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March 2016

Build Career Preparation Into Your Ph.D. Experience

Build Career Preparation Into Your Ph.D. Experience

News Article By Dr. Michael Baranello, Ph.D., Industry Postdoctoral Affiliate

After the dust from your successful defense settles, future becomes the present.  For those that have long decided to pursue a career in academia, postdoctoral positions await, along with the process of relocation, and perhaps a vacation that has been put off for the last 4+ years.  Because this is a URBEST blog, aimed at broadening scientific career opportunities beyond academia, you may not be one of these individuals.  Amidst the chaos of the final year of your Ph.D., you may have had the incredible foresight to connect with reputable industrial, government, regulatory, or clinical entities, and convinced their hiring representatives that your skills and early career aspirations are well matched with the goals of their team.  I wish I was speaking of my own foresight and professional acumen (unfortunately, I am not), but my hope is that readers will recognize their own graduation timeline and map out available resources to better approach post-graduate endeavors.  If you are 1-2 years away from completing your Ph.D., it is a good time to critically assess the individual search filters that will determine the types of positions, teams, and organizations you pursue.  Finding opportunities is somewhat straightforward (the internet is full of options), but building yourself into a strong candidate and fostering the best connections to successfully attain your first post-grad role can be more difficult.  All of this takes time, but if addressed early (and seriously) enough, the process can be built in to your Ph.D. experience.