do things to make accumulation. Medication Better Yes Sir I was GONNA ask about About social media because now nowadays I see a lot of people out there posting about the their article that came out You know you see that somehow People in labs are archaic taking Taking ownership of the research and putting it out On different platforms out there on their own and And you know not. Everyone is Has has the the the right tools or the skills to do it? The best way possible. I guess that's where you guys come in. And especially when you're talking about grants you need to be real really good at how you write things. How how you want to win the grant right? There's money on the line so I guess that's probably why also you people come to you right but that there are we in general. There's two types of meat we Generally the people who hirose are not going to be scientists themselves right so we will be the institute scientists though this can be for example a university communications department might hirose it and then we will train death. Scientists on their behalf an aura of a lot China charitable foundations. There will also become team. Who will kind of bring in? We will then help them. Communicate around this. I insist but I mean there is always a benefit full scientist to puke. Communicate that research in whatever way is to do it. Well I mean you said I'm lying. There is money on the line. It's not just getting the ground It's also once you have to grind How'd you get good collaborators? How do you attract with each students? How do you get people to site? You'll your work right. We'd be off seeing got people who post the publications on twitter. They are being cited a quite regularly because somebody notice that work on twitter. There was a study that was done recently. I'm sure you know this already. Book shows that any scientists who has over a thousand twitter followers that reach becomes more exponentially big So people who use twitter a lot as a scientist they actually does help them get seen on there are so many. Soviet bounces a romy. We try and help them to do that. The best you know your your data once you publish towards behind a paywall right. Which which was the publications And well now. There's there's an open signs different things but the like you were just alluding to the fact that having having a good grasp of social media And and you know putting your your your results out there The fact that you know the fact that that's that has a real impact on your each and non even eventually your citations because I think that's what we're talking about in the end It's it's it's it's quite a change from. Let's say ten fifteen years ago things. This reality did not exist at least not in this format. Let's say it super interesting to see it develop is changing. It's changing but there's also now like something I think I think we trading most is public speaking. That's kind of a ritual of pitch training because that is just become this thing that Everybody you know. There are competitions era and pitches for funding of the things. I thought that Shortfall mentioning the three. Minute thesis is another Yorkshire. Yeah exactly this. This is something you know There are skills are not our book about Israeli. So we've kind of taken all of the experience that I mean. I've been here for two years but has been around for twelve and they just kind of like they have a method which is called the cell methods s. e. l. as in like sell books called Salvia research but it's intrigue steps on an S. E. L. L. And basically what the idea is that they pumped in all of this experience from twelve years of examples of where people scientists have done good presentations in within the kind of format right so we know that you may be able to watch everyday expensive. Tv show or even a big tedtalk and see really big demonstration. Mo- scientists in the lab don't have access to those kinds of skills right. We have powerpoint on you know small things Michael Tipping a sample in. Awesome thing that. So how do you build a good presentation around the materials that you have access to and that's kind of what we tried to do? Really kind of giving skills to people to talk about that research in a way that we kind of we hope works because we we'd see lots of people use it so I have a question for you curiosity. That arose as you were talking. Which is how much. How often do people that come to you mention The maybe a kind of a preoccupation or a desire to take more ownership of where their their science is presented. And how I'm just asking because in the past you know you've we've seen corporations use science to sell things we've seen Different media outlets distort or wrongly represents Science Science News. That are out there. How much how? Much of a worry is that in the scientists. Mind in your experience. I think is a preoccupation but I think that also feeds into what we tried to do in my trading right because we're giving scientists the tools to talk about Beveren work I- themselves right. I think a little while back. There was quite a lot of people who would be kind of spokespeople for the scientific community. Right and they were especially media they will be called upon and they would be the old seeing all knowing people that Kinda of give the information sometimes false. Yup only way to protect y'all information from being distorted is if it comes from your mouth because you're the expert and you did the work and so if you have the tools to communicate your work on your own with help then that's probably the right way to go and that's kind of a love what we do but I did. A lot of people do agree with that but love people don't feel like they have the skills to be posted necessarily sown every kind of thought I agree I think the blood would prefer to be then. I think you know the we're we're seeing and I think you you just you agreed before that and that it's been published that people are putting their signs out there themselves This is one way to go but one thing you were mentioning was the if you communicate your science well. This is one potential way to attract good collaborators But you said that university scan can train their their scientists so is that also maybe a way to get better students as a university What actually. Let's put the question another way. What would you say for scientists out there who want to go get into into science communication in in one to start talking about their signs in more professional way? Let's say what would be there. The benefits that they would be getting from From getting training like this okay. So what the benefits for the scientists themselves. The person who has a lab or or the Post Doc who who needs to go to three conferences and has huge result to present. Okay so in his very basic fallen for me. Communication and very specifically science communication is about expressing an idea an expressing an idea. Well on the bench that you express your ideas debates that the idea can then be shared to somebody else and can be built upon on Coun- grow and if you communicate batter a BA- whether it's between you and other scientists whether it's between you on Jemma public but can you and your funding body the bats that you communicate the mole impact your ideas. We'll have And that's no it totally makes sense and now because we're talking here about big organizations that you know that call upon as measure but if you're let's say now that you're a graduate researcher or a post DOC and And you want to start you know getting better at at the skill of communicating. Your Science. Are there other tools or well now? Clearly there's a book coming out right speaking scientists and I think it out by the way. This is a very important question. Okay so I actually. I embarrassed that they don't have a specific date. But I know that it's April so probably be at a end of April so in about two months from recording. It'll be closer to the air date but for sure what I wouldn't one of the things I want to do is to To ask you to keep me up to date. And they'll put Lincoln the show notes whenever the book is out is out But again I was. I was mentioned again. I was mentioning in the break. I was mentioning To to James that I would. I decided to start the podcast. Well I found this book Actually on On on on one of these book platforms that there was a lot of good reviews. Saying this is a blueprint to start your podcast by it. Read it you'll be able to start your podcast. And and that's the results. I used to start by. Phd So a good book can be a very good way to have a condensed a repository of information to help you really develop one skill and anyway. I'm just saying that out of my experience but okay. The book is not. It's now we're at the time of recording. The book is not out. Are there other Resources out there that that you know that you could point listeners. Towards that where they could hone their skills in science communication. There's loads of things out there. I mean you just have to type Science communication blog into Google and there is tons of things that will come up. A I mean it depends on what kind of communication do you think you onto? Welcome but I think probably one of the best examples is positive science if you want to. Do you want a chance to be in front of people mind? Science is available everywhere in the world. Pretty much the so you can always register and give it a shot and get feedback from what people think about what you've done and pint of science just a for for the listeners. Out there if you go back to to the episode with led Shahal. It's it's infringed show again. It's for the listeners. Who ARE FRENCH-SPEAKING. But so ilady is one of the founders of pint of science and the concept is There's a couple of days in spring where pub throughout the country where you are. There's going to be different pubs. Where instead of having just a pub quiz or whatever there's going to be a couple of scientists talking about their science while everyone is drinking beer on them and asking them questions so I if you're curious about science and if you want to meet like minded people go to go to one of these events and if you're a scientists in one actually to dive your toe and test the waters of public speaking definitely definitely a great idea is a good way but there's something also that I think. Sometimes scientists aren't quite aware of is that an as I said they are. All there are lots of communications departments around right that may or may not feel visible wants to do some all kind of again voting communicating more than just look the Communication Department of Your University Institute. All your funding buddy and there will be people who. I'm sure will be happy to help you to bowling things. Because they always of that university again most universities will have. They'll always have a communications team. But most will have a research indications thanks. Okay okay. Excellent because a PhD at an incident it was at McGill but there was an institute and I do remember that yes. The institute McGill has communications but the institute itself had their Independent Communications Office for sure. So this great advice definitely And again if you're generous with your time you know. Go Volunteer. And take part in events and they. Sometimes there's training also I've at many versity in Portugal because I might be is my. Pc program was from the University of Coimbra. They have a lot of training that they offer the PhD program students on Science Communication. So anything that your program that you're institute that university offers definitely take advantage of it. Take Part in it participate and you will learn things. You'll meet people and it'll open your horizons for sure. James were kind of getting to the end of the interview I Yeah I was just wondering whether there's something else that we wanted to talk and the thing that I that I now remembered was okay today. You are teaching you know within this organization that part of your teaching people to talk science which is kind of teaching people how to teach in a way but but to use a different level of language or a different a different Different it's not even like level per se but you need to adjust how you talk to the the audience that you're talking to. I'm sure this is one of the things you teach. Yes but I was going. It's kind of going back to the beginning. Those teachers that you said inspired you and the only thing I kind of wanted to ask Looping back is how. How much do you feel that the that energy that you got from them and that that inspiration from them how much do feel that? It echoes in what you do today. And how do you feel now? Teaching people how to how to gain the skills and how to how to talk about science in a in a more professional in a more efficient way Yeah I mean I think issue look at it that way and if you close close a cycling that way. I have a lot to thank those teachings for I think they D- just by being who they are gonNa push me in the right direction. I'm very happy with why do now and I'm definitely know exactly where I wanna be an. It's not only because of them because there has been a long few years between that and now definitely dot grid that they gave me kind of set you on the right track. So that's very yes. This is very touching today but the ans I don't feel like I'm necessarily I don't think I'm necessarily. I'm not trying to necessarily inspire people. I see like the way that they are what I'm trying to do is. I'm just trying to help people to have the tools that they need to do to communicate by themselves and have the confidence to speak in front of people where they may not have confidence to trust themselves. Trust every such has value on those things. Now I think If I wanted to get those things across than I'm pretty happy I agree with what you're saying. I seem to remember that one of the things that you told me about these teachers is that they they saw you in a way. You felt You felt that You were so you were While I'm missing I'm missing the words Maybe it's a bit exaggerated way I'm GonNa say but you felt that the way the attention they gave you kind of felt like you existed for them you were not just another sound in class and somehow I feel that this is what you just said that you were helping. People have confidence in themselves. I feel for me that there's something there. There's a connection there between that and the and how you felt when these people made you feel that you existed and that and that you were important for them in their class yeah hit US PRETTY CORRECT. Answer to the bit out there. But I don't know I to me maybe I'm I'm romanticizing but I feel that it's cool. I'm saying this because I myself have always wanted to teach or I've liked the idea of helping someone learn something that either they have difficulty learning or or some something that's complex and the to get them see that have that moment and and for sure. I've appreciated every teacher professor in the past who has given that that to and I think I feel that. You've you feel part of your realization that I feel that you have today comes with a kind of a job. Well done feeling of. I got this person to perform above their expectations. Yeah or at least a feel good about it at least because you're saying you know talk about introverts in the beginning and it can be. It can be a big obstacle to to overcome this this introverted nature anyway definitely. I find it super super interesting. I find super cool that that you're able to find this space where you're not only very close to science because you're hearing like you were saying about all the things that these people do be the. Engineers Medical Doctors Etcetera. So you're you're swimming in it constantly and you can. You can feel very you can feel that you have the pulse on what's happening. Let's say scientifically but also you are. You are feeding the other aspect of what interests you which is media communication and you made it your job. It's a super super cool. Yeah so James. A now. The the last thing I'd like to ask you is thinking of all of this that we talked about and again it's really easy to make sense of your life looking back then the then what. It looks like when you're leaving you're right. It's more chaotic with living it. But looking back at all you you were you told and and thinking of where you are today just re imagining you at that. Time of being maybe at the end of up HD Or at when you know that week that you took the time that you took to think okay. I need to do something I need to change. Something someone who's at that stage. I'd like to to think of a listener. That's that's Asian. Think of two or three pieces of advice that you could share with them to help them to help them find their path And and you know have a and take The steps and taking an actual steps towards a fulfilling professional path professional career path. Yeah okay so I think if specifically think as well about the those few weeks that I that I had during my PhD. Which were extremely Bolton to me. I think I would give one piece of advice. Just it is just stop literally. Just stop what is happening right now on. Give yourself some time off like we get so sucked up in all these things that we just forget about everything and our objective to to kind of get through a PhD ball. Sweet life can sometimes help. That was forget. The most basic important needs that we have which is a health. So you need to make sure that you eat well sleep. Well exercise a take breaks than those things may sound very basic and cliche but most people during the PG. Don't do those things on. I don't just mean a break as in light going to pub- after your PD mates after a long day allowed. I mean actually taking a weekend off on going away somewhere on actually not doing anything not reading anything about science and giving yourself some time going to bed properly eating and drinking water. If your body is healthy than your mind can be a station as you need to be so. Yeah but you cannot do that. If you do not stop unnaturally let yourself do those things properly. I totally agree. It's through that once. You're in that in that tunnel of of getting data and repeating experiments. That are failing. You can you can get into a very bad tunnel vision with thing. Where were you? Were you lose sight of these very very important things and like you say they? They seem simple. But it's also very simple to forget about them and then your health and you're and eventually your PhD is going to suffer for it because you won't be at a hundred percent of your capacities and if you could even have a mental breakdown etcetera etcetera etcetera so for sure right Exxon James. Thank you so much for for the for your advice. I think it's very like I said it's sounds simple but it's very important now. If people want to know what you're up to reach out to you are there some links some a hand twitter handle that you'd like to share right now. Yes oh I thought is. I have my own twitter handle which is at Jim Biologist. J I M B O s and the company's at Azure measure And you can follow. Both of we're doing on there. We also have a blog as well as AZURE DOT com slash. Blog is excellent will put all of those in the in the show notes and a in the. Yeah so also one thing can can people reach out to through through your twitter account to if they have questions about the career about maybe about the masters of course. Of course. Yeah I always open all right so for the listeners out there. James is very approachable and he has a great great journey behind him with with a lot of lessons learned. That for sure will will will give you some inspiration James. Thanks a lot for having come on on the Peachy podcasts. I really had a lot of fun chatting with you and learning about your journey. Thanks for having me. Thanks having and the all the best your your projects and for the book launch so again I will. I will keep up to date with that in and put updated links whenever it comes out Braille. Thank you thanks for listening to another episode of the Papa. Phd PODCAST head over to Papa. Peach Dot Com for show notes in for more food for thought about non-academic Boast Grad careers. I'll always be happy to share inspiring stories new ideas and useful resources. You on the podcast. So make sure you subscribe on Itunes or wherever you get your podcasts to always keep up with the discussion and to hear from our latest guests.

scientist Papa PhD France James James Bowers And Interact David Mendez Europe researcher Dole Science Communication Agency Kohl consultant Paris Korea James Nice Graduate School
Liliana Vitorino  Making the Choices That Are Good For You

Papa Phd Podcast

1:09:13 hr | 1 year ago

Liliana Vitorino Making the Choices That Are Good For You

"The thought of transitioning into professional life can be daunting at times what is expecting me on the other side am i going to be happy will it be easy i am i going to make if you add into the mix the question of toy stain academe and my failure if i don't it can become an overwhelming coming in paralyzing place to be emotionally in today's episode lilly entity in shares with us how she crosses ford and what factors were important for her at the moment of taking hard decisions along her journey she also talks about her experience getting into industry and growing professionally in this space what needs to have is an opportunity to state down and we did interviewer and show him or her her you know all the skills that we have or did we acquire you're doing because it's common for people just to think that if you are doing a PHD or if you are doing research this crazy scientists that leads on bubble and and that's trite welcome to papa PHD with david mendez the podcast asked where we explore careers and life after grad school with guests who have walked the road less traveled have unique stories to tell about how they made their place in the world of constantly evolving rules i get ready to go off the beaten path and hop on for an exciting new episode of papa PHD before we dive into today's episode i just want to let you know that i've prepared for for you a resource sheet to help you take a snapshot of your current situation and start defining your profile for the job market in your areas of interest you can download it by visiting pop a PHD dot com and following the instructions in the website footer i also wanted to let you know that because of some technical issues at the time of the interview with lindy on this microphone her sound is not perfect please bear with us and lisa non it'll be worth it so today we're talking with liliana vitrine leanna describes herself as a former biologist currently a product manager for medical devices in this activity she travels a lot works non stop it has has found along the way and always has time for friends and family welcome to the show super happy to have you on here on papa peachy we've known each other for a long time it goes back to my undergrad in biology and yeah i like to share a little bit about you about how you got from a bachelor's in biology to a PHD into the position you're currently in thank you david for having me today for these ted's so starting back nick on on my days so i need the PD on micro-biology focusing on infectious diseases so so even though i did went to medical school during the i i had a lot to the medicine i collaborated with some doctors so and now that bruce lee valuable experience you know since i've moved from the dan to the healthcare industry though dan dan but of course that this was not a straightforward straightforward right i think like everyone everyone else for years of PD they are it's never a a straight line right i think that's real life for for for everyone and for every student so the thing is that we we need to be agile not only during the PHD but after eight and and to decide what what is really the the past that you you want to do after the PHD so i'm a long way ahead several options i did different trend thinks and when i look back i it now seems to me that everything happened for a reason reason you know that you know i did these four years of HD i caught very good connections along the way i got you experience in in different areas as i was saying not only from the medecine part but also relaying the academia and and and in research and what i can say for you know during the via dis that are really met and i was surrounded by great people which always helped me in the most difficult times but also the most important thing is that so i was surrounded by people that believe me and set me for success success so and i truly believe that you know that helped me during the debate also helped me moving forward when i decided decided to move and to leave the the research world and academia so you mentioned that you had people around you that that situation for success us i think that's something super important and we'll definitely talk about that a little bit later but now i'd like to like you to go back to your your p. each the years and and share with the audience a little bit of you know how you with the help of of of this network of people but how you navigated especially the the finishing parts the no writing defending all the spark that has that brings a lot of stress and anxiety to a lot of people you know because i imagined by the time when you were you're writing in defended you'll already knew that you were going to follow a different path professional rights did you know by the time you're writing your thesis what what you're going to do professionally and how did you navigate that you know that that change range that transition when i was in my last year of the PHD i had a very awesome very very good opportunity opportunity that was no i was invited to speak in a big international conference the present i ant the day ahead so far that really was a turning point because as you can imagine i was the youngest this speaker on the meeting also the only for us one and that's really opened a lot of stores at that that time so i was invited who a final stage of my peach need abroad was ready to to do some go and i and write some articles in collaboration we keep people in the in in that area and and and and that you you know in the in the final year of my debt really gave me an extra motivation and put some lights at the end of the tunnel now because you know that at that time we were able i do believe that now the rules are different peta time we were able to apply to a post post grant even before presenting the fibers so all that together are you know it was it means that i moved for the last year of my i moved to bouncing you pay for a couple of months i the experience you know new challenges new colleagues movie go away for the first time away from home for a long period working in a different environment and you know how things get be really different from working in portugal and the peach and research reports all the dan in a big university in UK so if different experience even if journal clubs or how the journal clubs were conducted at time even seek nick fly friday afternoons the you know that science for instance i learned i never forget that experience for the first time i really learned that you do our best connections that you can do is really in an informal environment over for a pint and at we still do these right now even in the business world you know it's when you go to meet you have and you do your connection you've tried to influence the best you can to reach the goals most of the time these tino in a meeting or seat at the table in a meeting these overland or over dinner when you connect who won an important person take a decision maker or decision making you know for a for a particular felt so no all leads was the everything earn their happening this year was very helpful and when i start writing writing or finishing the last year off of my PHD it was very good now that because then i was invited if i keep will be worked there and move there for postdoctoral grant so i already have sat succinct you know planned but as every thinking lives changed quite an expectedly right so and i think she's also something that looks of ph d. students experience is that you finish your grant your pitch grant before you finish writing hiking or before you finish even you know all the experiences right and then you need money to survive to be really practical geico on at the same time you know there was a some herbal teas by scully like that in my personal oh life on that you know put in to get a job and as a way to be financially independent so at that time i was very practical so i ate irate have the peach this is i would like to do and move forward but in the meantime i really need to to to survive to have money while i'm writing the budgets so i applied for a job that i saw an ad in a or no at that for job a sales rep job in mississippi chico industry and i got the job among one thousand candidates anything they select thirty to start a new team and i got i got the job so dan i had the job during the day and i was writing this CD's during the ring tonight and that's where it was my i experience outside academia was was during those couple of months but to be really honest it was a very busy job so to speak so it didn't it's fulfilling me at all but what allowed me was right by the data was ready ready to defended by five a couple of months later and if he would have you know at at the plan was really okay and set the seasons i can activate my grant we'll move them off and then i will oh continuing research again you know it also seeks take again so it's easter bilby change approach bates BC's also may be something that i'd like to share it's all the dilemmas that we face and ah no headaches putin had to take a decision you know really nigeria by ceo shrike oh should i go to keep on research or keep going again are keeping the research for change completely in my career your fast it's not an easy an easy answer to get onto and within these b b a personal as well but detroit sees in oh i it was australia's really happy on the job but i got the proposal for another job as a product manager a your product manager in a new in molecular biology devices company so we also much or related to my my heart right so it was much inline we'd all oh my bad crop so far and on the other hand i could say dad it was my personal life and and equals equals love these courtney no but the acting that's also important because i was faced with a dilemma on what what guy prioritize sprite each be my recent relationship on staying enforceable and bet all my shapes on on that while i was presented with a new opportunity or to not in in in a in my career path change jobs or go for the post i grant that was awarded to anti was a very good i must say protect so that was calama- at that time so personal life versus academic and with a professional reposition that was in the background and that was offered to you exactly so that i knew that you know having a ah long distance relationships doesn't work on on to know even though i really wanted that at grant i would be happy on the other hand i was very excited and korea's on try on trying this new job offering and and applying some of the reasons some of the knowledge acquired during the pitch on a more practical level on on on a business side right so you can guess right so my decision than it yet was staying in for terrell and he's the father of my child so we are finding out that way and that i i developed myself in another perspective say that i see myself like i succeed on my personal life but also i moved to a complete different field right i was to mark tick and by started that journey that led me where i am now so almost most starting from scratch because you are also biologist you know that you don't learn anything about mark hey go through ooh university or or or PHD but also he eats it so much so much bit ground on so so many things that then going back and steady a beat and and self studying warring being really ultimate acted it helps you and you can really be successful it's definitely one of the things not that you pick up in grad school is learning to teach yourself different different different specialities and and learning learning to do new things on your own and i guess you had to do some of that but i imagine that maybe even in your first the job that you mentioned while you were writing the but probably more in the in your current position that the companies the higher you gave you some training is that the case and and if so how did that go you know as a learning to navigate in this new environment whether it was marketing and sales etc how is it how were you able to learn the language language learn the culture and and kind of find your bearings in this new universe so i can take with you for instance set on my first review for my first job so that one that was a sales rep we which by the way was quite quite harsh so i really thought that that would be selected the country manager at the end of of a very long interview view she said something like i can't see that you might turn out to be one of my best ninety days but i can ensure that if you get the all you need to find blackwell challenge outside work because it will be very bored at at a sprite so i was telling you it was outta the right choke for me it was really amihai no-brainer but and i got there because beat the first months we were trained on on the products and what products were meant for you know like a a mythology products really thinks that you know it was you really need i wonder the basics of human body and biology biology and i was there remember like he was like today you know this really have a clear they're very clearing my mind that people were not cheap knows about that and i was just pretending that was taking notes i was frightening from IT's because you know i knew almost all that what i need to know was really the directory speaks of the products right and then there was really an easy thing me but then when i moved to more product manager position of course always needs to to to be trained on product itself and it's you you need to train yourself and you know be korea's who who learn about if you're moving to this field who read books about mark dayton even now that are moving more towards managing zeeshan zeeshan listening vodka about managing marketing it's always unique we always up to date on all the topics topics and one would think of inning in the industry is that varies clear career path debt they except you and they discuss view on this is always something that you which and they put food in your development plan okay what are the gaps that i have for this job and she took an how can i overcome those riots and how can the company help you in overcoming those gaps if it's a training inside of training that can be developing side is having a coach colleague step can coach so these sees he's especially in in in be companies that really have that development land on on the other hand on what you have is how you can leverage your excuse it'd be better on your job and also how you can leverage skills skills how your fears right or colleagues so and if you see all the skills that we acquired during the and i think they are you know there are a lot of skills that we have and what we on what we really need east to have an opportunity on the frank beckmann even what i was thinking about these these first experience and at the end it was a great opportunity so open to new realities at the business related the ones and as you can imagine you know you spend four or five years in pitched me no one talks to you about revenue goals or you know how much euros or dollars you need to achieve or you need to sell and what our objectives therm so off alf urinate saw forecasting rights even in a PHD as the researcher it's it's really you're going to worry about how much the pipe tips cost and that's usually that's left to supervisors right or someone who manages lab for a student it's out of your realm of of of you know what you worry about and what you're responsible of so i don't know even how today when you applied kitschy grant but at times i was i never feel del tweet numbers whereas you know i i i know that afterwards you know having to sumita now they're kind of projects you need to really do put over our head counts and all that right new equipment the cost of everything but for a PHD you i really don't have a clue if are doing you know dan yards today how much that costs right yeah it's it's not it's not something that's part of of the the mandate for supervisors to too but it probably you know we would gain in from having some glimpse of that too because it's very applicable later on if you if you choose different careers now we're almost it's getting to the point of the interview and one of the things that are that are i think i i understood from what you're saying thank you i'd like to develop a little bit more has to do with what skill set translates to your current position that comes from in your experience doing doing research and doing your and the idea is you know is just to share with with the listeners news that may be thinking oh but you know i'm doing a PHD and then if i leave for if i go to industry i will have wasted my time or you know it's gonna be a it's going to be a lost on a on on that job or that position so yeah just share a little bit of how the mindset and the the skills that you bring his PHD help you every day and helped you get to the position you're in today i got a question almost all my interviews you know not not now but when i started or at least know my first two or three jobs because as you can imagine my CV for the first and the second job was the bunch of articles published leashed all the poster type presented thorough communication and that's it right then of course it's different but you no i always put their on my CV and vernon it's by leaping bruce feiler no it's all the thinks that i did during my my during my PHD and i think that that's that's quite important and i think the what we need to half is an opportunity to sit down we did interviewer art show he more her you know all the skills that we have or we acquired during impeach me because it's so common for people just to think that you are doing a PHD or if you are doing research that you are a crazy scientist aced that leaves on bubble on and on and that say tried so showed that you know how i'm to communicate that you have one that i truly believe relearn with beach it's resilient right and i think that's really really helpful also you know we deal during the PD we deal with so many different stakeholders we we also need to influence our colleagues our a bench to help us to discuss and we don't we don't work even if it's only our project right and our colleague on on on in front of you know offense are working in a different front we don't work in silos if you do i think you are not you won't succeed so it's it's really important for people to understand that we know how to communicate that we know how to work as a team player that we we deal with different culture we meet different people and and that that is very forefront spent on debt is what will make someone a manager you know to help you in in in the team is to have something who to have someone we'd we'd debt kind of experience and someone that of course it it depends on on the top position they were applying for but someone that if you are in a us we the in a position like i am now i mean marketing but in the healthcare environment everything is is moving quite fast you know there there is science behind so sparing for that too that you you develop all the marketing and beasley the go-to market strategies but always we their rotational behind on the clinic on scientific mindset and bay it crowns and probably dead swat sets me apart from other colleagues that don't have that that backgrounds and i've known that doesn't mean that i am better or worse dead means that as a manager if you have an through genius team we different backgrounds eats much better and that's why to be important to have this kind of people people in in in teaming in the business environment and we are all different we all have different backgrounds but testing the scientific one really helps like i see one of my colleagues that has engineer big crown he seeks six and the way he thinks he's completely front of by way of seeking but there there is a we complement met each other like all their colleagues complimented our way we think and defense strategies and that what makes a uh a team stronger so and and that would be i think my advice that we really meet you know for a PHD PHD student to have the opportunity to talk show in what what are the things and do the skills and tools that he can leverage from to the business and of course is not doing you know an experiment but it's how to deal we'd all dacia was held to solve problems for instance who you mentioned in problem solving in a i agree that in that i think it's one of the b- once uh-huh as a PHD especially if you if you're doing something experimental one of the big things you learn one of the big takeaways is learning to to south problems then sometimes complicated ones and for sure employers will appreciate that in a new team but i find it interesting also that the what you're saying is okay i'm coming with this background i studied this i researched in this this mean this doesn't mean that i'll be maladaptive to to the team that will be integrated it'll it means that what i will bring the steam is going to be different and will will will improve the kind of swiss army knife that team is and we see that people are really moving from academia and research to industry it's expelled considered at least four to rely a good move or a nice move on and heavy pitchy might consider because CPA light overqualified right but my opinion yet there's no such sinks like someone that these overqualified for a job in the same way that consider we see there for a job just because we expect we liked experience so if you think about myself in the beginning i was both i was only fight we hit the and ahead zero experience but nevertheless i got i open the second one and then i i i went from there where i will i am now oh so that's really something which just needs to go and half attempts to boost sell ourselves you know if that's the job that you want or at least to try that okay now i want to move when other into different things so what competencies die leverage and then go free to and just work hard and with your best lakes yourself in in the zeke chef that you would like to yourself excellent i'm really enjoying hearing what you're saying and definitely will continue talking a little bit about it because this skills of selling yourself again as a PHD HD as a doctoral researcher these skills are not things that you're developing you know by default and i yeah i'm really secrest to talk to you about this a little bit more which will do after this little break i'd really love you the audience to play an active role in the show so life there's a theme you'd like to see covered on the show or if there's a guest you'd like me to interview head over to anchor dot FM for slash papa peach tea and drop us a voice message to be featured on a future episode on the website you can also subscribe to our newsletter and get our resource sheet at the bottom of every page and you can also leave also written message in our contacts page so welcome to partout of this conversation with really energy between before the break liana was talking about how important it is to kind of reframe you know what you learned from from your grad school days to to tailor it specifically towards whatever you employer is is looking king in in the term she was you know learn how to sell yourself yes as a PHD but you know as a potential value lou added member of a team i find this is very very important and one of the things that i'm curious is that i offer that you had while you were writing in terms of pay what what were you expecting you know that was kind of a had a side gig that you were getting because you're writing in writing so probably your expectations will not extremely high but how how was that process of someone suggesting seena salary and maybe negotiating and then how did that change may be in your second job and yeah basically what can people expect you know coming out of a beach see as compensation for their first physician and also what mindset do you think is the most useful so at that time and the most conducive to eventually having a fulfilling path and getting to you know to the position in the the the the numbers let's say the expect and that you foresee for yourself i would say that the thing or the divine fat instead which have you know going the first of coming from a PHD maybe if people issue cup diversity ease he's that one expect to start on top position just because you have a PHD right just because you you seek yourself like a smart person that you publish more than and are any favors now you have a couple of students dance working we do for you you are you are considered in india anemia world world already know vary as vary a valuable person enter knowledgeable but don't get it moving from researched tweens treat go doesn't always mean that your p. h. e. or is considered in the same way that wars or east considering the inya world so i i understand and i i can't see that that that is not yet can be a no it doesn't help us a lot seeking that i studied for life or for four or five years morath university and i was working hard on the now to acept this role that i think you know i deserve a diamond on the i would be better in a- another and on another level or you know on who's each but honestly i think that if you have an opportunity we should embrace it and you know i work very hard on and really showed that we deserve at work very hard as i was saying we can be successful on a new ford and my experience in the business world also usually people move around you know every two or three years years when when you have way you you are good on watch to there will always be opportunities inside the company or outside the company so and let your question about the salary but but that's very important you know that for the first for different the interviews or every time they go through an interview that you are able oh to sell yourself in terms of explaining really what are your your how can contribute to your your exactly how can you contribute to that team you know what how you know you feel we'd we'd all the the things ho how you ruez as a person and and on a professional official site during your pitch now can leverage that on a professional way but also you know we fell sophy in a strong position at two to negotiate really and this is very important also to show a beach bed also is a fine line right not to to show beat off i should earn orono i get get these job and i want to learn these but also of course not be the same level as any our a colleague that worth it so a coming back were asking me not in the first job i an idea even discussed the salary i really wanted the job as a way as i stated before to be financially independent at at that time i i can openly say that they offered me the same amount that i was earning as a PHD student so so at that time fifteen years ago was around nine hundred rose a month net value so so bless insurance and a car because as a sales rep you need to to have a car and at that time for me was was was perfect you know it was he sees what i had before i had to grant so and i have a bit more even of benefits right now and of course when you move forward in your career also you'll learn how to negotiate and mm-hmm as a assembled rule wishfully you should always when you move and you move up in your career path and you move and when you move from the company's one of the things that you've read in books is at you between fifty percent increase in art salary and maybe something for your listeners to to have in mind when moving forward words and reading the industry but also now you know there are so many resources you know you can you have a blogs you'll have outcasts about you know how to good shape in a name to view how to prepare yourself in the in for interviews and i i must say that no my interviews so when i i applied for the sales rep position and then when i plight for as it near a product manager for for molecular diagnostics i never are you prepared myself i just went there i like to talk so we talk than i ah no i tried to to use everything that that i had in my favor to show that i would be right candidate than the perfect match for for best position but then moving forward to the other ones that these last one that and the position that i am now as an international brother manager i really i really prepared myself so i why i read the description i i read a lot of all business because i also i would submit each who while our gaze on i did some research ball tell much these job position was fade in the so michael patriots has publications on on the range of salaries sarpi salary ranges juice in different countries for in different industries so that also could way for us to have an idea on how much in we ask for or negotiate so and then also benefits but when you already have some benefits coming from one company and moving to the of course at at least you expect to keep those same benefits it's always you know us no water watt other benefits are available on adult that taking taking into consideration when you take a chop so any change companies rights what are the pros and cons so oh and another advised that that would like to he's leaked any very good forty so we have lots of head hunters there you have coach career coaching both singles things you know that even even if you start the conversation with some of them they can because also they want to sell themselves to you because they won't know for these head hunters enters and career coaching they they were to expand their can't their networking and their no the the people that they can they can oh for a job right and again workweek queasy the future so what i'm hearing is i if there's a a an organization a company you'd like to work for get your foot in the door meaning do your homework see what what if you think you have salary what's on glassdoor there's different sorts of websites also so where people can see what types of salaries exist to do your homework be ready to start low ish but then work your way towards the position that you want and the the in the also the salary that you want and from what i understand also be on the lookout for internal career development opportunities that arise because you seem to have mentioned that not long ago you yourself had had an internal change of position towards this international project manager one right to him i'm happy with what i'm doing right now so i was happy before but that doesn't mean that you should stay doing the same thing or even in the same industry for the rest the life and a now abates everything is so exchange quickly right and and also it's easy to get backboard companies really appreciate people that are ambitious and wants to move on on the career and there was i was saying before they really really put in place a career development when too and for each of their employees so we we always look at all our competitive right ones that we developed before recover PHD or even during a job that i really like but it was the way that we started when moving from academia to between this turning all these competencies in assets really used that offsets to promote what's your go to another job another position moving forward no aunt you only need get take an opportunity and opportunity to start and and this is by experience even if it's not way you would really like mike on the way you know saying these kids really quite the job that i want but eve yourself time say i will do these seeks funds and i will i will baton tried to move to another position another company another fields and other industry whatever but and ben i'm pretty sure then when you look back you will see that you something exciting we did that experience you will you gain a couple of competitive 'this you know experiences sees connections even you will at appoint these anymore so theses are when you know what's wrong along with i would when you know what don't want and at the sadat's for you know what we don't want we need to experience that so we need inflow -tunities we need works also work on creating those opportunities and that's and that means you know network inc. searching applying did you see no connect with head ahead ahead the hunters really something that want to do when you finish your piccinini feats to have an opportunity talk to the industry that's what you really would working on to get yourself attempts that's really good advice vice and like you were mentioning today lincoln is a very very good resource very good place to be for for for that because it's so the so much happening being in the so many people actively using the platform now i i'd like to switch gears to something a little bit different and because i think we've covered a lot of what's important to talk about when thinking of practical things about finding a position in interesting this case but one of the things that we kind of touched upon a little bit but that i imagine that even and when changes within an organization may arise our fear of change a little bit of anxiety with with different challenges that a new position in can bring can you share a little bit about how you know what type of these types of obstacles or fears you may have felt i deciding hiding okay i'm not going to post up way and i'm going to stick with with his industry job and second example you're less change of of position within the organization worked for meant a different scope an international scope i'd like it to share how you deal with that how how you bring yourself to that mindset where you can take decisions and kind of have some certainty of okay this is what i want to do and this is what i don't want to do as you can imagine it's it's not easy it's not easy i think you know having to have the possibility of of zinc but it's always a dilemma when you need to john's aunt at that time zinc of canceling the postal witch that would close that really would mean closing the door to research of course you can always try to apply again but then let's be honest writes that i knew would that be the way for at least if any for one year let's try now industry and then if i don't like it i can always come back yes i could but i knew that being away for one year not ugly shane you know science moves cried fast how they hung naked see that you know most of my friends keep doing research and i i like to hear them but sometimes it's almost will seek like chinese to me because so many new things going on that day but but that's the thing so that would mean closing belk store but the lampe was but what about if i don't fly you know the job or you know if i don't have what takes to succeed in the business world but i don't have any marketing experience what about the they take off you know i'm not because they know that they are they are they are hiring meat beat based on my curriculum i i'm not lying right they know their time i don't have experience so far but but all these thoughts were on top of my hat so at it's really not a not not easy right to choose and protected i moved school another troll i've faced similar dilemmas right eats and as you can imagine any were saying so i wasn't a in the same job for ten years i also in the healthcare industry as i was i was offered these great project and and that was in a one of the reasons or the main reasons why i moved it was i really like these projects being there and moving to an international rule and and even though it's quite quite tired and it makes me be away from home at least two days of we can't traveling the law and vary depending but you know it's i still love do we eat that on the i don't regret movie aetna changing but also attempt time you know all the thoughts about isa goods movie my career you know rely i be able to manage these high depending job while helping illegal at home what about my arctic experience i i know that i'm good now in what i'm doing in my infirm authority in portugal we is a very spoiled country when when you think about now i need to read them in europe middle east south africa and all those countries what about the five not good enough official want so it's it's really very difficult to think at at you think about the pros and cons john's and all that of course that it's very important have the support of family wherever you do right right if even if it's just to stay and just to stay in the safeguard move to the next building a different job score for meets reported i imagine you must have had like long conversations about this partner also right yeah definitely because you can imagine how also that change how you wake you have your daily life you know in the family the end how you need to change even simple things like we need to make sure that we have someone always available oh to pick her up at school if i'm not around or you know more help at the house because i'm not here for a couple of dates so so or even sometimes the week so but i'm really glad to that i accept that he turned out to be a very a great experience and and and i would say that my advised that won't i thank you know it's almost be anxious about detainees and the arnold to have doubts but i think we really embrace the opportunity and jump into the opportunities that are presented it was right then then we would work hard exceed ourselves in a in in the role that we are offered to keep learning and strand strikes the best in everything that we do i think it's the way to succeed now one of the things that this brings about for me has to do with self care so in all of this you know you just health you give yourself challenges and clearly once you do you go full steam and you try to to do your best but the question i'd like to ask askew is even even in graduate school when when you're doing your PHD also you were fulltime you know digging into whichever research gotcha subject you were working on and putting all your efforts but that's what i'd like you to to share is what strategies he's or what habits do you have that that are that help you specifically deal with the stress with sometimes what do you do due to to recharge batteries to sometimes find the peace to take decisions do you have anything on that side that you can share and let's say they did we all know that nowadays all these cultivating desalvo fund and there is a it's a hot the topic right and there is a more collective awareness of forty four at south well-being of mental and taking time for ourselves our family and also seen in the in the industry and more and more companies have initiatives like such as as walking meetings longer parental leaves gino fees all that so now for me in indies zeeshan and i would say these before so i've home-based here in virtual so when i'm not traveling i'm a home base and then i don't have really announced of at least we always have even as jane in helps but it's very important now for companies really cultivate and promote wrote that well being and i i really see that as a bloods because we we are always always connected every time we start working and start on conference calls and meetings even not traveling you know i can't be suited for all day in the desk with my headphones list conference poll after conference call so it's very important who are to have died from yourself who say now today it's an off you know you you're we're on schedule as a portuguese for instance for me it's important to stop for at least thirty minutes and have a proper lynch don't have a a sandwich while you are typing and email which is something that other colleagues because their culture of sports but having you know a very demanding job and even if i think about each students you know that faith or headlines that are stretched we divided that's coming up it's very important to say for today's enough now i will go for l. go running for thirty minutes or go to the gym gene or i will speak up my key that school earlier today and go to the garden or go for a walk with him at play a big so and i think that's where i find a at the balance it when i'm not home when i'm traveling no i i use that time to will my emails and to try to catch up with all the things that have to do at also find time to on the plane three the b. to hear my podcasts to make sure they pay heed to jayme every time that i can but then when i'm here at halftime and and you know that you know to have no which friend and have dinner with france and i think that's for me that's one of the most important important things that you know so easy we'd we'd the eighth live and very busy and prioritize keats it's and and job that we took forget to have our france and said li's christmas and everyone trying to schedule dennard so i really try to to get to know with my friends in a regular basis and try to go me at now during christmas all eight just went only skiing because it's really disconnected on have your phone your emails and or hiking that's something that i also enjoy right and and most of the time the pentagon health network over which is perfect and that would be elite you know my my advise even for the young students that lines during the PHD's that whatever what whatever they liked to do that you know stamping routine if it's in the morning warning or running or no feinstein to yourself at least once a week and rarefied yourself on paradise the tov or the or the kids you know what's a week at least prioritise yourself to reach arch and you know to feel more fit better with your south basically one of the things that i remember we're from from when i was back in lisbon was the the group of friends we had there at the around the research labs and that that created a very very nice let's say safety net of just the friendships of people for with them we spent more time we we we had meals we we did other things so for sure having a social network not another virtual one real won a round yourself super useful during the during grad school for sure but also in throughout throughout life but then having these little habits of disconnecting and then of taking care of your health of your body and your mind for sure i let me just add one thing here here you know that transact ID during the year are my friends for life now and they were very they help the the law not only during that stage of my life but even words in difficult times but now ooh in more in the business environment i know or or maybe even we shouldn't be france with everyone on that we work with dry but but i truly believe too heavy colleagues on secret france and there will always be people that it resonates with you and that you consider them as friends i think that that makes your the job easier and lighter and if you think about it we spend much more time during the week with our co workers than we worship rochette me so i want to read a sentence that i completely agree with that i even wrote in one of filing info apple sent it's something like these you know having friends at work and the feeling that you are working towards a common goal or booting to something the bigger than yourself which can be incredibly motivating and rewarding and you know i agree one hundred percent we descendants anthony and i think it's helps a lot when you work with people that you enjoy at work we'd and that you consider friends that's that's definitely true and same thing for for when you're doing to having friends around you is always always brings you know some joy and and makes things easier liliana thank you so much for having no giving me giving me this time that i know is precious for you and and yup i am i hope that you'll keep having success after success in in your endeavors and that you know you'll ooh you'll keep enjoying what you do and that eventually you'll be able to to keep giving back to people who are out there and and asking themselves what's going to happen after my ankle i hope that that people find these useful the the differently will thanks for listening to another episode of the papa peach de podcast head over to papa peach dot com for show notes in for more food for thought about non-academic boss grad careers i'll always be happy to share inspiring stories new ideas in useful resources here on the podcast so so make sure you subscribe on itunes or wherever you get your guests to always keep up the discussion and to hear from our latest guests

david mendez papa PHD ford thirty minutes five years one year one hundred percent fifteen years fifty percent ninety days three years four years ten years two days
Episode 6: Fiona Robinson  Listening to Your Inner Voice

Papa Phd Podcast

1:10:03 hr | 2 years ago

Episode 6: Fiona Robinson Listening to Your Inner Voice

"Imagine swimming three point nine kilometers then biking one hundred and eighty kilometres and then running a marathon it me sounding possible or a task for superhumans but people like you and me set up to do it diligently trained for months and months and then do it they run the iron man and when they do they pushed through physical pain to mental blocks and through of giving up and crossing that finish line line is there prize bringing them feelings of exhilaration accomplishment and empowerment when you embark on a master's or a PhD you owe it to yourself to finish to be empowered by what you learned and by what you accomplished and to come out stronger for whichever life project you choose to embrace in this episode funeral. Evanson will share her insights on pushing through and on finding a fulfilling professional life outside of academia welcome to papa. PhD With David Mendez The podcast where we explore careers and life after Grad school with guests who have walked the road less traveled and have unique stories to tell about how they made their place in the world of constantly evolving rules get ready to go off the beaten path and hop on for an exciting new episode of Papa PhD before we dive into today's episode. I just WanNa let you know that I've prepared for a resource sheet to help you take a snapshot of Your Currency Situation and start defining your profile oil for the job market in your areas of interest you can download it by visiting Papa. PhD Dot Com and following the instructions in the website footer welcome to the this show so today. I'll be talking with Fiona Robinson following. Hd are in biochemistry at Cambridge University and Post Doc in developmental neurobiology and oncology at the Toronto Hospital for sick children. Fiona moved to Montreal and shifted careers into science communications nations and Medical Education. Currently Fiona is the educational materials manager in a mid size international medical not for profit elite elite volunteer in the local women's hockey community and half an Ironman Fiona. Welcome to the podcast now. I'll let you tell tell pillow listeners a little bit more about yourself. Thank you thank you very much. David the pleasure to speak with you when you contacted me and asked me to talk a little bit about in my career progression from graduate studies do what I do now. I was very enthusiastic to do so because I remember going to some phases where I really had no idea what direction to go in and didn't feel very confident and I have to stay kind of landed somewhere right actually very happy and like people to know that you know that's a very probable outcome was doing maybe searched working as a PhD student and as as a post doc and even as a research associate. I really did enjoy the bench work. I enjoyed writing. I really enjoyed the writing part of it. I found John Myself often helping other people with their communications in the lab editing disease and papers or helping students to prepare for their committee meetings but I didn't see a long term future for me in research and I was sort of disappointed because it's what I wanted to do for a long time and I did stick at it for quite a long time but I also found that I was finding a lot more fulfillment in some of the things that I was doing outside of the lap and just because I'm a naturally as somebody who looks to federal into community when I moved. I moved around quite a bit during the study. Every time I went to a new city would do two things I would find hockey team. I'm to play on and I would go to the volunteer center and find similar to volunteer and those two things ended up really being. I think he to the direction I ended up taking everything is a lot of the volunteer things that I did where around science communication in medical education and not even necessarily by design those were just the opportunities that lead to any when I would go to those volunteer centers. I joined a an HIV AIDS education group in Cambridge accent found myself giving classes in high school about viruses and I joined a group called Cy High in Toronto that did hands on demonstrations demonstration's our science to either schools or community groups. I started volunteering also as an editor on journal called hypothesis which was that an open access access online journal that had been started by a group of graduate students and so I just found myself often going in the same direction and really enjoying that work and and when I moved to Montreal and my partner and I knew to Montreal for personal reasons I decided to start as an experiment try continuing to look for research fission but also looking for opportunities in the Science Communication Medical Education Theo and just see which one opened up I and it was it was the direction that I that I ended up going in. It was a science communication side really built up a passion for wanting science and knowledge of a science to serve society and I think a lot of do research because we want to serve society. We want the research results to benefit the public we want. I want things to be better for people with certain illness or we want to improve outcomes in some area as a result of our research and I think there's a few ways that can happen and one by advancing the research but the other is by communicating it well to people and people understanding it and that's where I felt that there was a lot of opportunity and a lot of breakdown breakdown where the headland since you seen in the papers don't always reflect the research that's being done it ends up. I think with the society that maybe doesn't feel feel really confident or familiar with science and they don't always see it as a positive thing and so I always kind of interested in trying to impact that and empower people would sign so while I was doing my PhD with that was at Cambridge and I was on a pretty small personal stipend and so to make ends meet. I worked as a cleaning lady so I would go to this lady's House for a couple of hours per week in cleaner house and she was under a smart lady she had already a PhD in one field and getting a second degree in another but she hired me because she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and she found that with all that cleaning houses ball was too much and I liked it because it was a chance to just switch my brain off and just do something manual and quite often while I was writing my thesis by ideas of how to bring the data together came while it wasn't thinking about it but so we're giving leaving I was literally scrubbing the toilet and she came to me with this package insert for her medication and she said He. Can You understand this because tomorrow tomorrow I have to decide if I'm going to continue taking this drug or not and I don't understand with this sets and it was you know the list of prescribing information and potential adverse presidents and that sort of thing and I thought ten things at that point. I thought one if her best resource at this point that information is her cleaning lady. There's a problem with the system spent are getting information. She needs and the second thing. I realized that that's what I WANNA. Do I want to use my ability to analyze analyze information light bat research. Maybe some background around it and use what's available to help. Patients make the right decisions for them. I didn't know anything thing about multiple sclerosis at that time particularly I was I was doing already sliced into my hd but I could find out what she needed to know to understand what she was trying to beat and to make a decision that was best for her and so it was sort of in that moment with the toilet brush in hand that I was like this is what I wanna do with that looked like at high. I had no idea that even existed existed as a is there such a job as an. It took me ten years to find that position. PhD and went onto did a faux stock because I did the research I went onto being research associate but it had federally spark than me something that I felt like there was something else that I could do but this with the abilities developed the researcher and in fact I came when we came to Montreal. I started working in medical education and and I worked in a couple of different positions and when I saw the description for the job that I do now I would lit up. This is my job. That's what they're looking for for the last ten years and at the end I applied for it and I went for the view and it was sort of funny interview. They were saying Japanese questions and I said really but it's not because I don't WanNa knowns votes because I do know I know is that I walk and they they said that it was quite convincing so good but it's it's. It's quite amazing because you know I think maybe that's an important takeaway. Is that You don't have to know exactly what her job looks like or what it is or what its title is you. You have to kind of know what you're passionate what you'd like to be able to do which you feel like you can do at then you start looking around for it and you you. You may not get to directly. I think in academia we kinda get used to a very linear progression to your graduate postgraduate and you know it's very kind of linear it's Uni Directional and it's pretty much predefined out of that. You have to embrace a certain amount of uncertainty. I don't know necessarily where you're going but in some ways that's liberating silly will for example your first job. Out of academia is very unlikely to be your lifetime. I am job is such a thing exists anymore in not outside of academia not that many people start a job when he finished education and Spain arrested a career. There's is a lot of changes in direction and focus and pleading complete change of career so when I came I in outside of academia it it. I knew when I took it that I didn't WanNa do that forever but it did give me some really good experience getting into kind of science communication area and also showing in place that could work in a non academic environment is that through the important not academic employers can be quite reluctant to hire the people have been in academia for a while they have some kind of impression that we're unsociable and layers and not necessarily manageable the cush bookish and kind of stuck in the ivory tower and it's important to have something to show something for them to take a look at and say okay. I think a person has some social skills percent. It'd be part of a team so that's where things like having played hockey in different places and being involved in various volunteer activities it also showed them that I had a life outside of a lab work and that I was capable of working with other people. That even had an inclination to do that but those are living together I did because I am joined. I think they ended up being a real positive in terms sir and showing a potential corporate employer or non-academic employer that I could be part of their team and that you were multifaceted. Person and potential employees are sure. I think that it's important it was also really important to meet in terms of just being healthy as a whole individual during my studies I tried going. Maybe one semester without playing hockey and I realized that I didn't feel well. It'll play hockey. I only played a very low level international league but it's it's really important. It's where I find other women who are like me play recreational hockey. We don't take ourselves too seriously. We have good laugh would do something already and that that proved to be essential for me. So what I'm understanding here is that you were you always gave importance and tell me if I'm interpreting right to having a balance between your work clive we in the in this case study beat Bishop O. Stock but also then extracurricular activities but what I find very interesting and is that I feel that you found this calling which was to to get scientific knowledge to everyone or as many people as it's possible but what you did was always find a way to nurture this this side of of your interests with the volunteering yeah absolutely I admit that I wasn't so good at the balancing earlier on I mean as an undergraduate anyone eamon who knew me as an undergraduate with that was far too far too often in the library and not often out in the bars and but that was something I had to kind of mature into I think and I got better at it. As I went further my studies and I think it also became more necessary for me man up to a certain important. I was prepared to keep my head down on my nose event. Just keep working for that academic career but also over time I realized that I didn't it wasn't doing it for me and though branching out it hadn't volunteering and doing other things just became essential for me and like I said in a a number of cases that were more fulfilling than what was going on in the lab for me. Even though I liked the bench research and I like I like the research just it was very hard to see a long term future. You're in it became clear to reasonably early on that. It wasn't likely to become a professor and so run any kind of long term stability and it was hard to we'll see how that was going to happen excellent so so given that you had this you know that you felt felt that the academic path was not going to be fulfilling for you long-term how did that impact you know your your a graduate milestones like writing up your PhD or going through Your Post Doc. Did you did pose obstacles was it was it easy for you to finish each chapter. Let's say of of your graduate and Postgraduate Studies. How did this knowledge that you want to follow so something else. Impact you know the final stages of let's say you're PHD and and even your post to say that I was the final year of my PhD for at least eighteen months it's about. I think that might be experience. Other people have as well where I guess it takes a while to finish. It's not it's not the most fun time. It's stressful and you wonder how you're gonNA get through it. I was pretty motivated to finish because I did like a research. I love writing mm-hmm so actually in one of those. Weirdos enjoyed writing consists in uh there was a very high time pressure on so that was kind of less pleasant but I really act could actually she just sit right. I liked doing that and I was very motivated. I knew I wanted to post doc so I was very motivated to finish up and go on and post op okay during my post that I kind of lost steam because I just didn't see it going anywhere really promising and that was when I had to really think inquired about what to do and unfortunately I think also not getting yeah. There's not a lot of mentoring around that kind of reflection so I was very lucky to have a good friend. we actually did our needs both in Cambridge and then ended up both both post docking at sick kids in Toronto and and Mariana Vargas Cavallo and she would sit with me we would have these long chats over lunch and she knew she wanted to do she wanted. It's very search she. She is doing research now. She's very successful as really good research and she's managed to balance it out. She's got a beautiful family and but she really helped me to realize that we're responsible for our own happiness. No one has to come along and figure these things out for you and it's nobody's he's job to do so I think sometimes we feel like we just got a separate through things but we're not GonNa End Somehow American that and in fact there's not really you. You get one shot at life. If you're not enjoying it it's nobody's problem but your own and the opportunity and the responsibility to do anything about it is also sir uniquely your arm and she really helped me to reflect on that and I sort of funny because she did not encourage me to leave academia not at all but she helped me to see that's what I wanted to do and so you know she kind of really helped me to start looking for those other opportunities and it started instead of doing a second post. Doc is you can just go on forever post. Docs becoming a research associate instead and that gave me an opportunity to be in a slightly different inquisition in the lab. I really enjoyed that and I would have if when we came to Montreal if an opportunity like that would've worked out I would have taken it and gone in that direction I think but it happened that fundings AIDS changed right about the time Game Montreal and a couple of labs that wanted to hire me dude administrative rules couldn't because they couldn't in that kind of money to a research associate so I you know it kind of just circumstances conspired that the opportunity to Work Ama- first physician outside of academia was working to create public education posters that you'd see some times in pharmacies and doctors waiting areas at their sponsored guy farmer company but they're still educational. There's no promotion to them because they know that the more certain conditions are diagnosed more of their particular product we'll be prescribed but that was that was a great opportunity for me because it gave me a chance to change completely go into the office environment working team worker an non-academic employer with budgets timelines clients and they were interested in it because I had worked with science. It's education outside the LAD. All those things I had outside live just interested they got in the door for mutual well now. I also should mention and that it took about a year to get that so I started looking for work in January until we moved to Montreal in the summer and in the fall oh I was looking at one hundred percent I was all of my time was spent looking for a job and it was December before I got a job that was rush. That is really hard. Look at yourself often. You think you know I've got a pretty smart for all kinds of skills and I can get an intricate pretty immoral and better it was worth it because you know the first interview that I got I got the job and it runs a fantastic opportunity to learn all those thanks and proved that I could do all of those things I and I stayed there for less than a year within a year. I had kind of gotten what I could out of the job but I also so they had a CB that show that I could do this kind of work and so happened that my goalie in hockey team was working for a company that was is doing something similar but on a much more advanced level and so when I went to Denmark my cd fire her which really helps to have that connection. They looked at what I was. He's doing. They also look back at my parents. Were I remember sitting in the interview for that position and they said Oh wait. You've edited journal which was being done at the ball and Terr- well that's interesting. Maybe we should bring you on his junior editor and so that was what got me an opportunity to go again a little further dude things that were more challenging pick got more skills really developed rather than just making sort of short posters display was learning how to be learning modules and interactive media and on onsite in person training workshops and cool so that was fantastic that really expanded my repertoire a what what I could manage because a big part of that kind of work as well. He's actually project management and then officially. I was a medical editor but you're also managing a lot of the project and you're working with an entire team. The writers graphic artists who are donators and so that whole side of it. It's a whole lot of social skills and organizational skills and while lyle think you develop organizational skills in the lab again knowing that you've got those social skills they often come outside of a lab and that's something else that I think it's it's worth thinking about because when we're in the lab we tend to think that we we only know the kind of information that we know and we forget about all the other aren't. Aren't we develop as researchers. I it's it's true and I think I mean research. The with the thing I've seen that I think is the biggest transferable skill. The research is the ability to take a big problem from a big question ray get into smaller parts and evaluate those. What do I need to tackle each of those knows. How can it be who you are need. What's the timeline on that have to be done in a certain order execute them and then bring them back together into into one big thing that's just right. That's also event planning that's also if you want to take an idea and build it up to a publication developing a product of launching like anything like that those are skills you need and the the management consulting companies in the UK used to come remember recruit from the life science programs are Cambridge and lewd why we don't have any business knowledge and they said well your literate your numerous and you can do problem solving critical thinking. That's what we need. We can teach at rice and I think that's the case for so much research. We have all of those skills and it and it's not everybody who has really refined their skills so he finds something else. You're interested in and you start applying that kind of rigorous method to it. You probably find that you're pretty good yeah definitely an in long term projects that could take no years peachy sheet masters could be two years but a PhD can be six seven and and so th there's you you're not you're not going to be intimidated by regular six-month projects at tweets ever a whichever job that you're working so so fuel yeah. I I agree with everything you're saying. we you know you come out of of Grad School and even a post doc with with a huge amount of of stamina you know and resilience to to take on it's very very challenging projects and and this is often very interesting an interesting set of skills for employers the for employers that are looking for candidates with the the profile of of either masters. OPEC graduates now you seem to you know you you kind of told or or you've got you've kind of is gone over a whole arc of of of your story from from Undergrad to Grad School you've talked about the importance sports had specifically hockey had keeping you a sane and healthy throughout it's same thing with volunteering and finding ways to give back to the community and and I find it very very important giving back is to me one of the most effective ways to to get back to to due to recharge your almost your spiritual batteries ahead of no shoe shoe degree right and it seems to me that throughout all of this. You've always kept a positive attitudes and this links to my next next question. which is what made attitude of principal? Would you say has accompanied and guided you from from that turning point of that moment of of knowing what you wanted to do later on today and how has this attitude impacted your life up to today. It's it's a good question and I think I would not have been able to finger on it at the time but looking back I think I think it's a combination of two things one. Is that village ation. It's really up to you to be responsible for your own happiness. What's that that's something that you know whoever you are whatever you're doing control the things that are around us whether circumstances that were in but we also. I can't just sit back and say well. I'm happy with this. You know someone else should do something about it. No one will it's really us. We have the responsibility we also have the the opportunity the freedom to do something about it and I think it's not a bad combined like you say we we learn when we do research or maybe redrawn to me search because we naturally do work really hard things but sometimes only progress incrementally and we had that standard it to stick with it and I think that's that's really valuable on the one hand I'm saying I really see value in seeing if you're not acting or looking for ways to Vaughan but at the same the time that idea that you work hard at something and sometimes it isn't easy going but you know that it's going towards something that is going to be rewarding that you believe in I I think that's one of the driving forces that keeps us going the other thing that I very involved in here which y'all volunteering with women's hockey or organization and there have the opportunity to work with some of the best female hockey players in the world under the Olympic starts and I kind of I've always been a geek. I'd never never been a sporty person. I play hockey at the lowest level and I kind of assumed that these women were just naturally really good at hockey and they are but they worked so hard work working with them. I've had the opportunity to see that same commitment that we apply in research they're applying to improving their skills and hockey whether it's in or on the ice for an off ice training video review they are just working so hard and demanding so much of themselves and I think that really that really inspires spires me. I see them going excellence and questioning themselves in order to achieve excellence but still enjoying it. It's still it's the thing that they love. I mean they barely get paid anything so they really are doing the game and and that inspired me as well to seek opportunities delivered that myself work they do now. You know I could probably make a lot more money breaking in a pharmaceutical company but I would not get the same joy out of what I do as I do now and sometimes there are crustaceans at along with that. You don't have the same resources needed. There's politics. There's politics I get so much is joy out of seeing that the work I do is actually bettering the lives of some people with indicates bleeding disorders at meet them. Sometimes I see them using the resources created developed with the other volunteers the organization with the help of volunteers of the organization and and it's just so rewarding that it's worth the work that you put into it and it's worth olding himself a very high standard to make sure that that were producing really good materials and I think that that it's a combination of that dry for excellence patients and that maturity but know that after breaking down into smaller smaller components wants to work through them with resources you have available to do the best that you can and then the at something that you can apply to any any area insurance any kind correct and S- going back a little bit to to finishing you know some some of our listeners may be eh finishing or or may be tried to decide whether they'll right up there master seizes instead of going to the Beach D- and you know that that last stretch may be challenging and you told me off the mic about one of your latest assists sports exploits and I feel that it aligns pretty well with what our listeners can be experiencing right now. You know what I'm talking about. Area sure that's fine. I think it's an interesting parallel to draw so as I read it to my bargaining the I'm very recently a half ironman and that completed the half ironman Bama Combo Julia Fischer and for me that was a huge challenge college athletic person at done a couple of smaller triathlons but nothing like it and when I signed up for about a year ago I was physically incapable of one thousand nine hundred meters and then biking ninety kilometers in the hills of Makamba and then writing a half marathon but he wrinkles. It's less pretty impressive it. It was pretty daunting. I signed up for it again. Oh my God I'm going to do this but it was great to have the focus and the challenge and and you know to apply kind of that similar mindset of I really want to do this and I guess maybe that's the biggest parallel to getting that versus getting through completing degree. I want to do it for me. That was my big motivation. I wanted to do it for me. I knew I wasn't going to be much of anybody. I wasn't a podium finish it. I just wanted to do it for me sock. It doesn't get me anything right. Having having a half ironman is not a qualifying skill for over the I just wanted to that myself a goal that was outside of my current limits and do it and and it who is challenging and it was sometimes extremely you know it said thirty two below on you're going for a run me out Saturday. It wasn't the most tempting thing to do but it actually every little achievement along her way in her every little run done every swim done every biking done and it was just it was a little reward all along the way and the comradery of the group that I was training with fantastic fat on club here. Michelle called the chicken taken who are encouraging and an to do it on the day to seven hours quite a long time. Seven seven was better than I was expecting. I was worried I wouldn't be able to do it within eight and you know the last couple of kilometers. I felt like throwing up but at the same time it was just so l. exhilarating to like I can do this. I'm going to have done that and so at that point and I think that it's similar to when you're writing up the end you know you just gotTa get it. He just Kinda to yourself just to get through it. You work so hard you put in so many hours and you often given all kinds of things to get yourself there the no matter what anyone else thinks no matter what anyone else is encouraging to do or not to do for yourself. You need to finish that thing and then you've got it forever. You can always say I did that and I think a master's are. Hd It's GonNa make a difference. It's GonNa give you an opportunity. You didn't hear Stevie and your Easter opportunities that a half ironman won't it doesn't it doesn't magically opened doors but it thank you both cases. He kinda made a deal with yourself. You're kind of you're kind of also telling yourself that you know. This is all worth it. I've done something and I can be proud of it and I think that's also just an important personal recognition that an did it and it's done and then you decide to Kvant joppy things if you want to and that PhD or masters on your CV even if it doesn't if you you may not get a job in something that's directly but smart employers recognize the discipline and the effort that it took the intelligence check to get back degree regardless of the topic. That's always going to be a good set of qualifications and tell me if you agree I I have a feeling that even psychologically the fact of finishing initiative beat the PhD or the half Ironman the fact that you that you finished allows you to consider going further the next time uh-huh. It's kind of a boost to your ego. Almost I finished now now. This is behind me and I can move further and and go higher absolutely right. You're absolutely right prior to doing that. I didn't Arikan and your for that what I would have said. I could never been a marathon that I decided I wanted to do. It named Britain did it very slowly. They did it and then after that. I thought well what else could I do. I started thinking about you know the half Ironman and what I signed up pretty ethical if I could do that but it and so then you kind of get in the habit of break limits pushing pasture limits and that is incredibly empowered and it translates to ooh. I think your office work or whatever else you're doing. I don't think it's any coincidence okay. This may get coincidence but I think think it's related that you know when I started to push myself to really get more fit and to take on these sorts of challenges. That's also also when I started moving towards job that I have now that I really more than the other jobs I had a research. I think that when they came when this job came along I had the confidence in myself to go for partly because I had already taken on other things that I thought might get side of my abilities or outside of my limits. Let's and achieve them so I thought why not go for this as well and I think it really does. Impact your overall confidence and self esteem and those are also things that are really. They're really transferable. They make you much easier person to work with. If you can feel confident about yourself you're not constantly seeking validation or doubting yourself kind of you know putting it on some other people and I think you can. You're easier to work within your your. Maybe be better at your job when you can come more positively yeah that's a that's a very good point and what I'm taking from what you're saying. He is I even if you want to leave the the academic career path having a master's or a peach on your CV TV is is not going to be discounted by by whoever's going to be interviewing for jobs. It counts. It's not lost time second I'm getting also this. this feeling that you know if you're if you're at the end if you're one year to to your defense just take the energy that you have put it all into your resilience and finished because it's going to be hard but what you're going to take home from it is going to be exponentially more. I think so. I think that I think again I think he owes it to yourself and it's gotta be for yourself. You can't be anybody else. Could someone else's obliging you to do. You feel like you over to someone else. You owe it to yourself and I think that's kind of the biggest motivator to get through. Something like that is is that you're doing it for yourself. It's true I think. Some employers are intimidated by some higher study. I've known people to take the PhD because they improve their employability. I don't know that I don't know I. I have been in situations where I think that might be. Hd has made people uncomfortable and that's kind of too bad. I I do believe though for example the job that I have now you don't need. Hd on paper you do not need a PhD are think even a Master's to get the job however I think I'd do. We're much better job of it because a higher studies that I've done and not just because of knowledge that I gained about biology but because of all those other skills all critical thinking and the project management all of those skills I think those are probably at least as important as a scientific knowledge picked up along the way so you know whether every employer is going to be delighted to see it or not on your cv you as an individual are better able to succeed at whatever you take on because of the skills that you pick up while you're doing your graduate study an if you're close to finishing. I really think to yourself to finish and you celebrate at and I guess like you were talking about your interview for your current position. I guess also if you manage to to get an interview or even an informal meeting with someone at a an employer that you really want to work for you're going GONNA. Be You know if you well prepared. You're going to be able to convince them and to show them that. You are not just your and and and I felt that that's something that happened in your interview process for sure for sure and I think even from the first interview that I got outside of academia. I think from that that I that I find find that I was able to present myself in person you could see the difference I I've been sending. CD's out by not interviews but when I managed to get integrated into do a straight trade into a job to so much of it is about showing who you are and what your which are personal motivation is your enthusiasm for what you what you want to do there and it should come through in your cdn in your letter so for example if I applied for position somewhere a little fake shake my CB and I will customize it to that position so it's got all the same basic content but I might change up the headings or am I changed the order I might be the objective and cover letter as well should be absolutely Taylor written to the position saying why why you are the one for that job why you want to do that job and it it should. I think Kinda think people read our CBS ceilings things that are so obvious relevant to their position. No people were doing the first screening against CD's. They have so little time perceiving. They see almost nothing human in that cover letter. I am good or this job because I done this bits and I want to do this the job because I personally voted by this the severe important point if you are going to discover the themselves in your CV. You're asking too much. You've got to really put it stuck there and the it doesn't take let's do that but it's worth it and then you get a chance to meet them in person and talk to them you bring all your enthusiasm and your person ability and you show it and it goes a long way that goes further than and undertake knowledge so we're talking about promoting yourself. Did you have access to services at university that helped you tailor your CV prepare for interviews or was it something that you had to do you go about on your own. I was actually really lucky in a way I did a call up undergraduate degree back when they were not actually that common common and went to the University of growth and I studied biochemistry in their coeducation program that meant that after the first years old studies every every second semester I worked fulltime somewhere and so we got coached preparing our CD's for that had so I had a job with mark frost he would tall. I had a job with Boehringer Ingelheim who were at the timer at Beulah and so that gave me also an exposure to breaking outside outside of academic environment but also I got a chance to work on a CD go through interviews. They had this horrible thing that they did. which was is a really good idea? It's just all mortifying where they videotape you doing mock interview and then you have to watch yourself all. I've been through something like that too and it's awkward but it's it is useful and it's really helpful yet. That's really helpful so I think that that helps in. That was a long time ago in my undergraduate. There wasn't so much of that an dragic agit school and I think that's I think I said it before. During your graduate studies you're not really encouraged to consider sitter things other than that academic route. I mean during my PhD. I was part of a smoker for students than organize seminars every Friday afternoon for her every couple of Friday afternoons. We'd have somebody speak unusually. It was a student speaking about their research better doing that but then every once in a while we'd bring in someone who had done a life scientists huge was doing something different bath and it was super interesting we had one lady who was an adviser to a law firm so if the locker room involved invitation around a drug she could advise them about the whole biochemistry side the drug work and we had all these different different people come in and speak like that and I got labeled in the department is not being very serious about my research because I'm sort of these things even though I was committed to going into the post doc at the time fine you know thought I wanted to professor just the fact that showed an interest and kind of help to provide opportunities for other people to explore those possibilities no no no that was frowned upon and I think that's his appearance of the academic system all of these people coming through as PhD's post Docs oxnard hulking compressors no and then he acts and many have got so many ills that would be so good and so many other things we should encourage at exploration and I think that for some reason that doesn't happen very much. You're like about the public beach the very cool the good news is that there are there are now a thinking of McGill example. There's careers and placements center where there are people that are dedicated to helping you find you. You'll way you have. CV tailoring doing workshops. There's career fairs that are now and then so I think you know maybe it depends on where you are but for sure these resources exists and people can at the university find help transitioning. That's fantastic I think I think it's great that that's happening and I hope that people you know comfortable to do so again. It's it's up to you got to go looking for yourself. Go to go see what they did. Littering make aged aged need and I do it every once in a while they start to feel restless as I look at job postings that are out there not applying for them but just Kinda to either physically or digitally scrapbooking up you know just cut it out within an envelope that looks interesting and then at some point pull them out and look at them and say what are they collected honestly a lot of the time you think well. Maybe I don't WanNa do research into what I WANNA do. A lot of pressure thing got pick now. I'm going to go this direction but if you just kind of every time you see something that looks kind of interesting just just snag it but it in an envelope somewhere and then pull them out but at some point and be like okay. Have I got a concentration of something at source kind of doing that and I think that also abolished cheering was my other way of doing that when realize that's what I doing and then you start to see you start to see the things that are drawing. You know I there was a colleague that I had removed. PhD who he was really involved in organizing the main ball okay. That's a Cambridge tradition because in in May everyone is so busy with exam. She basically miss the month of May which is beautiful in England. Which is you know? It's one of the really love be much so in June. You have a May ball which is kind kind of make up for having Disney Timer Ministry Sanson so you just party all night he started at seven pm and you party until Sorta breakfast and it's you know fuller in Cambridge so your your Tuxedos and gowns eight full thing despite works with acid event and so he was involved in organizing that was the people in his caller and I remember the supervisor saying something about him pursuing his alternate current event and it was Kinda said half as joke kind of not the youngest and lead even sure what he went on to do as a career he could've been any wanted epic and but that that kind of came back to me. I was thinking about this like the skills using the lab to do research there so transferable to things running events and anything where you go to organize. It's a lot of things a lot of components and if you get what you're doing in your spare time or what you wish you doing in your spare time you may very well find mind something that you could pursue a career and you could start to dabble in. Maybe the volunteer or getting involved societies organizations start context that way they can write reference letters for you when I want to the job that I have now where I'm working for the for profit when Mikey letters reference came from GM I can understand the morale talkie team part of the C. H. L. which is a not for profit relief and I spent nine years volunteering for them with increasing amounts of responsibility a big teen volunteers under me so I could go to this organization and say I've worked for ACAPA. I know what it is to follow the benign culture. I knew exactly to work with teams of volunteers. That's a particular set of skills I don't do. I have those skills. I have someone who will tell you someone who's in a position -sition recognized authority. We will tell you get this so you know it started out as something. I was doing just because I like hockey but it ended up being actually really important to career to where I am now and and if we go back to University Grad school and post do are are there also people from that's fear that still today have a you know are some how important in your network that the that that had an impact on the job now or is university in your current. Career are the two separate compartments. I don't think they have to be two separate compartments. I think in my case they mostly are unfortunately it really hard mentors within academia Denia and there was never released somebody but I felt really connected to and I felt really cared about outcome. I guess there was a fellow student. Post doc occur with someone who really really supportive helped me and that I felt very comfortable weapon who who helped me to value my own happiness I was actually going to ask about about that so you talked about this person who helped you kind of slacked and then stop having the tunnel vision that you know that's you may fall into when you're in the in the academic career track. Let's say but there was no one that was playing the role of of mentor or that you could go and like open your heart to about your doubts and your your questions at the time now unfortunately not. I have to say that merely through my academic career from undergraduate. All the recruiter was there wasn't really somebody. I had a guidance counselor as an undergraduate graduate who cared I think quite a bit on eventually retired but from graduate school on you know it will be really just left the event ourselves. I think think and it was sort of hoping that figure things out. I felt pretty pretty much on my own in that respect anything quite frustrated did it because sometimes I would go to these seminars about you know finding your way and at the time it was really hoping to make it in in academia wanting wanting to eat searching but they had somebody who got a nature paper in their masters or and then went on to star. Hd they got talk post doc and off. They went to a professor. That's not really helping he individuals who find themselves in that situation or work themselves into a situation however you WanNa look at it and think you're getting a lot of guidance and mentorship from their professors. Professors love these superstars and doors. There's are open for them and they're getting lots of encouragement. It's the people like me who didn't get the nature paper out of peach. You know didn't have that obvious seller the other copy. I think sometimes we just get to her own devices which is unfortunate but I mean you know. Gadgets studies are still in education. They're not just test data generation vehicle for your professor and sometimes I feel like that gets a bit neglected. Just I don't think the ability on the students to communicate indicate that science is adequate adequately taught. I have edited he leases for Governor. They're terribly written and nobody cares. Nobody has to write and if you think about it you spend however many years with your nose to the bench during research and then you're suddenly supposed to be able to write about coherently. It's not they're not saying skills and I don't know maybe things have changed because was a little while ago this but I didn't get any instruction that I happen to love writing and so I took it really well and and then I enjoy helping other people to improve their skills at it but nobody like I kind of stepped up to do that or the junior members of my lab but nobody had that responsibility and nobody was making sure that those students were getting that help yeah and and you know you and I know how that life is hard and and and I have some morice for people who are doing research every day and discovering things that help humanity. Let's say but all that pressure to publish the thing about about the principal investigators to do administrative tasks does there's also I would awesome awesome challenge on their parts and not all of them have you know have all the skills or resources to then also play the mentor role to their to their underlings antibiotic era. I don't know how much help they get developing those skills exactly exactly so if you think about the skills that it takes to get those fantastic publications which are kind of the primary requirement to get a professional of professor the position. They're not the same skills that it takes to coach people. Who are you know maybe delete g motivated or lacking direction and in fact he might enrich the other way the guy who spending every Saturday night in the lab churning data may not actually the best social skills. You know it's true. It's it's it's a lot to ask professors as well to have all of those skills definitely definitely there there. There are depending on where people are studying their systems. There's like a committees that are part of of some peachy programs where the person gets in the in the province starts their their. Ph each the and they have a committee. That's always of different principal investigators from different labs and and I think that you know because the the a student is not faced only with their supervisor. They have other people with whom they meet regularly. That's already the type of the system. That must help a lot yeah. I think you're right. I think that more and more institutions are recognizing the need for that including those sorts of things into place and I think I think it's really positive and I think that it's the right direction to go. I hope that that really continues in the that. What I'm describing is not recognizable. King is about to some of the people here and that there's instead of less funding for science that there's more and more and that the pressure goes down a little a little bit so that people can more easily you know going to science and thriving signs and now we're talking about the academic setting what about it's in your current career or since you left academia. Did you have mentors that help to become who you are today. Professionally Louis Yeah for sure I think any time that you go into a new direction. You have to be you you benefit from from the attitude that you're GONNA learn from everybody around you. Though when I first went into I stepped out of academia into education communication I was I was learning. Everybody and I think it's still an and I think that's a good way to approach any kind of work I I I think he turns up like a a more philosophical mentor ago. I'm going to go back to the hockey world by assigns the medical education but I really inspired by the GM again agenda Hewing and why counted who is Jewish the captain of team team candidates so CIANCI sir over terrific person the two of them. They both have such vision and such dry for what they're doing. Bill writes boat heading setbacks and frustrations and they will take on any challenge to move their vision for they. They don't limit themselves in they don't they don't stop it an obstacle. They just find creative solutions shins and keep moving things forward. It's a little bit different too. It's not somebody who's necessarily showing you how to edit or showing how to develop e-learning modules but you can you can learn those things from from your colleagues various sources but that attitude in that approach things a believing in yourself and believing in what you're trying to do and then being prepared to do whatever whatever you need to find whatever creative solution you can and you know to to take setbacks because like women's hockey is an area where where there is a lot of challenge and there are setbacks. We've just seen GINA retire. League does appear and to taper setbacks are not let them get you down you. You live them. You mourn them but you move on on and you know you're confident that you believe in is bigger and keep going and you believe that you've got something substantial to contribute and who share that enthusiasm with others move forward with them and I think that was to really inspired me to do that in all the areas of my life excellent and so I was going to ask you what the most important lesson was that you learned from your mentors from from all so you said I feel that it's this this power this attitude of of resilience another lesson that you can share the that has really Let's say changed you and made you who you are today from from your mentors. I think it's like you said Zillions and it's also that personal responsibility that it's it's my life. I'm the one living I'm responsible for making it something worth living and of course we all have dense but you can't those dance prevent you from doing something worthwhile and going. I mean the worst that'll happen is that it doesn't work out but if you don't try it you let yourself down so. I think it's that feeling because I think I did feel for a while. During my academic experience like or meaning you know I'm not happy well. No one else is going to do anything about that and should it's up to you. It's it's up to me and that's both heading liberating and you can feel it as a as a liberation okay. I can bump to me then it's Kinda powering well and that gives you a chance to to take the direction that's going to maybe it's going to be the right one. I think yeah I think it's it's that feeling you gotta be responsible for yourself. Means you hold yourself to account to yourself but it also any different to go in direction. That makes sense to you. Yep I totally agree with you. you can kind of get lost in this habit of a self pity but it's just it's just a break. That's that's a preventing you from going forward higher yeah and the only person who's going to you lose out from that is you. You know you can say oh but I this this stacked up against me. It's true and you know I'm not. I'm not saying that he will don't have people don't have difficult circumstances pressure and there are things that you can't get over yet but you can. He can look at your own situation in your own strengths and your own averaging moves and and find a way to go for something. That's your that you believe is worthwhile and while I guess that's the other thing that that's just always been super important to me is that I feel like what I'm doing is worth a lot and I think that's probably with the case for a lot of people who are starting research into it because they wanted they want to contribute. They want to go there with their during his worthwhile differently and the but there are lots of ways to do that research is not the only way to do that and that is very freeing as well. There's lots of opportunities to take your abilities contribute br to positively to society and it's just a question of opening up to all the possibilities in and going looking for them and not being afraid to look in unexpected directions. You just take the leap of faith are even you know sometimes before. I believe we have to just look up. We've got is so close to the ground or so close and we don't know what else is out. There and there's all kinds of things out there in It was very much the case that I had no idea what I was looking for. I could not an years ago has and named the position. I have now I what I wanted to do. I had no idea what that was and it took years for it to appear work but just having become aware of that ride in the interest then I started looking for it and I stood and I kind of research different things and you know across across different ideas and started going in different directions but I I think you have to be patient with yourself can't expect to be something like you're. GonNa wake up tomorrow go. That's it better shock decided he kind of you know. There's a chance give yourself some time. It is an opportunity to look at different things I may be different things and also to enjoy yourself along the way I think I am very much ado very much believe in that we worked very hard to make some sacrifices and sometimes you tough things for a long term goal that is worth it but we have to be careful not to get so caught caught up in that that we don't enjoy now because now really all we've got and you know it's we were during your undergraduate so that that we could get a good graduate position regarding graduate studies to get a post doc in but somewhere along the way you gotta start enjoying yourself and you know when you realize nice that everybody else gets to join the south. Why shouldn't you gotTA. Find Your own opportunity to do that. Each time we a milestone we just take the goalposts input ten yards farther and that will go on forever and you're GonNa try and get a junior position and then you're going to try to work towards tenure and nobody gets and your these days anyway if you're acting assistant contingent on keeping something far away and everything you're doing to try to get. I can't really not a good data. Those are very very wise words and it's perfect because we're reaching the end of the of the interview and and I feel this setting very good tone and and and I feel that it's you know very valuable and very wise advice to to our listeners I am today is all you have. No you live today and you do leave for tomorrow but again like you're saying if you're putting the objective always farther for the further away you know you may find it difficult to enjoy today into thrive in your daily life yeah and and you have you have the right to enjoy every day and I think we can get so caught up in that allegra sacrifice now for later that we kind of miss that injured you can enjoy every day or you have a right to be happy in. I think during my post doc at some at that time is really tough and I started it with just taking bill moments in Saint Myself. Okay in this moment I am happy and I'm walking in the sunshine and it was beautiful and not wrong but by identifying those moments in saying right now I'm happy I can't have had little micro moments a the bigger and a little bit bigger and as you're identifying things that make you happy and you seek more and that helps you also may be to shift your focus focus and see if it's you're happy you're in the lab and you're developing bilman. You're seeing results for the first time that's making you super happy us. Tell something if you're happy when you're playing hockey irving. You're editing paper for a friend or when you're in the schools. Do you know purifying Apron Banana for the six hundred five. You have to listen to yourself well. That's that's GonNa be the Golden Nuggets for for your show for sure tape now so I'm GonNa. I'M GONNA go to my last question which is a little bit of wrap up of of all. We've been talking about you. You know I didn't have to ask you a a lot of questions you covered a lot of the lot of the points that I usually like to to cover an end in it was great and and the so the last question usually say it's kind of a role play type thing where you're gonNA imagine itself to be in the situation and situation is imagined that you're standing in front of an audience audience full of young either finalists or young graduates. people just like you when you finish your studies and people who are struggling through fears worries doubts what's and they're dealing with obstacles to find a place in the job market to trace their journey towards a productive and fulfilling life looking at these people what two there were three basic strategies or principles. Could they follow starting today to put in place a realistic and attainable transition project from their academic life to their life in non academic jobs. That's a big challenge. It's a big question. I think thanks stick terrific points. I think wondering is is really what a comeback quantity times that that personal responsibility. It's your future and your life right now. It's up to you to be happy to do things that make thank you happy and you deserve to be happy. You don't have to sacrifice your happiness for some greater good. You have every right to be happy in terms of Castilla software goal at kind of over overriding principle. I think in terms of thinking that kind of maybe try something outside. Tabacchi -demia I would encourage all possible to finish the degree. You're working on because I think of you feel good about it. I think it will help you to you. Put Boards. Will I've done that exceeded that that was something I could do and I think that it has a lot of value whether employers recognize it or or not does have a lot of our viewers Lou and much more capable person. I think you want to recognize what you're taking out of those degrees and what else you are a person so if you're doing research I think the two top things your but are transferable from that era critical critical thinking skills and your ability to take a big project break it into pieces analyze those get those done tied back together and bring her back to the whole I think you can do that pretty much anyone doing research is doing back then. You can do anything you can. You can take on any kind of challenge so then it's finding. Where do you WANNA put your allergies. What are you passionate about. I know they say you know do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life what would work. It's not always fun and not everybody gets direct doing what they but. There's gotta be something which you're doing or that. You wish you you that that draws. You and I think you you kind of just need to let yourself. Start exploring that patiently giving yourself awesome time you don't have to make an immediate jump into your job and look around you retire there without too much pressure on yourself and you probably won't find there's addiction. You'd kind of like to go. Maybe get some initial experience with a volunteer or doing some kind of work with somebody on something like this lady more like a hobby more like an interest and you may find that kind of opens up into opportunities and there you can apply your ability to take a big project tear it down. Get it done back up again so I would. I would like to encourage our navy struggling for it stands a bear graduates that is to to believe in themselves to recognize. They have a lot of skills and they're capable of lot and they have the right to do something. That makes really happy. Finish up those degrees open up your eyes. Look around and start start trying to feel. You're out into something to keep more spend. You're doing well. Thank you very much fuel night. It's been a great interviewing you. I think you've given insights sites that are are going to be inspiring to a lot of our listeners and they're going to maybe help them allow themselves to to to look up and to to see a bright future in front of them and and future that that will give them fulfilment and happiness. Thank you thank you. That's very kind. I really do hope I bet messages or somewhere. I believe it is and and I think you a thank you for having accepted my invitation so thank you thank you so much and we'll talk soon. Thanks for listening to another episode of the Papa Peach De podcast head over to pop up each dot com for show notes in for more food for thought about non-academic Post Grad careers. I'll always be happy to share inspiring stories new ideas in useful resources here on the podcast so so make sure you subscribe on Itunes or wherever you get your guests to always keep up with the discussion and to hear from our latest guests.

hockey Montreal Cambridge Medical Education professor research associate AIDS editor Grad school Papa PhD Fiona Robinson principal Toronto PhD Dot Com researcher Cambridge University Evanson David Mendez
Zo Ayres  Part 1  A Path From Chemistry to Industry

Papa Phd Podcast

31:51 min | 1 year ago

Zo Ayres Part 1 A Path From Chemistry to Industry

"Do you ever wish you could try your hand at an industry job without putting your academic career on halt this episode. You'll hear about zoe airs and about how she managed to do exactly that by choosing to take on industry back projects for her masters repeat she and her post doc in the chemistry domain start to look at CBS. Now and I'm not just looking to see how many papers people of published quite frankly. I already K. I come workout skills. Like teamwork can the ability to adopt pay matter so much academia yet industry unless I'm looking at papers and saying okay. Will this person clearly can collaborate very well? Because they're on a paper with seven people then you in in reality it doesn't count and the wait is not as high. I think that he that's something that graduate students were lot. Welcome to a beach. Deal with David Mendez. The podcast where we explore careers and life after Grad school with guests who have walked the road less traveled and have unique stories to tell about how they made their place in the world of constantly evolving rules get ready to go off the beaten path and hop on for an exciting new episode of Papa. Phd So today. I'm talking with Zoe errors. Zoe is an analytical scientist by background. She did her undergraduate infringing science before Pursuing Analytical Chemistry and going on to do her PhD research on the development of electrochemical sensors at the University of Warwick in the UK she is now an RND. Scientists in the water industry having made the transition from academia to industry just over two years ago. Zoe is also an active. Mental health advocates raising awareness around mental health in graduate school. And beyond welcome to Papa PhD. Zoe thank you so much for having me on. I'm very pleased to be here. I'm super happy to have you on the Mike today from across the pond from the UK to talk about your journey from your PhD to today to your your career today in in industry but to begin with I would really like to just talk a little bit about yourself. Introduce yourself to to the audience and set up the states for for conversation. I guess the best place to start is much. She liked prior to getting to university in the sense that I did not get the grades that I wanted to study chemistry at university. A I fi. Well I was in part because I really kind of messed around a little bit. I didn't focus in the way that I should have done And then so really ended up king courses and I couldn't really qualify for chemistry and I looked around and I saw a forensic science courses and I who I've watched Csi ON TV about sounds really cool. ago and okay city at university On just managed to snatch the great eighteen invest steady forensic science which had a lot of chemistry in it but I quickly found out that forensic science universities absolutely nothing like CSI say did find was on the science in the sense that On its science is something where we could be testing some glitch samples for example and that she'd to see you know is this person ever but alcohol levels and things like that and I found that kind of fascinating The fact that we can use science to prove something to a reasonable confidence actually use the science to do that. And that kind of got me interested in on the square sciences home. And when I finished my undergraduate degree I around and I saw mazdas discourse that was available in unschooled science at University of work and I decided that was the league the always going to do and I was going to go and train in science more generally So anyway I move David to work. I started that course is a bit different. I think in the U to the US WITH MASTER'S COURSES. It's quite traditional to do a master's caused separately and then go onto a PhD. So that was kind of a natural track towards a PhD. And for me. I I was dating this course and bosses day. Miss as brilliant woman Professor Judy McPherson who I saw teach and she was teaching electrochemical sentences. I just thought I want to go work for this woman Really that that kind of set me on the trajectory if going to work with her and and and her research group and I did my moss this research project with her I to do Some great industry led research say I worked with Astra Zeneca coaches pharmaceutical company and we may Census for census for them for them and by the time it got to the end of my masters. I thought wow I really love this. Applied Research an ended up during an industrial sponsored. Phd With first and at the University of work on from from there I was there for several years. Pitch Day with a bit of strain on top of that which will talk about a bit later on. I then did a post doc at Investi as well say I guess. A middle of cases people get told they have to leave institution. I didn't do that I stayed For for about you and at that time I was wanted an industry led post. Doc say is really kind of having industry related experience the way through and I thought it kind of looking around academe earth. Actually why am I doing this? Like industry Is something I'm really interested in. I should go and actually work for industry so for me. Although I had maybe gone designs to be a professor one day I decided the actually Industry was going to be for me and decided to make that leap and I was looking around at the time on. This job. Came up for me in the water industry. I get to apply these really cool senses and Ridicule Analytical Science and go explore new in different techniques for the water industry So I've been working fatigued. Is I get to deal of really cool research and I really enjoy it hurt. So so what's interesting to me is an. There's you know the trajectory is pretty clear. But you've mentioned that both European your post doc were industry funded or industry back. How does that work? How did you learn of this possibility of doing these? Because in my circle. It's not something that I've seen a lot. Can you talk a little bit about that? Yeah that's really interesting to match the I think Maybe prompts more in the UK. There are more industry led fellowships. That are available So you say to me. is the PhD positions. Were going in. There is there. Is that option to actually have industry sponsorship provided that you can show an interest in actually want to drive that forward so and for the most part there are no like embargoes or anything. Publication Wilshire the industry research so you cannot chic go about and do your research. Karoshi would usually do but you can actually then work with the industry and get the experience at the same time and the both at the beach. The end at the postal level. Does this mean that you're funding was all coming from from this collaboration with industry? So usually it's is half government run off. Funding funding body runs so like for example. One one of them was royal society. Funded which is Something that is a big funding body in in the UK And my my PhD was EPS. See funded. Which isn't engineering. Our Research Council And they funded. This impart So that I could actually have industry sponsorship and I guess really the application. Say that you know when you're doing your research. It's not so blue sky that it's never going to reply to anything and that's that's always really appeal to me. I've always wanted to be doing something that I i. I can see n kind of see the use of it. I think that's kind of why. Enjoy my my industry position in the way that I do that. I know that there's going to be impact down the road. Okay and just out of curiosity how the application to these programs function does do you. Did you choose your research European? And then they they propose this or or is it the other way round say usually the. Pi's half the positions and then you cheese young approach these as and say I would like to come wet with which was the case for me and how was just because one of the things that I remember was challenging. And I actually. After my bachelor's I took some some time I worked. I did other things before I decided to do my PhD and it was a bit daunting to go into the interviewing process. How how was? How did it go for you? How did you prepare? How did you make your case to say? I'm the I'm the candidate just thinking. Think OF LISTENERS. Out there who may be are a little bit fearful of? Oh Am I good enough for this vision that I really want Am I the person etc etc do you have? If you have some feedback some feed from insights on that. I think for me one of the main things that I kind of hot to get over and was really important for me and the application process was appreciating the academics of people to And sometimes it can feel kinda scary to email professors and say hey. I would like to come work for you. It can be really difficult. It's not you see these people. And they got these grand careers and their brilliant What they do and it can be so difficult to kind of. Take that leap and say. Hey I I haven't got anything to really prove to other than some grades on a bit of paper. I am who I say I am and I am good enough And so I think the main thing for me would be to just kind of take that leap of faith and actually say Kay Lick A. I am really interested on a would like to come work with the and I think the if the professor doesn't get by then maybe he didn't want to work for them in the first place and you need to because when you visit or when you approach people in this stage of of interviewing us you need to approach a bunch of people then for sure. Some of them they they could be. They could have already found someone. There's many reasons why shouldn't happen so you probably you probably sent out sees to two different to a bunch of different places and you really. You really have to just keep trying. That's it and it's dealing dealing with. Failure and rejection is something that we have two weeks through a law in our scientific careers and just inauguration general when it's really difficult to get used to and I think it is trying to detach the the they're all so many people applying for these positions. It's not necessarily to deal with you Are you have some brilliant friends that did the PhD with me? That didn't get the grades that they they were meant to get for their PhD. An ended up a research programmes without achieving these excellent grades that perhaps you need Thinking you need i. Those people were brilliant. Like I didn't know until getting to know them that they didn't get the grades that they you know on paper people needed to get to get to that point and I think that's really important as well that if you committee so you'll merits And find the right. Pi Than still this open to you. I guess let early with university in the sense that really got into university on the of the pestle statements and things. I talked to get into university. It wasn't just on migrates An Essay I think if you want something like it's it's not fair to say that it's always going to work out but I think if you keep going Eventually you find you find that you can't do that You'll find alternative that you were just as happy with you know for sure for sure. I agree in and it's interesting this aspect of how. Yes your grades may count to certain level but often in depending on peachy programs etc sometimes. The wait is much higher on the interview. Actually or on the letter of intent that you sent or something like that so if you're passionate about something it'll show and people may be very well say okay. This person doesn't have the grades but she needs to be on the program it can. It can very well happen. It also applies when you leave your graduate program and you go in you. Start Looking for industry jobs I start to look at B.'s now Just looking to see how many papers people have published quite frankly. I really care a camera. skills like teamwork can the ability to adopt and again not something that comes out into be any a papist matter so much for academia and yet for industry like Ms Ms. I'm looking at paper and saying cable will. This person clearly can collaborate very well because they're on paper with you seven people then in in realistic. It doesn't count in. The wait is not as high and I think that that's something that graduate students worry about a lot in terms of publications and I think that it's not necessarily something that you should be so concerned about moving towards industry And actually this leads me to a question which is so. Would you recommend someone who already knows? They want to go into industry to try and find. These industry backed Phd's and post Docs. Do you feel that somehow? They they they kind of the close. The gap a little bit for that job opening will come after me. I obviously was never something that wasn't industry. Since I guess I don't have that perspective particularly in the same sense I got to work on things like patents for example and they are that absolutely slip nickel to my day. Job going forward to their skill sets that I developed batch today I can go and hit the ground running when I when I moved into my industry position because I already had that experience. Just want to take a moment before going on with the interview to let you know that you can help me. And the show by leaving star rating and a comment on your podcast APP. If you're not on apple podcasts you cannot leave your rating and review by visiting up a PhD dot com forward slash pod chaser. She wanted to go a step further. Go to Patriot dot com slash papa. Phd Now and become a supporter for the equivalent of a coffee per month. You'll be helping me immensely with the recurring cost of hosting and producing the show again. Thank you for being too fan. So we've told the arc of your of your story. Let's say up to deal today. But I wanNA rewind a little bit and go back so you you already talked about Doing you imagine as everyone who does a peach. There's challenges there's there's difficulties there's moments where you think okay. Should I be here you know Imposter Syndrome etc? Then you also you also talked about to transitions not transition to the post doc. Which is which is one and then transition to industry but where I WANNA go with. This is in your experience. Let's during your How how you know. How was it in terms of challenges that you may have faced and if you did Did you find? Where did you find resources to help you deal deal with these these obstacles were they do find them at the university? Did you have to go find them on your own? I'm just thinking of my experience as a peach and the experience of a lot of PG crossed paths with. There's always a moment where something is really not going your way and us. You think. Okay this is not going to work. Did you go to do anything? That sounds like this say throat my PhD Particularly like going into my second year. I think my mental house was particularly poor and I'd never really experienced Depression before and I ended up being diagnosed with clinical depression at that time. And I'd never I'd never really experienced feeling like that. I think in part because I never really experienced science failing and by that I mean the like undergraduate masters level the science experiments were really set up for his to succeed at you have titrate mission or a DNA sample to run and the outcome is already know I think are really struggled with the research in the sense that it was kind of like foray into the known and the actually I wasn't on a project that was absolutely necessarily going to succeed and no matter how hard I worked looking rounding comparing myself with others. I didn't feel like I fit in Let the phrase imposter syndrome. For the first time and in reality I looked around at university to try and find support for that and I found. That support was very much So there wasn't a lot for for students in the sense that Really things like impulsiveness injury and a dealing with failure. The things that we won't talking about an I think that was kind of Part of my experience way which kind of low point that I did And so you say that that Whatever resources were there? Were pretty much geared towards undergraduates. And I think this is a reality in in a lot of places but So how did you end up dealing with that? Can you share a little bit a comfortable with Sharon little bit on how you dealt with that? And what resources you found. That ended up helping you for me. I think festival it was. It was actually acknowledging that support on campus wasn't really for me A. There's no amount of like sessions on how to survive exam stress. I wasn't doing exams. It was never going to help and you know I did. Go and see the therapy dogs and it was literally for an hour but it. It wasn't going to get me through in in the way that I needed. I ended up going to see therapist on campus and again I found it not right for me in the sense that this person didn't really understand what was going three. I took me a few rotations actually figure out speaking to someone the understood what I was going through and really the main thing for me was actually starting to open up to my peers. So many people around me. That's also very through these same thing but we were silently sat talking about it And so she opening up and saying yeah I am feeling like this a star. I started to appreciate how big of scale of a problem that that really walls on the we we were experiencing similar things. It's highly prevalent differently in the numbers of you know everyone knows now that the numbers what the numbers are on mental health issues but it just out of curiosity did you end up with with this group of people. I don't know talking at the institute to set up something for Grad students. I'm not trying to defend that. The owners of creating these structures should be on the students they should shouldn't people are struggling. They shouldn't have the responsibility. But you know if you if if you feeling if you know someone who is and do you see that. They're not finding resources Going to talk to the higher ups may be a way to start moving towards the right direction of of you know institutes and institutions supporting their graduate community. What was your experience in that sense for me at the time. I wasn't in the right head space to go and speak to someone about the stuff that was available to me and I competed. I compete knee. Understand do agree with you that unless an se university or institution is aware of what is lacking. They can't do anything about it. And I think that's really important and say the fact that a large portion university is made up of undergraduates. So crucial GONNA get your mental health provisions today students. I mean that is your first and foremost the so for me. It wasn't until several years after finishing my PhD. The the kind of a ten round and through. That wasn't a great time and I'm I'm I'm healthy now. You immensely. Well I built my resilience. Ivo Say myself more out without terrible time where it wasn't okay and I thought at shooting. Now I'm ready and now I can go and speak about this and that's kind of where some of the mental health prices infographics that I produce his kind of formulated from in the sense. That I I K- this is it. Now is the time and no I'm not grow. Phd Shooting by. Remember what it's like on. I remember that I needed help. And I doubt it's changed. I Really WanNa talk about those but I still wanNA maybe go stay in this subject a little bit and ask you for people out there who may be struggling. Can you now looking back and you can take a step back and look at the Zoe that was there at that time? Can you may be a for the listeners. Out there kind of make a small exercise of identifying what wrong patterns of thought you might have had was what negative self-talk you might have been telling yourself that you now know was a mistake but also that you didn't have the inner resources to see at the time but maybe by sharing for people who are listening they can be inspired and they can say oh. I shouldn't tell this to myself because I'm actually doing something that's really difficult. Yeah Amfam me. I think first and foremost it would be to tell myself. That science doesn't always work And we say make mistakes a lot of the time and that's completely fine and it's easy to say now. I've got experience with making a lot of mistakes and some some of the mistakes I've made in my my scientific career up to this point about she led to things that you that have been really good view of purchase papers on mistakes. I I had this terrible to break. A piece of instrument instrumentation To manage to flood an x-ray machine on it costs thousands to fix and even that like it was it was. It was a terrible point of the time. It was an accident but he can recover from that sort of thing. It's not I'm not remembered by like my. Pi is the as as the the woman that Burks X. Ray machine and if you've gone through a similar thing then you won't be later The other thing I think is just actually reaching out. How can you speaking people reaching Atma speaking to people who so important And I wish that I could go back and say to myself like it took me about six months to open up to my my colleagues and say. I'm not actually doing okay. I think that six months that I could have been getting better. And so there's definitely that aspect of it. Yeah I feel that what happens at these times is you can fall into the trap of saying like you were saying. View talked about the impostor syndrome. So if you if you have this perception that everyone around you succeeding what you start you. Wake up and things don't work and you break something and you say I not worth it. I am a bad scientist. I shouldn't be here and and I agree that I errors can can bring you to find interesting things. That's really cool. You say that because a lot of things in history have been found by accident and I can I can think of some but There's that but there's also every day you have the chance to learn from the air you did yesterday right and and also like you said to. You ended up finding out that people around you that you opened up to. They also were dealing with things. I think those are the three the three very good take home messages at least for this first part of the interview. That's almost we're almost at the end of part one but now going back to what you said. In these latest months us you have created and you probably have developed. Your graphic design skills are doing that too but a set of information that you That you made into posters documents with different types of information for graduate students out there about mental health Can you talk a little bit about that? Yeah and so Actually it was just over a year ago now when I really started which shove him doesn't feel like that long ago you babe. Long time for me So in the UK this one of the one of the funding bodies Hair one of the institutions as the Royal Society of chemistry And they were running a twitter competition and it's become assists On its to display your chemistry research and I'm sat there one day and thinking i. It's a twitter competition. I could probably enter anything. I wasn't entering as Competition is just entering it. Because I thought I could tonight. I was like why don't I just post or mental health during PhD as Paul if this whole twitter competition And we'll no. No one can stop me on radio brief. The you know if I can help not people than that would be fine Allow me to help people that are in the situation to how how aware I was a couple of years ago I submitted might online and I haven't been very active on twitter. Any been entering these competitions like yearly for a couple of years and the the response was was Li it was it was the I've often million people at like looked the poster and I'm like what and it went on and like an audience participation price for this whole thing that was meant to be about chemistry where such I'm dislike. I remember. Messaging the organizers being. I'm so sorry this is no. I didn't mean to clean of like this. And they were like great replace. This is had coverage is things that have affected us as well and I. I just realized that there was so much power over twitter and the community that there is and also communicating in post a form and from that point on Wednesday night. Well actually this is something that really people seem to connect with It's something that I wish I'd seen when I was in that place. So I'm just GONNA continue to do it on his kind of snowballed from awesome and Can you share where people can find those at this time? Yes You can find me on twitter And of the moment pinned to my my twitter feed. I also have a website as well That you can get that goes down the MON Which I think should hopefully be the link at the bottom of this podcast and then I'll put a link in the show notes. The website is my name is. Www dot J. A. R. E. S. DOT COM perfect. So we'll differently. Show the link in the shots of this episode and for the listeners out there do go and check them out. They're different subjects. It's really interesting. How they're setup and you'll see that the vocabulary to better think about things you might be living through like. Let's say we talked about Imposter Syndrome. That was one metoo when I when when I was at a workshop in someone told me. Oh this is called Imposter Syndrome my head. It's kind of a moment of nation so definitely go there and and And download the material there in English for now but there's translations in the works and eventually they'll be there to we're we've reached the end of part one and we've talked about You know the whole the the academic path that Zoe has followed and we we Heard that she is now in industry and successfully and happily working In her domain in part to we're going to talk a little bit about what she's doing an industry how that life is. How does she feel about a about her day to day compared to -demia and and maybe talk a little bit more about tips and advice for people who do want to take the leap into industry and And who may be feeling that it's Daunting or that. Their creativity won't won't be put to use their you know that they won't be stimulated like they were in academia so that'll bean partout. Thanks for listening to part one of my interview with Zoe. Airs in Partout. We dive deeper into the day to day of a chemistry. Phd Industry and we discussed always experience of putting all her years of training and research to use in this space if you enjoyed insights shared on the show each week and would like to dig deeper into some of the subjects covered. You can now join the Peach Postgraduate Career Exploration Group on facebook there. You'll find like minded listeners. But also a few of the best guests who will be taking part in the conversation so to start a conversation. Just go to facebook dot COM for Slash Papa. Phd Invest Join. Thanks for listening to another episode of the pop up each new podcast head over to Papa. Peach Dot Com for show notes and for more food for thought about non-academic Post Grad careers. I'll always be happy to share inspiring stories new ideas and useful resources on the PODCAST. So make sure you subscribe on I tunes or wherever you get your podcasts. To always keep up with the discussion and to hear from our latest guests.

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A Discussion About Bad Habits in Academia With Author Amy Gentry

Papa Phd Podcast

47:36 min | Last month

A Discussion About Bad Habits in Academia With Author Amy Gentry

"Hi my name. Is david mendez. Your host on the phd podcast. If you're new to the show welcome make yourself comfortable if your regular thank you for being here for another conversation about the phd this week. On papa phd. I'm discussing a fictional book. Three set within academia with author any entry in our conversation. I talked with amy about her personal experience. Going through a phd in the humanities and about what aspects of that experience inspired her to write bad habits. You talk about the preparation for for different paths. That are not academic in grad school. And i would say in humanities phd programs until very very recently since i left even There was nothing because there just aren't it's not like there are job postings for people with with english phd's job postings for people with english phd's are english professor. That's it no one else wants you to have I mean at best. They don't care one way or the other but it often seems to count almost as a detriment and the humanities because people think while you're over educated you don't really want to be here And i think that's you know. Changing now i mean i had a professor at university of chicago who has really been working with people at at the university of chicago to make sure that there's career counseling for people coming out of those types of graduate program. So i know there is change happening at the same time. I think it's really hard to argue that a hd is actually necessary for any of those paths by the time. Someone has come six years through a program that has battered them financially and emotionally almost certainly hoping to be a professor at the end and then find out at the end that there's no there's no ring there's no there's nothing to grab there because the jobs just aren't there i mean yeah i mean by that point see career. Counseling is triage. Like you're picking someone up off the floor. Welcome to a beach. Deal with david mendez. The podcast where we explore careers and life after grad school with guests who have walked the road less traveled and have unique stories to tell about how they made their place in the world of constantly evolving rules. Get ready to go off the beaten path and hop on for an exciting new episode of papa. Phd welcome to this week's episode of papa phd today. I have the pleasure of having with me amy. gentry amy. Gentry is the author of good as gone a new york times notable book last woman standing and bad habits. She's also a book reviewer and essayist whose work has appeared in numerous outlets including the chicago tribune salon. The paris review los angeles review of books. And the austin chronicle. She holds a phd in english from the university of chicago and lives in austin texas. Welcome to up hd. Thank you so much. david. I'm happy to be here. I'm really happy to have you on the show. And i really want to talk about your journey and how it led to your writing career into your latest book. Bad habits that is a thriller set in kind of a parallel universe to the one you experience going through grad school. Yeah that is often the way. I talk about the book because it's set in a program somewhat similar in certain ways to the one that i went through but The plot of the book is about a character named mac We meet mac when she's at the top of her game. She's professor as sort of newly minted professor rising quickly in the ranks not yet having tenure but Soaring to the top and She's just keynote at a big conference when she runs into her old friend unexpectedly in the hotel. Lobby and gwen whitney as we soon find out was her sort of Best friend growing up and they were in the program together the graduate program and something has happened in they have become estranged and we don't know what so when she meets gwen. This immediately takes her back to this territory. She might rather have forgotten and she spends a the course of the book. Trying to ascertain whether gwen knows what really happened together when they were in the program. And we do that through flashbacks. So we see her. Most of the takes place in that graduate program where we see how catastrophe strikes. Okay okay and and so. It's it's a traveled back to grad school to or it. It sort of goes back. It starts back with my ex childhood. Actually we it's a it gives you kind of the background on her family and how she came to meet gwen and sort of she comes from matt comes from a harder. Hardscrabble background a working class background where graduate school would be very distant from her goals and gwen sort of enters her life in her high school years and is the sort of glamorous from a cultured and refined family. She has money. she's beautiful and she is extremely smart and always seems to know where you know. The best place to go is so because of her. You know max life changes and she fixes all her aspirations of getting out onto this one friend and sort of ends up working really hard to change herself and become someone who can get into this kind of top program so by the time they get into this program together they have a lot of history already but they get their sort of ripe for intrigue. I guess especially. Mac who's really vulnerable to the cult of personality professors to the manipulation and visser backstabbing and You know Extreme ambition part of the book is watching how that happens And yeah and and i think of it as a making of a bill in story I loved villains. That doesn't give too much way. But i think very quickly you start to see that mac. Although from hopefully understandable motives begins behaving very badly in this environment. Okay son super super interesting. We're going to get back to two elements of the book In our conversation. Now we've been talking about mac now. Talks about amy gentry so pc in english and now You're writing. You're you're doing book reviews. Can you talk about that that aspect of transitioning from academia to what you do today but also maybe an i always like starting like that's Of what what pulled you towards doing. A phd seen english. How did that go. also Well so the first question is very easy to answer because book reviews really. I don't actually do them really anymore. I mean i would make an exception if the new york times called but now that i'm actually writing books of my own I find that it's better to be a little bit Pulled back from that to avoid conflicts of interest in just that kind of thing. So i however book reviewing was a really important part of my transition because when i came out of the phd program in oh two thousand ten. I think I just didn't really know what skills i could use going forward. And i the only thing i really had you know was this extremely critical eye and the ability and interest to write about books ad. Infinitum i started pitching and i also had I think my very first book review. I or maybe my second or third anyway. I had a friend from graduate school. Actually who knew an editor in chicago tribune at the time and so that was another kind of connection they were looking for reviewers he emailed me and said. Hey you like to try reviewing this outlet so I was able to really use my. You know whatever i had from grad school kind of transition and use that critical i but for a general audience and reading reading contemporary fiction instead of instead of henry james frank norris and whatever i was studying in grad school and it was a really comfortable transition for me. It put me into the present day. It gave me an audience where i was actually being read by people in the world and yeah and it also gave me opportunity to interview a lot of authors which had never done before but i was. I was interested in and have always wanted to write novels. So interviewing these authors. I would often start to sneak in questions how you know how. How did you get your first novel. And i learned a lot just by being around them and asking questions the very interesting and because i come from the stem side of things you know transition for people coming from some looks like the like industry or medical writing for me at least if you like. There's a straight path to to a non-academic job to an academic career but I am. I must confess that for me for me because i haven't experienced it The the humanities and the you know your english english studies it. It's not as easy for me to see how these pets go. I've also learned in conversations that more people stay in or around academia but it seems like you kind of a just to clarify. You started started doing this while he was still in graduate school more really now. No i in fact what happened. Is i graduated in twenty ten again. I quit remember ten or eleven. It's been a while. But i one of the reason. I can't remember very well. Because i had already moved down to austin which I i you know i went to grad school in chicago. Austin was always my hometown. It's where i went to undergraduate. I had a lot of friends who stayed in austin. It's very pleasant place to be was always kind of my happy place so toward the end of my dissertation. When i was really struggling in grad school and with motivation and depression. I just decided that. I was going to move to austin and try to finish their. Because i had finished all my commitments teaching commitments. And so i was already living in austin and living with my you know then future husband now current husband yet. Something thirty living with my husband and feeling a lot happier and i was able to finish. The dissertation under those conditions was still not easy. But i did finish and defend So yeah i but by the time i defended i had already basically figured out mostly figured out that i did not want to go on the market. A second time had been on the market once for academic job in. I guess that would be two thousand nine and ten and just it was horrible about year. There were no jobs. I sent out. I don't know how many letters and and heard nothing back and felt completely awful and And even just done. I had already gotten the a better understanding of what it would mean to get an academic job. I had friends who had been doing Post docs adjunct ding and taking year or two year. Gigs for years out of grad school. You know five or ten years at that point and yeah and moving every two years or one year and i just end then all the jobs. I was applying to some of the you know the plum jobs would would involve sometimes going somewhere really remote and i just found myself picturing my life a freshly having moved back to austin where i was so happy and living with my husband who had been in austin this whole time and having so many friends for the first time i just thought i don't really wanna go to iowa or montano or or even chicago or new york necessarily I just wanna stay here. So that motivated. My i guess might leaving or might not pursuing continue on but after that i had. I didn't know what i was gonna do. When i made the decision to not to not go on the market. I did not have a plan in trying to tell you. I think a lot of us Because we go in to grad school some of us yes. Some of us know but straight from would have came before the masters. Let's say and we just go through the moves of of doing the pg and because things are changing slowly but a lot of grad schools and programs don't train people for the transition. You get that well idea pop to your mind. Keep it. Because i want to hear at the but it's only at the in the last year like oh i should look at something else. What is there. You don't have the vocabulary you don't you know you haven't looked at job postings. You haven't talked with people and it can be scary right in your case you moved move closer in too late to live with your shoot to your with your now husband you. You got a like a social network so there was a lot of positive in that physical moving places which then i guess led to a space advocate. Now i can look. I can look around and see what i can do. A lot of people depending You know and it's funny. You're talking. We're talking about being a first generation a phd. They can't really go to family to ask for advice. It can be very very Stressful and anxiety generating the situation of getting to the end of your graduate school. Now realizing oh. I'm not going to be doing research or i'm not going to be a professor. What am i going to be. But it seems like you've found your path. I also found this environment. In austin there was conducive to being peaceful inside. Yeah i mean. I well a few things i mean. One one thing you talk about the preparation for For different paths that are not academic in grad school and i would say in humanities phd programs until very very recently. Since i left even there was nothing because there just aren't it's not like they're are job postings for people with with English the only job postings for people with english. phd's are english professor. That no one else wants you to have a phd At best they don't care one way or the other but it often seems to count almost as a detriment in the humanities because people think while you're over educated you don't really want to be here And i think that's changing now and i had a professor at university of chicago. Who has you know. been The and since then several other positions but who has really been working with people at the university of chicago to make sure that there's career counseling for people coming out of those types of graduate programs. So i know there is change happening at the same time. I think it's really hard to argue that a phd is actually necessary for any of those paths. It almost seems more like Triage work by the time. Someone has come six years through a program that has battered them financially and emotionally and in which they have specialized so much they've actually kind of specialized past the more mainstream professional world. And and then by the time they've gotten to all that way probably i mean almost certainly hoping to be a professor at the end and then find out at the end that there is no. There's no ring that snow. There's nothing to grab there because the jobs just aren't there i mean yeah i mean by that point see career counseling triage picking someone up off the floor and i think to me. I have a lot of feelings about that and opinions. But i can't really speak to the overall situation you know because they just don't know enough and it's been a while since i was in that position but i can't talk about my personal experience and i don't have any problem talking about the i entered the phd program and Was very very high energy and very excited about it. I was great old to be there. I did not just do it. By wrote i was inflamed with passion for ideas and really gave it. My all and i was very successful. And even so after several years of the particularly after After the exams. I think it started during the exam. Frankly because it's very isolating time when you're going into your reading as i started to notice that other students were you know people were behaving very oddly as stress began to hammer down everyone around the same time people started behaving differently toward each other And being less there was just less friendship and fun to be had and more lonely anxiety and and then after that kind of going into the dissertation phase. I don't think anything can really prepare you for the dissertation as It's again. I think it's different in the you know. It's really different than the humanities. I don't know what it's like for stem phd's but in the humanities. It's just a very wild and willie world back. You're really just alone with your thoughts. You're not going to a lab. You're not obtaining measurable results usually. You're just reading a lot and trying to think and trying to make an idea out of that and there's not a lot of Built in you don't understand the value of social connection during that time until it's just already feels like it's beyond repair and So i'm not certainly not the only st candidate who's ever gotten to that phase and suddenly found themselves almost like before i knew it. I mean a lot of there. Were a lot of sad times. But i'm used. I'm resilient bad times you know. I work harder. That's what we do right but there was just. There came this time when i was suddenly like. Wow i can't get out of my chair. I can't get up and go get ready and go. Teach my downtown at this. The community college where i was teaching. I can't you know. I can't get in the shower like there were just. It happened like that. The experience of it was that by the time i was by the time i knew i was depressed. I was already really in it So yeah positive. Cumulative but he didn't notice the first steps in when he noticed it was already at a more acute stage. Yes and i think that's partly i think not to blame for everything under grad school. But i do think there's a certain degree of misery is normalized in those programs. At least if it's a top competitive program. I mean university of chicago. Their motto for the undergrads. Do you know it. Nope the undergrads have a motto. Their university of chicago where fun comes to die and they have it on t shirts in the gift shop. So there's a kind of yeah and that's the attitude that you know. I mean not every program to be sure but this kind of Rigorous you know sort of priding itself on academic rigor they literally make it part of their selling package that this is the place where you go to be miserable. So you know when you're starting to feel that you know the winters are long the you're cold you're broke and you're just dragging yourself from here to there trying to finish this these chapters that like nobody like let's be real. Nobody really wants to read them. When you do finish them and give them to your adviser they may not get them back to you for six or eight weeks. It's just like it's easy to be like. well this. Is you know. This is right. Where i should be. This is how the this is the experience. This is what all. Phd's field and it. It is true that a lot of them do. But that's not okay. No it's so that. By the finishing the peachy you need to create something original new to the to the the subject To to your subject area so there is a part of by design of Of being solitary in that aspect but then once you get socially isolated Once you're in your mind all the time and and that's where it becomes dangerous and so that the graduate school even like in stem in and i think expresses in a different way. Because it's not being just you in front of a blank page and with a bunch of books around you. It's being at the at the lab for you know sixty eighty hours a week and not having social life that there's different ways. It's it expresses in different domains. I'm sure but One one thing that usually People when we talk about this people say that helped them is having a community. Outside of whatever is th there graduate schoolwork I know. I've known people who had deteriorated. You know People who had did arts and in or sports but again if you're ready to far too for into this kind of slope towards depression it can be hard to even just go out of of of your department and interact with other people. How did you. How did you get out of that of that That of low point. Let's say well. I think you're absolutely right. I think that having outside contacts and a life outside of grad school is so important. And it i mean it just never happened for me. I was very social person in grad school. We you know. My cohort was very social with each other. But i think there's a point at which you just have to have people outside of that world you have to for perspective if nothing else and it's really hard. Yeah of course. It's hard to do to grad school. Where where are you going to look for people you know. What are you going to do go to play. And then like just introduce yourself to the person you're sitting next to you know unless you it almost requires i think you have to maybe look activities or look for something some kind of group classes or something to meet someone but usually you're so busy and tied up in your own work. You don't feel like there's room for that for me. Moving to austin was really the thing. Because i had a ready made. I mean my family is in texas. I it's my old familiar places. I was excited to be there and everywhere i turn. There's a you know either a familiar face or the promise of one And good memories just memories of a time. When i was a person who did not care about this stuff that was consuming me in grad school. So i mean. I think it's i think there are a lot of things wrapped up in this but one of the things is that that people talk a lot about and i think it's true. Is that when you're in grad school. There is not a lot of Credence given to the world outside. You know the idea is that this is the most important thing. This is the only thing that's worthwhile or worthy and your value comes from this world and there's the people out there are doing you know things that are less important and and they're not as and they're pursuing shallow or boring things. But i think having a community when i moved to austin and my husband has Has a day job. That's not his passion however he's always been an actor and a comic and a writer and he performs in plays and writes them and funny and does improv and has done all these things and had a huge community of people who in that world who were sort of artists performers creatives and just seeing them just knowing them and seeing them was so Paradigm shifting for me because it just got me out of that mindset of like oh everything important does in this one tiny tiny tiny slice of the world. I could see that there were things of value being done. I could see that. There was creativity and intellect and flourishing ideas outside of the program. And although i think i knew that intellectually on some level it's different when you're surrounded by people that show you you know i mean yes. It's horrible when you're visor emails you something you don't like or there's some snag and the paperwork to get your next level or whatever but you know when you just look around you and the birds chirping and there's you know you can go swimming outside or go to a coffee shop with a friend and talk about something else it's just a makes a world of different you can put that negative thing on a on a specific drawer and they say it belongs there but life is here and it's far my whole life and my value is not coterminous with my work that i produced in this one context and i have value person. That's not just an accessory to someone else's career development. I mean i'll just. I can go on forever about this but you know a lot of the feelings that i came out of grad school with but i didn't even realize the moment i was feeling but you know the way are the my advisers are certain professors would treat you as if you only exist as sort of an accessory to their career. You need to go out there and get yourself a research one job because you'll make them look good. You know I have you know the metric rights for the success. Professors these where there with Graduate students end up being a again. Things are changing. I think they are but you know me too. I also defended on in twenty ten outage and in these years. I see i see things changing and changing for the better and now now one thing that i was curious about that you just said like In passing was And i i'm thinking about it. Because i think it may relate to to the book Too bad habits. Is you said that you felt that certain point in graduate school things changed between the the call between the cohort between the different credit students. And i have a feeling that it has to do with competing for these positions. That are scarce. Was that also part of what was making you feel more down to the towards the end of the of the of the phd. Or i'm just thinking if this was a factor and maybe there's a connection to to mac and bad habits well there definitely is a connection I think you know in bad habits. I wanted to make it really clear. Even though i frequently talk about it as a cutthroat environment it's competitive backstabbing blah blah blah. But the fact is in bad habits. You read the book. The the students are actually not particularly pilloried in the book. Right there's there are. There are manipulated. And so you see you see how i mean. Some of them are kind of have characteristics that are less pleasant or than others. But you see how everyone's weakness is pulled out and intensified that their their insecurities end up defining them and they beat. They behave badly because they are scared. And so that's kind of you know it's not that i don't want it. I'm not trying to get around this question of like you know how people behaved in grad school. But i do wanna contextualized it desist if of my book if you can say novel has visas. Is that These systemic structures are people behave badly when they get into a place that set up for them to behave badly where there's scarcity of resources where there's a rigid hierarchical structure with little hope of advancement. And yet you know. Endless work is to is required of you. Because you are. Your work is considered to be your the value of who you are and where colts culture personality are really fostered by the structure of the academic system. So that you know there are sort of running joke in the book. How looney the professors art fun with that. But you know in graduate school. I we used to joke about it being like a reality show where we were all and they were the judges and we would laugh at their personality quirks but we were aware that we had to curry favour. Avoid displeasing so and so You know we were. You know. I mean it was almost a friend of mine who is in my writing. Baku read the book early. I mean my writing group who read the book early compared to court politics and that to me sounded really apt. She said this sounds like an arcane system. Where people are courting favour and Dispensing favor and. That's what i wanted to capture in that in the book. So it's it's less per se. I mean yes. The students behave badly but even the professors who are kind of running things even they also have insecurities and weaknesses have been amplified over the years in this of overall structure. So you know. I think like i when i on the ground in in the program. You know it can feel very alienating to have somebody who was your friend that you thought was really on your side suddenly turn to you and say you know and you got something to prove. Why are you you know it just suddenly kind of becoming aggressive around rival or something or just around milestones or having people. Yeah just having people Suspicious of each other and and the professors honestly some of them really thrived off of that they thrived off of the personality is all about you. Know they sort of thrived off people trying to get close to them and You know there's a moment in the in the book where i think it's a bethany lad is the professor in the book is kind of the the main symbol of all this in the mug. She is the one who reaches out and sort of pits. Mac and gwen against each other along with her with her husband. Her young husband the hunky rocky. She's married but she's the power. She's the power professor in this couple and they're they're married professors and they sort of reach out and Sort of tap these two stars of the program and wind up sort of setting them against each other. So that's how the friendship with glenn begins to erode By it you know. There's there are lots of moments in the book. Show bethany sort of toying with mac and and just You know dropping little hints like saying all of my students are brilliant except one. You know things statements like that. That i heard i mean these are some of these are actually real things that people said in graduate school. Which you know are just kind of weird brain bombs when someone is really trying to mess with you Or maybe not even trying is just what they do so. Yeah but the that's what the book is about. It's really about those moments. Where somebody in this case mac. Who's really comes in really She's never had. She had to grow up too soon. Her father left her mother's an addict. She's really never had the kind of parental love and care that she needed. And she's really desperate for that and so she really immediately kind of falls for this This type of attention from this adviser. Yeah so and. That's a long answer bruising in india. It doesn't feel like futile type system of hierarchy and having to do the gain favor to to then be able to you know vie for this higher position eventually when it opens or it's really really in an interesting thing. What it makes me want to ask you is. It comes from a time ago. This culture of grad school peach become becoming a professor university. And especially when you get to grad school into wanting to be a professor. He gets more and more that when you were an undergrad i you know it's another different universe if there was a way to reshape this This thing of graduate school in Become being graduate researcher. How how could things step-by-step become better and and farther and farther away from this. Arcane almost am i wanna see medieval if it's do arts but you know culture traits it does come from the medieval tradition and it comes from a tradition of You know monastic study in which people really did give up their entire life. So i don't think it's an exaggerated comparison but in terms of fixing it. You know i. I am a writer of thrillers is not science fiction or fantasy and part of that is because i am a lot more interested in diagnosing than i am in Solution enzyme just not. You know. I don't have i think the first thing for at least for me to do the first thing to do is to diagnose it in name it and really be candid about it. So that's kind of my goal. I think in general. When i write i wanna find out why things happen the way they do. But yeah when i think about it i think part of it is just that i don't actually believe there's a utopian version of a phd program. I'm not sure that university str- are structured the way they should be for the future I see a lot of anguish in university circles. Guy still do have a lot of professor friends. Many of whom did finally make it out of the out of the morass and and have jobs in the universities and They worry a lot about the corporatization of the university and making it a consumer model where the student is consumer and yada yada. And i think those worries are very well-founded because the way forward is not to make it more a kind of capitalist 'corporate model but that said i'm not sure what is i mean. I'm not sure that there is a place for the kind of work that at least that i was doing. I'm just not sure that it there needs to be a special set of programs for it. I know that's horrible night. I if there was it would look really different. It would look. It wouldn't just be as small minor reform. I mean we could start by. I think we could start by cutting administrative and Athletic bloat and diverting that issue into actually hiring and paying people Instead of exploiting their labor which is like the vicious exploitation of adjunct labor and graduate labor is something. I don't even go into really in the book. Because i didn't have time room but You know it's it's the height of hypocrisy for all of these Especially in humanities which are still largely dominated by marxist and poke marxist thinking It is the height of hawker sea to believe that this model is working when it functions on starvation wages for the vast majority of labor pool. So you know that's just i think Yeah so i had to just like the first thing. I would say just fixed the structure so that people who work get paid and don't have to starve or be rich. The other thing that does as in other culture industries is it only It makes it only accessible for people who already have wealthy parents stream of income subsidizing their studies. So it's just really to me. That's a real sickness at the heart of the phd's the phd model. It's a really great point. One thing i feel is each time. I talk with someone who has pg humanities you know and they're doing something different clearly they're doing something different because their thinkers and they developed a lot of that thinking capacity that deep thinking capacity in graduate school to a certain extent There's there are things you learn in grad school. Although maybe you don't need to go through some of the suffering that you do to learn them but you know working in different and consulting companies are in banks and the kris humphry. My i guess of the season. He works in in equitable in equitable banking. I think that's the term in in the uk and he has a phd in medieval medieval history. Here we go back to medieval i. Don't it's this team today Now yeah i. I think the point that she said and we. We're getting to the end of the interview of just making and i again. I'm going to repeat myself making the experience of being in grad school equitable for everyone. Who's wants to do. It is definitely one starting point and then once that is that is done. They'll probably be more diversity in grad school in who goes and eventually diversity in who's professor and eventually know maybe that is one way culture can change because you'll bring in people whose brains are wired differently. Who's you know who have different culture different way of thinking things and maybe that that's the way maybe that's the way make it make it as accessible to make the same caa my god. I'm i'm i'm trying to find my words and i can't but make it accessible to everyone in the same manner and then make people be able to to live to live with wages. That are okay. You know that are realistic. For sure is a good starting point. Amy i think yeah. I think there's a lot of eventually. And i kind of feel like yeah. There's other things that should be done. But i will. I will accept it as a first step. It's it's it's a big task. And i just wanted to kind of touch upon it a little bit based on what you're saying amy. We ended up really not talking about a lot about bad habits. Although we did. And we. I think people have an idea of of what the the adventure would getting into if they when they start in. The book is and and It sounds interesting now. If the if people want to get the book where can they get it. It's available everywhere. It's on all the usual sites amazon. Bookshop houghton mifflin is the one that put it out. it's available on their website to it's Yeah if you if you don't see it in your local indie give them a call and ask him to order it in special for you. But a lot of the indies habit as well and i always encourage people to buy from their local independent bookstore when ever possible grizzlies. Yes it's true and now if people were piqued their interest to speak by what you said or by your path your journey towards being writer they want to know a little bit more about writing or maybe about Book reviewing they wanna get the possibility of talking with you house. How do they reach out to you. What's the best way they can go to my website. Www dot amy dash gentry dot com so m. y. dash d. e. n. t. r. y. And there's a contact form on the web site so that i'll i'll get it there. You can also follow me on twitter at landed gentry. And i'm also on instagram there and i do. I'm on twitter a lot probably to my detriment. But i'm there a lot so you can always hit me up there. And he. i think those are the two best ways. And i love to talk about transitioning into novel writing. It is a really on. Its own a very fascinating area. And i love to give advice on it. So please hit me up and also if i just want to deliver a message out there to any one in any form of phd program. If you feel like you have a novel inside you just write it. You don't have to wait. You don't have to wait until you get an academic job start writing it now and hit me up and and maybe you can make your dream come true now. That's great and also given that you're talking to people who are still in grad school based on what we talked about. And you said your three you know. You're you're writing thrillers. You're not science fiction but You know everyone right now is still an academia is suffering with with kovic with the pandemic people some people not being able to meet their colleagues and you know and go to lab Hiring freezes he left and right do you have some words For people who are going through these difficulties or maybe difficulties that that look like what you went through By by the end of upc some words of comfort and inspiration. Maybe i would say that. Just know that you're not alone. it's not you it's not fair. This is happening In the big world and The system wasn't great to begin with before the pandemic kit. So please be easy on yourself if you possibly can be and when you feel bad and you have a moment of setback rejection sadness. Just do something nice for yourself by something that makes you happy. Go take a bath. Do something nice My philosophy in the end of grad school and also transitioning into writing novels. It's the same is always carrots. Never sticks so. I know you need to motivate yourselves to finish your program and i hope you do that I wish she could luck doing it. But just focus on those carrots. Those rewards and put away the sticks. They don't work. That's awesome Amy thank you so much Thank you so much for your time. and thanks for sharing your story and And for giving us a small peak inside bad habits. I think it's it's probably very interesting. I think all of us have to wrestle. Must have a moment in the book where we're going to say. Oh yeah i saw this happened for sure. No you and you know just listening to some of the things you mentioned. I definitely had some moments whereas like Yep so everyone Who's listening the links for for the book but also for contacting. Amy are going to be in the show notes. Amy thank you so much for having been unpopular st all the best for the continuation of your book launch which i imagine now is the longer excise. The normal ties little big. Yeah thanks david so much. I appreciate being on the show. He was a great little. Thank you so much. Thanks for listening to another episode of the papa. Phd podcast head over to papa. Peach dot com for show notes in for more food for thought about non-academic post grad careers. I'll always be happy to share inspiring stories. New ideas and useful resources on the podcast. So make sure you subscribe on. I tunes or wherever you get your podcasts. To always keep up with the discussion and to hear from latest guests.

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The Art of the Informational Interview with Matteo Tardelli

Papa Phd Podcast

45:49 min | 9 months ago

The Art of the Informational Interview with Matteo Tardelli

"If you ask me or anyone helping people with career transitions what the most powerful tool is. An testing the waters and in growing your network. When preparing for job hunting you will most certainly hear these. Two words informational interviews. Today's guest has invested strongly in this exercise so much so that he's published a book based on his learnings in on the conversations he's had about career exploration once you push yourself out there and you just try to ask people for the time they'll be more than happy to help and there was also for me like something surprising because i was as you as you mentioned there was like i wanna bother these people and staff turning confidence in in asking time to talk to me and stuff but actually they've been through that as well Of in your shoes before they really you know more than happy to help you out. So that was kind of surprising. Welcome to pop. Up with david mendez. The podcast where we explore careers in life after grad school with guests who have walked the road less traveled and have unique stories to tell about how they made their place in the world of constantly evolving rules. Get ready to go off the beaten path and huon for an exciting new episode of the pd. So welcome to this week's episode of poppy. This week i have the pleasure of having me mateo. Daily mateo describes himself as a beach looking into a leap into industry. He's currently a research scientists in biochemistry and medicine at one cornell medicine and is the author of the salmon leap for phd's a book where he explores the question of transitioning from academia into the private sector. Welcome to pop st michio. Thanks a lot. It's a pleasure to have you here. I always like having people under show who have thought enough about this question of making the move You know outside academia to write a book about it and of course we'll talk about your your book Later on and and maybe even what was the process of of researching for it in writing it. But let's start from the beginning. And i'll let you introduce yourself and then you talk a little bit about your current position. You know what it is what what it entails and then from there we'll go to the journey of how you got to where you are today. I have I'm actually originally from italy and right now a workers post scientists wacko cornell medicine here in new york city and i think life and work brought me to some extent to leaving experience different countries and cultures and that was really interesting so far. But i just want to give you a little bit of a background on my coverage oranje and i think first of all after my masters degrees in florence. I just wanted to get a job based on point. So that's why. I moved to london. And i started working for private pharmacy and that was for like a couple of years and but after that i decided i really wanted more education so then apply for a phd and actually found one in australia. The medical university of so then. You know after my everything i started. Actually my first boss dog which was in the same institution but just in another lab and lead to my current position in the us. And it's been almost a couple of years. Also so and i think these my second postal goes really Interesting for me. Because i must say i really developed fertig expertise outside academia and i think there was really interesting a little bit more interested in the first one and in fact i started working as it part time consultants and then team leads like part time for pre scouter Which is a consulting company for healthcare and these kinds of things and also. It was really interesting as well. That was that. I started volunteering for some dr associations such as the mpa so the national association and the us in the outreach committee and also for new york city which is a local networking and kind of association for phd's pasta cts. So i think these all of those experiences which were outside the classic any path got me to my latest side hustle which was writing my book some league phd and publish it on amazon. So i think especially the seconds parts of my pasta. Really interesting one. That's going to understand. You know other ways outside the ten year old classic tenure track positions super interesting. Well can you go a little bit more about that. You know you're you know you're going along away. The academic you know you had the image of the academic path and then you saw something different. Can you talk a little bit about what that was. Or maybe who the probably people that you saw or that you met. Can you talk a little bit about what that click was a change and well basically a really understood that some points that did not want to become a pi myself. There was there was a little bit of a wakeup call. When you when you kind of understand that you have your your boss's job basically a really good at writing grants and and these kind of things. So i was just saying to myself on on what. What's what's your tentative to that. And to be honest at the beginning it was a kind of overwhelming a. Because i don't know the thing we we'd academia. Is that you know you don't really get to experience a lot of the outsides kind of job landscape so once you You know you start applying and trying to understand what's out there. It's really kind of complicated to understand. So i kind of points was trying really to understand the meaning of job positions. You'll get these. I don't know upstream downstream scientists. Emc scientists crowd. All these really difficult acronyms that you don't really understand so in this process was really important for me to first of all really tackle the meaning of these of these jobs and understand it and i found myself in this process while the covid pandemic eight so i started really attending a lot of career fairs and also talk to of career coaches and stuff. Just try to understand that. Got me to the to the realization that you know putting together all these notes and stuff then leads You know to just put together a lot of content and so to write the book and these career fairs mentioned the you know. These types of of events were there by by in university. Or did you have to go looking Was it something that was like easy to get to. It was normally organized by allah universities and the tree institution kind of area. So i think this was really easy for me to find also in new york city landscape. That's a really a lot of Interesting kind of events that are could attend and you know nowadays koby to everything. They made it really easy because you could go and attend as many as event wanted living basically so that was easy and it was nice as well. Who'll and now thinking you you. I don't recall how long you've been in the states. But you came from europe Do you have a feeling of How easy would have been to have had the same contacts. The same networking happen. If you had stayed in europe well. Yeah i think probably in the us was an easier thing to do. Because i think the the culture everybody speaks the same language whereas in europe is a little bit more complex with it. I mean in my experience for instance in australia. Easy to move there and up to about of course you need to speak and adult language well and that could be a little bit of obstacles to actually network and get to know new people sometimes. Although of course in academia everybody everyone speaks english on their everyday job. But i think in the us probably was there was as a process to be honest so so the other question that i had was how in thinking of people listening who are thinking of maybe going to the states. How is it. How easy was it to to settle down to to find your tribe to find your routine. Once he got to the to the states. Absolutely so I think i was. I the way i got the job so basically there was a kind of a fun story. So was presenting san francisco at a at a conference. The results of my previous boss stock So i was there with my former colleagues and stuff and then you know by network data people and also the. Pi's i go to talk to my actually my current boss so it was like really in for more kind of interview and networking events and some points at this conference. There's some point we decided whether we give it a try. And you come to my lab. So i think the job. Hunting process was really relatively easy in these networking events conferences and things. So then the There was a two thousand eighteen so the appetite arrived here and i think the movie itself. It was not as complicated as as before as i thought it would. Because yeah i mean although it was one of the further move i dates. Language is kind of straightforward and stuff is easy but of course took a bit to understand also the system because it's way different from from europe. You know finding finding an apartment also. The health system is a little bit more complex. These kinds of bureaucracy stuff was really complicated to understand at the beginning so a lot of learning curve at the beginning to understand and also come to a new cd and you need to adapt to any working environment and your colleagues and things so it was a little bit also coming at the beginning but still you know a nice challenge so it took a little bit there but i think overall it was it was kind of easy to yeah and up to the new Colleagues and work environment. Yeah so you'd recommend if someone you know wherever in europe could be portugal wanting to come to new york. The research environment is vibrant. For of course absolutely very vibrant and. That's that's what i really liked about it. Because like for instance as you might imagine like you're doing your post doc. You probably don't learn a lot. It's more like during your masters and your phd's when you have the learning curve like which goes up look every community and these i found was not the case for reasons doing my first post. I was learning quite a bit but definitely not as much as you saw here at. The first year was really pule learning so really recommend to anyone looking to get a better grasp on their own research. Caveat comment for for a little bit of time. Yeah the helps a lot. I must say all right. So let's talk about. I love the image of the salmon. Leap 'cause leaping against the current but let's talk about family for phd's end you. I've offended super interesting that you along the way were meeting people going to events and taking notes and i just i just like to for you to kind of give kind of thirty thousand feet view of the of the book itself but also of some of the key things that made you. I think of writing a book and say okay. I have material and i have ideas and then what those main main ideas were and why they were important for you. I think one of the very much interesting drivers for me to drive these to to really write. This book was the fact that s- transitioning into to an industry post is such a big topic in dinner is just incredible and it feels like if you talk to like friends or peers partners outside academia. They wouldn't understand it and it will be like wow. That's just sent him for a new job buds. i understood. It was not the case. And so i wanted to create it to a little bit to facilitate this process and i think in the process of writing was also important for me to a sum up and understand so i think i'm vision that there's a tool kit to four scientists to try to understand a little bit the industry landscape and also to prepare better for that so i think it was the whole idea around it and i. That's all joanie was dangerous. I think he made a lot of fun. Just meeting people networking and studying it off into information interviews which was extremely useful for me but also like it created a lot of content for the book as well so does it all advising their their. They're really useful scientists looking into these upstream and just question. Because i haven't been able to read the book itself but the question is is it geared more towards people in sciences or does it also apply to people in humanities social sciences place to everyone of. It's it's a very much more geared towards scientists but if you if you look at the book at especially its its talking about about a study. We value assessment process which is important for everyone and it goes more into specific. Things such as crafting nice and lean. Cv and application materials trying to understand lincoln. A little be more which is very important for scientists. I find probably twenty percent of my colleagues said lincoln which is kind of You know like crazy if you think about it. Everyone is research gates but lincoln is no such thing for scientists then unfortunately or fortunately. It's a very important tool to get a job saw especially in industry. So i'm going through as well and then get some advice also to prepare for but from information abuse interview so it's really like a go to for any kind of ht's to be honest and you're mentioning the fact that not so many scientists are on. Lincoln is true that it's it's It's kind of a maybe a lost opportunity. The more you take time to get on there because today you know. There's so much talk about knowledge. Transfer startups deep tech a science becoming business. And i do agree with you that Ha having a a a profile on dean is a big plus to open doors just to just to contact just to net for networking is. It's awesome but then things can transpire with all this networking that happens. That's very geared towards jobs or or business degree yet. Input fact is that you really need to know how to use it. A little bit and So that's that's what's you know these for now. You mentioned having a certain amount of number of informational interviews. And i actually see the podcast as i'm doing kind of information interviews on moore of the listeners. Who are doing their thing. And then they can pop in and listen to to the story but my question to you is. Do you have kids. And i just don't have an answer. It's fine but do you have one conversation that you remember. There was a moment for you in that. Gave you a bunch of material or that that gave you a new idea that that you were kind of not expecting or that you were really inspired by. I can think of To a specific ones. I had one with clinical research associates from Switzerland was then became a actually a friend and the city my network and i think there was a good one because i really did not understand. I really was into known bench. Kind of transitions. I was looking into something else outside the classic. Rnd scientist position. So i was constantly people like into medical science liaisons. msl or these clinical research associated and trying to understand what's their days look like. And so i think. I can't remember these one that this person explain to me a really much. What's had job was about and really understood. They just wasn't for me. And i think this was a positive and negative outcome. Both i think it was over a positive because i really understood that. So you know. I would just shouldn't waste my time looking into that so i think there was a there was a good one. Although oppose possibly the outcome was was negative. Whereas if i can think about another one Was in a scientist in in the uk. That side Information interview with. And i think instead with our conversation was was a really nice understood. Pretty much what she was doing. And i also understood that possibly my skills will would align to kind of job so i think that was really useful overall and also what i echo take home a little bit more stats her experience in transition from a post doc to this position which was a lot of kind of advice in regards to salary negotiation and what people are looking to when day. Actually i'm a recruit for this kind of position as scientists. So i think there was a really good one as well but i had a bunch of of talks. We'd allow people. So i think really helps overall to understand and now to focus. Also my my hands. Well i talk often during doing interviews especially with people who are in career placement We've talked about this this concept of informational interviews and given that have had some practice doing them no thinking again of the listener. That's out there may be feeling. Oh i don't wanna bug You know. I don't want to be i don't want to take that. The person style or they won't have time for me Can you give two or three pointers. On how to address someone for into an informational interview but also to prepare. So i think for me. It was it was really important importance first of all as a process to get myself out of my comfort zone. These was so important for me. Because i don't know i think as academics in general really tend to close down ourselves in these ivory towers labs and to some extent these translates into also hanging out. Only with your colleagues and things is wrong to some extent because they just need to meet diverse people outside work. And that's important. So i think the first take home message for me was just to get out of my comfort zone and these help to lots an to reach out to people And propensities information on interviews. And of course. I try to always keep a really open and positive mindset within that and tried to be curious about what's looking forward to the conversations we about to have and new you find. It's kind of fascinating but people are very much open to help to be honest. I mean that's what. I found out so to address your question. Listeners is Yeah i mean If you once you push yourself out there and you just try to ask people for the time they'll be happy to help and there was also for me like something surprising. Because i was as as you mentioned i was like I don't wanna bother these people and stuff like that and feel confidence in the time to talk to me and stuff but actually being through that as well. They were in your shoes before. So they you more than happy to help you out. So that was kind of surprising for me matteo. You'll be surprised how willing people out there are to help someone following in their footsteps. Not everyone will reach out to will be available but a lot of them will do a quick search on lincoln and try reaching out to someone who's career path you admire. That's the point of such a platform. I then went on to ask matteo. About specific questions one should ask in an informational interview but before going back to the interview i just want to let you know of a promotion offer that i received for all of the beach. Listeners need graphics or animations for research or if you creating scientific content of any kind scientists to reach out to me to offer ten percent of any of this services from whitewater animations in script writing to social media management and conference launch packages to get the ten percent off. All you need to do is go to scientists dot studio with two ts. The link is in the show notes and use the promo code papa peachy in one word at checkout and now back to our interview now about particular questions has talked about talking salary and when you come out of graduate school in my in my case i had no no sort of a point of reference for discussing these things How did that conversation. Come up in your informational interviews. And you know how can how can the listeners. Approach this tactfully to get some important insights on you know what maybe to ask when when they get an interview. Let's say of course. I think every person needs to prepare little bit in advance. Because also you don't wanna you don't wanna just showed up and Wasting people's time to be honest so it's a it's important to prepare little bits and to this extent i will say. Just try to write down some some questions you have. I mean shortly will be like. How's your everyday job. Look like because of course if you don't have a if you have no idea what this job is about in you need to know if you're interested in it and also you can depending a talking to buy your soul can ask about the company. If you're interested in joining the company and stuff. I think the point of a salary product comes a little bit towards the end but i. There's a lot of tools out there. That help benchmarking beds. I mean as a glass so in other and other websites i really good benchmark for in regards to and a number so i think probably on your first information interview. I wouldn't be asking debt. Necessarily i will be more curious to understand. Really what their job look like. What's if travelling is involves or like a have to kind of network or talk with a lot of people within the team. How the overall structure of their work life looks like so. I think that's the most thing. I was really caring ballots. And i prepared for dead and thirty minutes. You can get a lot of information out of it so it was kind of nice and as you say people know some people will be busy and say no but a lot of people in. You've talked of lincoln. People on lincoln are always always always available to help anyone who kind of wants to fold the same path as they did it. It's flattering in a way and it allows them to give back so i totally agree with you now. One point that you mentioned before When when i asked you about not important conversations so here you just talked about you. Know having kind of a a certain list of questions or points that you want to cover informational interview. But you mentioned that two conversations that you've had were at opposite poles of okay this job. I know i don't want for me. It is not a good fit for me and this one okay. It's a fit. What would you say. This question of is this job aligned with my values with my interests. How important is that part of identifying. Okay this is somewhere where i can go. Work in. l. thrive or okay. I i in my resume fits all the criteria but there's something either about the culture of the the company or just about the day to day itself. How important you think this is for the successful transition show. So i spent a thing for me was one of the first and foremost important thing to do. So first of all try to assess my values in such a way as off tools out there. I mean if you think about the my. Dpd is a tool that it's organized by the guys from science But also i found out. There's a lot of other tools such as a career therapy cards or these kinds of things. It's really interesting because you get to understand a little bit more about your values your skills and what you want for your future career. I and i think that's something that's you should try to understand before even getting there so this should be like almost a clear almost but after that i think also for me it was important to understand. And it's also like way. I actually divided booking too so i wanted to understand whether for me. It was a more interesting to bench based or or a non bench so basically by understanding also all the positions out there. I actually went for the bench base job. Because i kind of liked it. I kind of feel more comfortable with it and stuff. So i think these two things were really kind of important to understand which one of these two examples where where really interesting for me. So i understood that. I wanted to have a bank shop. Probably you know kind of no one under percent macrolide fifty to sixty percents bench and then the rest of my time. I would love to give presentations on. I state also right protocols and stuff were as possible that time in bench job. Just of fully for instance consulting venture capital or. This kind of stuff was not interesting for me. So once i understood this and once understood also what my my virus way and my skill set was lying. I think the choice was way easier than he was nine the past because i really did not kind of think about it cooperates an and understood what i wanted for my next career. Step so i think this was really important of self assessment and self introspection stare this this. May this meant that your you'd spend your energies once you have figured that out you'd be very focused on how you spend your energies in this search and you would not spend it in domains that were out of that value show which is also very useful for you right so you don't waste time like applying for jobs. They don't want so. I agree totally and you say something. That's really friends really important. Which which is we think about It's easy to think about this question of career exploration or career building You think about it as something that is. You know that you find on the outside you open your eyes and you need to to look and there's so much that takes part that that that happens inside that you need to do before with some tools that that you mentioned that i imagine some of them are in your book. But it's on your desk figuring out what your values are and and you know what you don't want to do so then you cross it out and you don't spend time there. I find it really really cool. Maybe i'd want to and to share is the just the structure of the book. You mentioned it on passer. Can you a little bit about though the main The main chapters or the main sections that people can find in the salmon leap for the show so they so eight starts with introduction. As i said. I think the first thing for me was really to understand self-assessment and value kind of a situation in which you wanna find yourself in. And i think this is covered a little bit in the first chapter. And and i think after that i really go into more details and i rather kava little bit topic of networking and out to network before you actually need it. So networking little billion advance before you actually need a joke and then trying to understand what's waiting out there for you and i think i read cover a little bit of detail. Staff will talk a bit about He didn't job markets and how to tap into that and after. I really go As we said. I really little bits on Lincoln and How to You know like have a lincoln for scientists right and that's that's really important and then once you once you understand and you try to have a little bit of an online presence yours. It's also important to tap into the career. Options staggered for you. And as we mentioned before i really divided that into bench based on bench is kind of also try to list of jobs that allow people don't understand like quality control scientists manufactoring scientists this process development scientists. What the hell is that. I really don't understand. He says as academics. We're not you know to some extent prepared to that cavalry. That we don't have another. it's gonna. it's really weird. So i tried to cover. That's to make a little bit of clarity. And then i go into some some skill to identify skill gaps that you have for successful tradition and al to fill it and then of course the information interview is chapter and and then get a little bit more details with sorta say you'll the marketing material that you have so your resume and cover letter so i give some examples there. We should actually kind of interesting really important in india the process and in the application process and towards the end of the book. I also of course get into really interviews and how to prepare for that. I also have a little. You know some paragraphs about zoom interviews. Because let's get nowadays. Ray so i also covered that a little bit and towards the very end of the book. Also talk about negotiation so a little bit of salary negotiation there. I attended some courses that there's a lot of you know psychology also happening so that's really important to Also tried to understand that once you receive an offer then After the final remarks. And things i just Gives some references and other tools and resources for people to you know just manage that transition and i had been the they want to be proud of it. Sounds like a really cool in a thorough tool kit. I i wish. I had had it and the but you said some things In thank you for for presenting that. I think it gives the listeners. A good idea of what they're expecting When they get the book. And i think they all make sense in the follow is really good now. You mentioned two things one is the hidden market. I wanna talk about that. And the second was identifying skill gaps interview. But you talk a little bit about what is this hidden job markets. Absolutely so as as said as you find also in a in a of articles dicuss and stuff. We know that within companies as of vacancies people leaving come and many of these vacancies are not really advertised in a in the traditional way as we know it so i think that's pretty much the definition of the market and they talk about twenty percent of jobs. Dan rea no ties publicly as as you would expect it to be so. I think it's it's kind of a good percentage Of of things that you should be aware of and how to access to these of course. It's through knowing people as always again. So the classical classic information interviews at can really refer you when colleagues is leaving colleagues is just on career letter. And i think it's really important So that's that's another point for information interviews. It's really important to understand. I what you wanna do. But it's really also great to network with these people. They would probably keep in mind when such occasionally really come along the way so. That's that's good. We're reaching towards the end in this some some things that i'd like to cover One of the things is let you you know tell listeners. Where they can find. The book will get there in a minute. But now we're we're now in the middle of the covid pandemic and you'll agree with me that for job searchers. It's tough at this at this time. I guess it's a good moment for that introspection. But what's your take on that. What are some some pieces of advice you can give people who may be. We'd be discouraged. they you know they've They've applied to a couple of positions. And they you know. They weren't selected for some reason. And you know what what would be a strategy to make the most of this strange times that these times it will living through right now. It's really complicated right now. I think to make the most of it showed. The introspection part is important but also work on your application montrose. Also really one of the thing. I really Suggests job seekers to do and it's also good that we can attend a low of course and stuff to get better and dead so i think invest a little bit of time in a towards your obligation materials also towards understanding what you wanna do. It's really important here and also again information on interviews. These are really important and everybody is at home right now. So it's really it's much easier to get a yes. The dead and building your network slowly in that direction. I think is really important right now. And it's discouraging sometimes to get a lot of rejections but you still need to keep your open mindset and just trying to understand be resident and you know keep on working towards something that you want so i think although the time to be scary and difficult for everyone you know that's that's all it is actually a one less little question because these things have rejections things go differently. You can just get a no and then get no feedback but you can get something out of a rejection right. What i did also in the past. Actually i really asked a really go back to these. Two people sometimes reject me for some positions there really. I thought i was really team Very well and really asked what was missing my cv in some of them. Replay to me and said Property you'll ever seniority is not enough for this kind of things. So you also understand their how to modify Things a little bit. And i think that's that's a positive process also so that you could take positive positive out of that negative. I you know it's clear that you've thought about this a lot. I'm really happy to have you share all this school and in very pertinent and very timely knowledge With with my listeners. Now where can they find the salmon leap for phd's so it's sold on amazon. So wherever you are able to get it which is great that covers a lot of nationalities and things so it's Languages in english so everyone should understand it. So i think in on amazon and i decided to since we're getting closer to black friday week and decided to push price a little bit so i think it's it's an i said. Yeah now to get it. Everyone this will not air before black friday. But i'll make sure to to go to go on the social the social media and and it makes them promotion for you before that amazing bert. Also on amazon. It's easy the salmon. Leap dis matteo daily. You don't even because there's two ts into but if they look for the salmon leap you'll find it i sport. It's on kindle to write for people have kindled satellite. So it's zia from the conversation that we had. It's clear to me that there's a lot of it's really a toolkit you'll you'll find you'll find in the book not only examples not only stories but also tools and strategies to make you work towards that transition and like we just said this. This is a process. You will be rejected as the same as you. Some people will say no for for informational interviews. Just don't take it personally. Take the most positive out of it if you can. you know. Go and and and ask for some feedback so you can have some some Some learn you know some learning points from that experience and then build up and be better at the at the next. That's the next step mateo this was a great pleasure. i hope enjoyed it too And i thank you for your time and then for coming on the show. Thank you for s chat. And that's it for this week. I hope you feel more confident about your job hunt right now and that you have some actionable items to follow up with if you want to dig deeper into the points. Mateo mentioned during our conversation. Go by his book. The amazon link is in the show notes. and now it's podcast discovery time and this week. I'm bringing you a very funny science comedy. Podcast petri dish and another great podcast covering all aspects of the life wise grad. Roll the tape along candidate genetic petri dish. We're a science podcast exploring complex subjects clarity and evil few joined the scientific revolution join petri dish dropping every monday on inker. Fm slash petri dish. Hey i'm sanjay willing wise grad. This is the goal to podcasts for. Everyone interested in currently stuck in recently exited the academic world so students and students at life. Here we'll discuss topics ranging from overcoming academic goes to find jobs to navigating the imminent midlife crisis. I call it. The podcast motivated procrastinators. So if you're a super driven but can't seem to get the car started this. Podcasts is definitely for you and that's it for this week. Thank you for being a true fan. I'll be expecting you next week with another great guest so happy listening and happy sharing. Thanks for listening to another episode of the papa. Phd podcast head over to papa. Peach dot com for show notes in for more food for thought about non-academic boast grad careers. I'll always be happy to share inspiring stories new ideas and useful resources. Here on the podcast. So make sure you subscribe on itunes or wherever you get your podcasts to always keep up with the discussion and to hear from latest guests.

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Navigating the Corporate Space With Caolan Kovach-Orr

Papa Phd Podcast

56:37 min | 6 months ago

Navigating the Corporate Space With Caolan Kovach-Orr

"Hi there this week on. I'm talking with galen kovic or about his journey from the wet lab to career data science during our conversation. We talked about kaelin's academic journey about what skills you should focus on as a candidate today if you're interested in data science about the specifics of the interviewing process for data scientist positions and ceylan chair specific advice based on his experience as a phd in the corporate space. So be ready to dig notes moving up the corporate ladder is not about. Who's the best just not. Who can help the most people right. So you don't get that manager directorship position because you're the smartest person in the room you get it because you'll be able to help the people who report into you and the people that you report to the most position and so there's almost no room for ego. Welcome to pop. Up each d with david mendez the podcast where we explore careers and life after grad school with guests who have walked the road less traveled and have unique stories to tell about how they made their place in a world of constantly evolving rules. Get ready to go off the beaten path and hop on for an exciting new episode of papa. Phd this week on the show. I have with me kaelin. Covert or ceylan earn his speech in theoretical biology from mcgill university. In two thousand fifteen. His thesis focused on predator prey interactions. He started in industry as the data scientist and currently heads. The data science and engineering team for various ganda leaks kaelin and his team continued to work on solving novel problems such as getting regulatory approval for the. Us's first machine learning based insurance pricing product. This is from predator. Prey interactions to data science. I really want to hear the story. Welcome to puppies ceylan. Thank you great to be here. So kaylin i. I'd like to say that. I found you through this great program. At mcgill skull trace mcgill in which is a program which has it has existed for a few years now and the objective of the program is to get back in touch with. Phd's this'll with mcgill graduates and interview them. Also kind of like here like we doing today to kind of get a narrative of what their journey was and And to help. I'd say mcgill understand how where people are going after the peach the and And how they navigated those years after so. I'm really really grateful that through contact with this program. I was able to find you and to have you here today to tell us me and listeners about your your story you know and i again i really find that you know when you see what it is in. Up and what you're doing now might think there's no connection there but i think we're going to answer that question during our conversation at. I definitely It's it's funny. When i think about what my life was like during my hd and what life is like as a data scientists in an individual contributor. I am the day-to-day was nearly identical. So all day is write code and analyze data. I'm looking things are python stack overflow and googling problems and reading. I'm the big picture change so the questions. I was answering a though. The product life cycle of project changes the type of accountability changes. But you know day to day. It's extremely similar. I think it's something that is probably. I'm maybe intimidating for a lot of Grad students thinking about the workforce You know it's not like you come into some like crazy. High pressure scenario that's more than a phd. Must maybe you're working at like. I dunno google premier r. and d. lab or maybe eagle apps. Or something you know. It's there's a. there's a smooth transition there for a lot of people especially coming from stampede. If you're going into related field and industry so actually. This is a good the bridge to ask you this question which is just share with with the listeners. What was your your path. You know how how you got. Maybe two to decide to go and pursue a phd. What subject that was on. And then how would the next steps up to the point. Where you you found kind of okay. I'm going to go into data science and then then up to today. What was that journey like on. Yeah so i think my first year of undergrad. I was really lost. I didn't know what i want to do. I knew a lot of things that i didn't want to do but didn't really have any direction and i found ecology as a major at biograd university And the idea of spending my life working on nature outside in nature It was incredibly appealing to me as a nineteen year old and so i went down that pathway and there were a couple of great professors at rutgers encouraged me to look at hd programs and to get into the research side after talking with me. So there's a barbara gough tim. Casey in peter more and that really helped kind of forge my path so noticing that you know pretty good at math an analytics. An opportunity there. I'm and so in. Undergrad i my my major in ecology evolution and then a a minor or nineteen credits in geographic information service systems And something else in there but as a long time ago now. And then i went to mcgill with the intention of doing fifty percent of my phd A wet lab microbial evolutionary experiments. I we're going to be paired with a theoretical models exploration of the systems. So you know on instead of just having like a model of predator prey interactions. We had these model organisms road. Defers zoo plankton. Were actually test models. I and after a year or two of trying in the wet lab to get any experiments to work and just seeing them all fail and be contaminated. I i i turn my attention. More towards the theoretical side and and that worked really well. Apparently i'm a lot better with computers than i am with living organisms so To talk to my committee tucked my adviser about maybe moving away from the experiments and and that was a challenge There is a lot of discussion about not doing these experiments and how the committee wanted them. If it'd make everything a lot more powerful a lot more meaningful. And i won't do agree. I i think. I probably never would've gotten experiments completed at least not to the scale. I'd been envisioning i. So that took me forward. The next couple of years working on different aspects of predator prey interactions mostly around within species variation. How can stabilize whole ecological communities better facing harsh environmental conditions of climate change pollution. And i think partially there are a lot of different aspects of what was going on when i was thinking about leaving academia so we had the political climate there is right around that time that they cut all the funding for it ecological research in canada. Us isn't much better. If not much worse. I'm and seeing a lot of the post. Docs at mcgill struggling to find professorships that they wanted and the amount of anxiety you could see on people who were two four. Six years out of a phd was really quite shocking to me i had been expecting to be a great springboard into a professorship in you know get that freedom and then you kind of get to see sausage made and it's a little less appealing. I'm until probably around four to five years into my phd. I was thinking about industry. And i still very distinctly remember this day i i had. I'd spent a couple months at the university of potsdam in germany germany collaborating with some professors there in my adviser. Graffman took a sabbatical at potsdam. I i went to go learn from heaven and connect with some of his connections. And i remember this day where we were talking. was a nice day in a spring is really warm outside and we're having a beer and i asked him like if you had to do it all over again. You know given today's climate. Do you think he would and his answer was. He wasn't sure it's a. It's a tall tall of utter when you're talking about somebody who is currently the chair. I'm and i think that was probably the moment where i decided that. I didn't wanna stick it out and try to stay in academia. I'm a appreciate his candidness right. And you know it's tough road and i'm sure when someone like that says something like that it gives you pause and you're like okay so maybe i should think things over and and not think that there's only one way to do things and so this this moment. That was kind of a turning moment where you started. Maybe looking at things differently. Was there in you talked about. You know connecting with with his network. Was there part of this network. that was Was related somehow to industry Or did you have to go and and try to meet new people. How how did you go about kind of putting your foot a little bit through the door into this new domain into this new space on yes. That's a great question so i- gregor's network wasn't really tied to industry in any way there wasn't some government research people in there but Definitely nothing like what i do now. I truthfully didn't start thinking about or didn't start making any moves to try to make connections to industry until very late Probably after i had submitted my initial draft might assists so seven or eight months before vinyl. You know getting my diploma. I'm the there were things i did. Try there's industry events that are essentially recruiting spaces. I found this really intimidating. I a lot of the people there. Are you know especially for data science. They're very very bright and they've been getting and machine learning so not only are they. You know maybe at the same or at higher level than you are in terms of Education or whatever they they're really specifically focused on the fields until it can be intimidating. I'm by that's necessarily the worst thing right so there you know. A lot of these industry events aren't necessarily created to that only the top two or three percent of candidates. Get jobs and hired. I'm they're her every company needs. They decided to start now. And if you're only comparing yourself with people who get offers from google you probably gonna feel Not just imposter syndrome. But all sorts of a terrible feelings. It's funny because i was going to mention imposter syndrome but definitely actually i can even thinking thinking about it in a different way. I would say some of these companies and he's talking about google and other companies. Were doing crazy stuff. I imagine they. Actually there are some probably interested in that person who brings a different profile into the pool of candidates in who might maybe bring new ideas and new point of view versus having learned that the specific curriculum that everyone knows fits so fa listeners out there don't don't imposter syndrome is gonna hit if if you have a profile. That's that fits to a certain extent. Go for it you know. Make your case and and you know. Don't compare yourself directly. Just seat nick comparing. Cv's with someone else because it might prevent you from getting a really really cool opportunity Eventually yeah and i would just tack oughta points there too. You know we. We tend to think about just those incredible companies like facebook and google apple. I'm and there's so much good work to be done. And so many interesting proud products and problems at all sorts of other companies. Where you still doing research and you're still. You know making an impact in the company. I without being you know one in a million candidate. I kind of situation so you know the way i would. I'd probably contextualize. It is when we think about conservation efforts in biology at and wales and these giant mega-fauna and those are really important. You know But there are also a lot of species out there. That could use some attention. That are not as traditionally appealing. You know. you're you're insects and your microbes and micro mammals and it's was. Yeah for sure. I love that example. It's it's a really really good one And yeah. I've i've had someone on the show working for a bank and who comes from the life. Sciences is now the scientists someone also in the retail domain so for sure like companies out there need these skills and and well now i think the term they scientist bring rings say is is something that we now used to hearing but go by go back. Five years ten years he was fairly new right but but still you know at all in all different spaces all different domains if the you have that set of skills in to talk about that later. There's you know the opportunity now to go and and and and really help an organization company with with those skills today because you know everyone is getting online and now everyone is working from home and and you know every there's a lot of places or ecosystems where there's data being collected that needs to be worked treated analyze at different levels of society and of of the of of industry so for sure. But as i was saying what is this set of skills that that is because now you've been working that mean for a while for people out there who might be looking at at okay in two years or in a year. I i'm going to finish. And i want to go. I might be interested in going into data science. What is what should they. How should they prepare. You know what what type of resources should they tried to start getting getting acquainted with cetera et cetera. I that's a great question And the reason i was filing 'cause we i just finished out hiring a few more people so when i took over the engineering team two years ago we had Two people on the team including me. I an hour grown into fourteen across three different offices in two different countries. I'm so yeah. A lot of hiring has been the major things i'm looking for from. Phd's are your capabilities to solve problems. Most data science problems now are actually not that hard to code. I have been a lot of people who've done a lot of work on open source packages and you know ten years ago somebody who could create a neural net model probably had to write the code for the neural net. Now there's hundreds of thousands of packages out there. Everything at a pre configured i'm so the actual running of a model isn't that difficult. It's maybe knowing which model to use Knowing how to design your experiments how to design your tests how to design your data that can really make the big difference between a something that works really well and something. That's okay i and that's where you want to be as a phd. Somebody who can do something really well. Because honestly i teach most undergrads from cops. I- background how to run a neural net afternoon. Maybe a week five. So you don't wanna be competing with them. Who can they can. Just do it. Okay at that point. You want to be the person who can bring that that next level of value i think so problem solving capabilities Autonomy one of the things we look for whenever we hire. Hd's is this person going to add value. Even if they're coming right out of school they're going gonna be some training involved but like wh- it might be the difference between somebody who can come in and figure things out versus somebody. Who's gonna be reliant on their manager to solve all their problems and design all their work for them and that kind of thing and that's why we want to hire is that they can do that and add their own value on in terms of of skills. You know there's academia. There's a strong push for programming languages. Matlab our in industry you know does vary by industry. But you know. I i find python to be the most appealing than candidates i. It's the broadest language it can interface with a lot of different things and it it works. Well it scale a big big infrastructure big data. i'm definitely You know moving away from things like sass and matlab They're not if you know them. I wouldn't eat them off the resume. But i wouldn't lead with them either. I'm and then One thing that i think overlooked. But when i was a candidate but now always check for our gate labs and repositories any type of public. Odd record of writing code can be really convincing. Especially you know if your trying to say that you got two or three years of python experience if you can just show that you may updates to commits along the way That can go a long way to proving that so. You don't have to convince anybody. I bet you have your skills kind of a portfolio but on the on the on that side of of programming right. Yeah exactly and one thing. I do see happen. Is ed rate when candidate. When graduate students are about to graduate a rush and they put together a lab and you can track it right you can see when they made their updates and you'll see some relief in april of that year. There's like thirty commit certain twenty-five may and then they're applying for jobs and junior and it's you know it's not as convincing as somebody who can go back and show something in two thousand eighteen or something something that's that's consistently been been his there'd been consistently working on and improving okay. That's that's really good advice now. I'm thinking of you when you were you. Were just mentioning. You know when when i was when i was interviewing for these jobs. I i didn't think of this. I didn't think of that One thing that really interests me and that for me would have been or or you know at the end of the source of stress is the whole interviewing process. And i'd really like to know because now you've mentioned your beauty care of hiring and of looking at people that i know you interview In person but looking at the experience you had when you interviewed for for your first job in in this space can you also identify some things you would have done differently. And and maybe give some some tips and tricks to the to the younger you. Yeah definitely i'm so. I think there are a few things to keep in mind. I'm so for instance. Anytime i open up a requisition linked in or monster or anything you know. Put it out there. We'll get up to two thousand applicants so we you know we go in order of when they applied and then if somebody internally recommend or if we know them somehow i'm and it can be doesn't hardening because you're you might apply to ten or fifteen jobs a day but i you don't even get a call back or anybody reviewing resume and it's just not possible because if they're two thousand candidates and even ten percent of them are qualified that's two hundred resumes before issues fatigue. Yeah and so. I think i would probably think about expanding network trying to to get to recommend that my resume at least considered As well as trying to get maybe applying for jobs had been recently posted and expecting more hits on that than once. I made up an open from other jail on and in terms of the actual interviews. I think at least for me in a imagine. It's the same for a lot of other people but you know what you're doing work right union. You're finishing your your thesis or you're working at a company you probably in this mode of spending a lot of time alone behind a computer screen. I and some of those social skills tend to atrophy right. And i think it was good interviewers people giving the interviews. I try to look past that. I'm but it probably wouldn't hurt to brush up on some social skills before going into the interviews. And i think that becomes even more true as you. Go up in the The career ladder if you're looking for a management position. I'm yeah you definitely have to be on your your game socially I probably shouldn't go right from like writing code into an interview. Keelan is making a great point about the importance of preparing the field before going into interviews but before drilling down on how to prepare. I want to thank you for being a listener of the show. My goal with these conversations is to provide you with at least one actionable item. One take home message. You can apply to your career exploration and hopefully you'll find many gold nuggets during this episode. I also want to bring you value by making improvements to the show for example for you who are new to the show. i have curated collections of episodes. I call starter packs. You can find them. At pop each d forward slash start and catch up on the conversations and easily find the ones that interest you and i have big plans for the podcasting. Twenty twenty one like improving the accessibility of each episode by having someone prepare and applaud gleaned transcripts or like being able to better thank guests for their generosity with their time coming on the show bringing up a phd to each week in. Its current format is a lot of hard work from finding in booking guests too late nights editing and preparing show notes so to help keep the project float. I've created patriot. Page for papa. Pg you can find it. At papa phd forward slash patriotic to be clear listening to papa. Pg is free and always will be but for you who want to help me. Maintain the quality of the show and potentially bring to life some of the cool projects i have for it. You now have a simple way to do so either way. I'm grateful for having you as listener. And now let's get back to my conversation with caitlyn kovic or which said just made me think about the whole a concept of informational interviews. Because i when you have spent all this time behind the screen and we were recording during the code pandemic so people are even more secluded than than usual. And i guess there's interviews happening on zoom the be current practice today but One thing that i've that i've heard and i'd like to i'd like your take on that is to in an effort of networking but also of kind of practicing you know talking about the subject that interests you Is the idea of getting to talk with people who work in the domain that you're looking into and then have what's what we call an informational interview with them. Is this something that you've seen you've done. This is something you'd recommend. I that i would highly recommend that i had completely forgotten about this aspect of interview. Prep but i had Leaned on family connections Friends from college who had gone into software engineering related fields up friar post finishing my phd in prior to working and just kind of practice talking through and figuring out what people care about and what people are bored by. I you know. I can always be a challenge. Data science the last point. And maybe this is something that i learned a little bit later. But i think it's really. I is to really let go of ego in this process because you go through and you probably had a very successful undergrad and masters and you finish your phd. You might be thinking. Like oh i could be a manager could be director or i could be a senior data scientists. I'm i think it's really important to let go of that type of ego because it does raise some flags for people who are hosting the interview and the most important part is is getting in the door and then proving your value. Once you're out of company you know i i. I came in as a an individual contributor. I spent a couple years there. You know it was felt like you're always eyeing the next promotion and whatnot but it does happen it just you know it takes time like anything else on. And so one thing we'd see with a lot of Phd's is you know. Maybe they have a phd in biology. Like myself or in psychology. And they wanna come in and or chemical engineering they wanna come in and and have a job. Bad is like their final career job right. They wanna be director of data science and they've only had limited experience and definitely no experience managing managers or anything like that. So keep the keep the target Within reach i think is a good way to go. Stay humble it. Just think about it. If you imagine if you end up getting to professorship you will have to be a post doc for awhile before before then so. It's kind of the same thing on the other side of the fence and it's really interesting that you mentioned this because it's been mentioned to me where the people which is start kajura cut back a little bit on your ambition. Keep it there but in the in the back burner prove yourself and then with with all the beggars you have the work ethic. You have quickly. Then you'll be able to to evolve within a company or even you know beat vertically or laterally in company but have that humility of saying i am not. I don't have real world experience in this domain. Let's start from from the. I don't know how the from the the mail right and then and then go then go up. It's really really really really important. Point that that kayla sharing and i just wanted to underline eaten into because an attitude. That's to Ambitious ambitious can come out can come off as being arrogant and then you will not have that position. Yeah exactly and i think this is something also worth noting here. I'm and it's something that i was completely blind to as a graduate student. And that's a moving up. The corporate ladder is not about. Who's the best. it's just not about. Who can help the most people right. So you don't get that manager directorship. vp position. Because you're the smartest in the room you get it because you will be able to help the people who report into you in the people that you report to the most in that position i and so. There's almost no room for ego enter. I think especially coming out of academia some of the maybe more famous professors armchairs and you know by canada research chairs tend not to be the most humble people all the time. And so you might think. That's the pathway to success. But i don't think it is in the modern workplace and one of the other things is once once you've understood this and and you've understood that you're gonna go into an organization where you'll have to learn a lot. Well you'll have to learn a lot which means the people within the organization will have to interact with you and teach you things and you want to you. Want them to to to have that. Be a pleasant experience you know and if you again come off as i know everything i don't need you know i'd i've reached the top of the chain of of knowledge. Then you're missing that opportunity completely and most certainly you won't go pass that first interview because people need someone who integrate with the team and like you said we're collaboratively and and make the whole team move forward. No it's it's a important point in. It's not often that it's that it's talked about. I'm really grateful to that. You mentioned that now my question my next question would be more to do with because you mentioned amazon. You mentioned something. Which which was. I didn't really start networking or tried to contact people in the industry until almost the end of of my phd. Would you advise people to. Even though they're still wanting to three used to go to start already or waiting waiting until the end is is okay too. I would say aim to start out around twelve to fifteen months out from when you'll have your diploma. I'm you know it's always weird with a phd because you submit and then you defend them and you walk Most places don't want to hire you at least in my experience. They don't wanna hire you until you actually have the diploma in hand especially if you have any type of visa international i've been going on and then i'm a you know if you start three years out you know you. You might wind up connecting with people who are not going to be at that company any longer or maybe they're interested in it technologies that aren't going to be relevant by the time you graduate. I'm your problems that aren't going to be relevant anymore and You know you. You also don't want flood the market with too many connections and just have eight thousand lincoln connections then just getting rejected. Yeah i told the fifteen months out. You had a the other day at the hardware store picking up a started. I and i was wearing a google cloud hat and the cashier asked me if i was data science just graduating now i and know that's all i turns out. He's a mcgill cops. I student graduated is gonna graduate in may but you know i give him my card until him to contact me when he's he's going to be able to start working and i think that's about the right timing you know so so for sure. Start working on your say portfolio way ahead Like more more like one one year to us before but but thinking about networking more closer to the last year. It it it does make sense. Said there's a question of of of the the context still being pertinent to the reality of today in the industry that you're looking at for sure and and yeah and also the fact that people who are hiring do want do are looking for people that are finishing or that have that have just finished it. Totally totally make sense now. So how did you go about so by the end of ci you. You now knew that. That's what you wanted to do. How did you go about Having those first contacts and getting to that first position. I'm so i applied to hundreds of jobs about a couple interviews. I'm a lot of lot of startups gave me. Call bags i but they were pretty undeveloped. N n i got two offers both through network connections i. It happened the the position. I took with barris. It happened that somebody else had accepted the job offer. And then i had to turn it down at the last minute and so they were scrambling to find somebody for this position before. The fiscal year ran out. I'm ed so i got streamlined. Into something like eleven or twelve interviews over the course of like a week or two i. Yeah it was a big plus. A lot of debate was any you know. I'd say that that hasn't changed too much in the industry. It's pretty common to go through a large number of interviews. I especially if you're trying to get a job in got a startup or someplace where people are doing research and development if they really want to make sure their investment in you is is worth it. I'm and so yeah wound up being a lot of luck and much more privileges the right word here but but probably in that you know these are people who recommended me for the job and then there wound up being You know opening. I so it's important to keep with it and you know if you don't have that network it's probably a good idea to reach out to alumni or friends who may have got into it or you know even if you can just get your name onto the interview pile or the The review pile at then go a long way And so now i'm curious. Of course you know. You mentioned eleven interviews. Can you just give the listeners. Kind of a thirty thousand feet view of what. That looks like what what's happening. Not maybe not in each of them. But what are the different hurdles that they want you to to get to pass a different at each step until you finally get the yes. Yeah so there was like a an hr interview to just confirm a work eligibility and salary expectations. Which is always a difficult conversation. When you're a grad student. I am there. Were some so. There is a homework problem where they you know. They sent me a fiscal as mt cars. If you know that our package no data set from the seventies trying to figure out miles per gallon fuel efficiency. I'm and so did that Submitted the homework assignment. Then i had an interview to talk about the homework assignment. Asset interviews with technical people at interview with some people testing soft skills and then a final interview where i presented one of the chapters for my phd research. Program app as research problem. I i will say that The the position i was going for was on a research development team is specifically so i think the interview process probably a little bit more intense. Spend in more prescriptive work and even to this day. Our interviews are maybe half as intense as what i just mentioned. But they're still pretty intense. We have a hacker rank assignment with got a panel discussion a couple interviews with hr with the hiring manager and that finally with the the bp toss okay so so imagine like you said preparing to some extent you can prepare. You can You can practice with someone but there's a lot of the the interview process that is unknown that you learn just the day that to their. What would help people out there. Are there ways to even though you can. You cannot prepare for the specific thing that's going to happen at the specific the specific interview other excises websites places or a resource. That you advice people should read through or take part in to start getting kind of the hang of what these types of of demands or exercises may be i. Yeah so you know Definitely practicing. You're elevators pitch on having some Sense about what. The company does maybe. Look up once you get your schedule. Look up your interviewees. On linked dan order. Whatever you can. I'm becky go a long way. I remember distinctly reading the research papers from between hired me before the interviews. And i think that helped a lot. I'm in terms of like general questions you know. I think there's a lot of resources out there. I'm there when it comes to the hard skills. It's not something you can really prepare for if that's kind of have to have them already but Those they're probably testing for you. Know how you get along with the team of. Are you going to have an ego issues. You're going to cause problems those kind of things and it's probably more of a check for red flags than it is. A this person is the most fun person ever so you mentioned just before reaching the end of the interview but you just mentioned really quickly the difficulty of the salary talk and i remember i had this issue and i remember in the company that i that i worked with when i finished my phd. People coming in you know the it was. Oh it's it's hard. It's it's difficult to know because we're coming from grad school where your time is really not valued at least in monetary the monetary aspect Do you have any tips for people to kind of prepare. I think you mentioned another. I think you mentioned one thing. That i that i think is very important which is humility at to to a certain extent but then you still want to know. Kind of what ballpark. no people might be expecting. Or or what ballpark. Might be okay when you go to an interview and canada to know if you have any advice on that. Yeah so i think about how to say this. I'm you're probably more likely to. I'm get rejected for an offer for putting a too high salary. Ask than you are to get underpaid By putting too low a mark right. I'm eight may. In fact health. You put a lower mark in terms of getting an offer if two candidates and they're the same and one's gonna once twenty percent more than the other probably go with the one who money. But it's also i mean at least for my company and i can't speak for other ones. We're we're not looking to go out and and Take advantage of people so somebody says they want a four forty thousand dollars. A year and position was earmarked to pay between. You know ninety one hundred and they're a great candidate we're not going to offer them forty. That would be insane right. I we you know. We're looking for a sustainable. Run stick around for a long time so you wanna put them in a place where they're not gonna wanna leave after eighteen months of experience and just go somewhere else for two and a half three times what they were getting paid from you because he took advantage. I'm and so hopefully where you work at. The people who are in charge are not looking to take advantage of the employees. I and you know if if it's probably not the right place ago but yeah you can do market research on class store. I if you can find out anything about their promotions and raises that could probably also go a long way so some companies limit. You know you can't get more than ten percent a year or something like that. I am so then. You'd want to be more aggressive in your upfront costs or upper price whereas you know if a company says You know your pay will scale with your quality than you know. Really it's about getting offer and improving your value and so maybe you lose out on six months or a year of for you could've made but long-term you're bringing a lot more money. I think you covered it in. Its it makes a lotta sense so some some humility not not. Don't think you're gonna be like savagely here taking advantage of. It's not but be sure that if you over ask you will be relegated to. You know you won't probably will not be chosen because there's there's brackets that the company is looking for. That's what i understand. Not and they're not just brackets. But you know if let's say i've got one hundred thousand dollars to pay somebody with right and they want one twenty right. I could probably go out and get that extra twenty thousand dollars but that same person is going to be happy in a year and a half or two years when they get that raise and it's one percent they were already paying them the bottom of what they wanted and so they're just not gonna stick around and so they're not a good higher excellent. Well killion said. Leo time is over. This has been a great conversation in this talk of of pay is one that i haven't had yet on the podcast and i'm really happy again. That the we were able to talk about that. Because it's very sensitive it's can be nerve racking and people can feel very lost in this in those first first interviews. I for the first position. So i think you put a very balanced picture of what things are kind of what to expect. And what attitude to have soy yeah. I really really appreciate that kevin. Now the really reaching the end. I like to maybe share One or two pieces of advice people are now at home. You know covid keeping most of people especially people in wet. Labs away from their experiments. There are many words of your courage. And and maybe advice to on the side of working on the networking. Now that they're at home something something like that for the listeners out there so i think the whole world has changed on this front. You know i. There just aren't the same opportunities to network as there were a year ago. And so you know things. I seen are people kind of setting up link in networking finding friends of friends. Just you know having a conversation in doing so Light comedian laura. You don't wanna overwhelm somebody who don't know questions but i'm it's it's gotta be really difficult. I'd probably lean heavily on a night. Networks i if i were trying to graduate now and try to find a job A friends of friends male friends. You know any anything really. Do you know you could probably use it even to your advantage in that i'm sure Universities are holding these networking events. And there probably isn't a ton of attendance and one of the things that has helped me in the past. Is that the more. I you know interview with the more i talk to people about a topic more comfortable i in the better comes off and so maybe you know just putting a low investment into each wanted emotional investment. It's each one but doing a lot of these events could be really beneficial to a perspective. Hires i talked to a lot of different people and kind of brush up their game. But i do feel for people who are currently in grad school and trying to find jobs because it must be very difficult it is and hopefully this eventually subsides doesn't look like right now but you know the somehow things to to move on and and and to presume to a certain extent but it's it's just not in the horizon when we look right now. Yeah killing. i really appreciated talking with you and I imagined that People who releasing might want to reach out to you. Do you want to share. You have Any anything to share about. I know how to reach out to you and maybe also about about very school. You know where people are curious about. What the company does where the confirmed this information. Yeah i'd love to connect with people who found this conversation interesting or have comment sir or questions. Whatever i'm taking reach me on lincoln. I'm so i presume. Bike is on the website. I it's going to be in the show notes. Yeah my name is a little bit complicated to spell. So i won't go through that right now but definitely check out the show notes And it's just to be searched google for my name. I am the only one in the world. That's great have you. Have you reserved your dot com. No i honestly. I'd have to tell people to go to my name dot com that's shores i and as far as What paris does that. We're a multinational corporation. I think thirty seven different countries and we work on property and casualty insurance things like automobile and homeowners and business liability. We don't get involved in health or life really. I'm involved not selling insurance. What we do. Is we build the analytics to help. Insurers price risk so i i built out a product bed faces or should face when it's fully implemented a forty percent of the commercial auto market and help them figure out which vehicle features will drive insurance risk. And you know how likely you are to get into an accident. Then it's simple things like how big of an engine horsepower. Torque and some simple things. I won't get into her ear isn't and we do a lot in in different areas in canada. We've got some energy risk offices a wood. Mackenzie they're focused on Risking logging and mining activities so Environmental impact. I some of our offices in boston. A work with nasa on You know by a derived from the experts in hurricane modeling try and now they work with nasa on things like the mars probe to predict weather and where they should put down. rovers and all sorts of cool stuff like that i so we have our hands on a lot of different things. It's it's a good company to work for. I think we treat our employees well and there's lots of research and development opportunities. I think we have two to four hundred data scientists now and a lot of other people in our indeed that are technically data scientists. Okay well this sounds very interesting and again. It's really cool to see how diversified the same kind of the same company can be in terms of what problem. They're trying to solve but that the the brains behind it ended up end up having to be to be doing the same job of looking at a problem in finding finding solutions for specific objectives like mars. Who like predicting weather on mars. I wouldn't have imagined that. sure ceylan. Thanks a lot for your time. This was a great conversation. And i think beat for people interested in data science or not. You know we talked about things that i think. Apply for anyone who's doing a phd in thinking about their career. After so so yeah i would just want to thank you. Happy to have Been invited and this is a really fun conversation. So thank you. And that's it for this week's episode if you want to reach out to kaelin or thank him for. He shared doing this interview. Follow the link in the show notes. You'll find them papa. Peachy ford slash ninety eight. And be sure to follow papa peachy on twitter and instagram at papa peachy podcast and also on facebook n lincoln and now it's time for this week's and now it's time for this week's podcast discovery segment with length apology and deer grad student. Do you love plants. Don't be silly of course you do. You might just not know it yet. I'm vic rhumba league. The host of the plant their apology. Podcast the show where we dive into the lives and careers of some really cool plant. People join each episode. Is i chat with students. Scientists and professionals in the natural sciences and figure out what keeps them coming back for more. We'll explore their work. The ways they got into their fields why they love plants in nature so much and why you should love those things to plant their apologies laid back and conversational and we'll keep you laughing and engaged whether you're a scientist or not follow along for this adventure in the sciences and keeping a really cool playing people. Hi i'm alana. And i'm a fourth year p. h. d. student. I'm more than likely re editing not manuscript for the twenty second time or maybe i'm in my fourth zoom meeting. Today i can tell but mostly i'm probably working on my podcast. It's called dear grad student. And it's a podcast for grad students to celebrate commiserate and support one another through grad school. Each week i interview other grad students and academics about their experience from imposter syndrome sicom dealing with mentors racism academia. Or you know all the other joys that come along with grad school not a grad student. Maybe you're thinking about grad school. Maybe you just finished and you really want to reminisce about the painfully glorious days. Either way. I think you should come check it out. You can find the podcast. Dear grad student dot bus brought dot com twitter dot com slash dear grad student or under favorite podcast app. New episodes are posted every monday. And until my warmest regards best wishes sincerely alana and that's it for today. Thanks for being a listener. Happy listening and happy sharing. Thanks for listening to another episode of the papa. Phd podcast head over to papa. Phd dot com for show notes and for more food for thought about non-academic post grad careers. I'll always be happy to share inspiring stories. New ideas in useful resources on the podcast. So make sure you subscribe on. I tunes or wherever you get your podcasts. To always keep up with the discussion and to hear from latest guests.

kaelin mcgill ceylan google galen kovic david mendez kaylin mcgill skull trace mcgill biograd university barbara gough university of potsdam Graffman Keelan germany caitlyn kovic mcgill university canada kajura