Elvira Ganic is back for another uplifting episode and this time she shares her best tips and tricks from her job hunt experience when transitioning from academia to industry. Amongst other things, she explains why a growth mindset will help you succeed and also make the journey more enjoyable.
Elvira received her PhD from the Stem Cell Center of the Lund University. After her defense, through the career coaching sessions with Tina Persson and the long job searching process with 27 interviews, she landed on the position of the Regulatory Affairs Specialist at a pharmaceutical and medical device company in Malmö in Sweden.
Want to know more about Elvira? Listen to her inspiring story on how coaching changed the way she sees herself and her skills: #068: Elvira Ganic Story.
The other thing that was also defining for me was getting over this feeling of failure. I remember getting my first rejection. I found it very difficult and of course you feel like you failed and you wonder what you could do better, you take it personally.
We are joined by Chris Humphrey who is a project manager and careers consultant, and the founder of the popular careers website Jobs on Toast. Chris originally completed a PhD in Medieval Studies at the University of York, before leaving academia for a career in the private sector. Over the past 15 years Chris has worked in the areas of technology, transport, financial services and sustainability. Today he works as a project manager for a leading sustainable bank.
Chris is passionate about helping people with their careers and personal development. He has given numerous careers talks at universities in the UK, Ireland and the US, and has taken part in live Q&A events on The Guardian’s website, and for jobs.ac.uk. In 2012 Chris Humphrey founded Jobs on Toast in order to raise awareness amongst Masters students and doctoral graduates of the abundant career opportunities outside of higher education. His motto is ‘If I can do it, you can do it’!’
In this episode, Chris will introduce the range of careers that are available to PhDs in the financial services sector. He will also provide some tips and tricks for how to break into this line of work.
‘You don’t need to have a finance degree to get a job in the finance industry – certainly I didn’t!’
– Dr. Chris Humphrey, Project Office Team Leader and Careers Consultant
The job search period that comes after the PhD hardly can be called “fun”, “exciting” and definitely not the one “to enjoy”. It is the time when you question your achievements, re-assess your skills and talents, restlessly scout job-boards hoping to find a “fit” to your unique set of skills, attend exhausting interviews, and, inevitably, face numerous rejections before you get that one job.
In our new podcast, Elvira Ganic argues that shifting your perspective can make this process bearable and even joyful. Elvira received her PhD from the Stem Cell Center of the Lund University. After her defense, through the career coaching sessions with Tina Persson and the long job searching process with 27 interviews, she landed on the position of the Regulatory Affairs specialist at a pharmaceutical and medical device company in Malmö in Sweden.
In this uplifting episode, she tells what she learned on that way – how coaching changed the way she sees herself and her skills, what the transferable skills actually are, how to stay open-minded when looking for a position and why the transition period is an important life phase that you should fully enjoy and learn from it.
[…] They’re not just choosing me; I’m choosing them. This is going to be a healthy, fruitful relationship and I’m really here to see if we are compatible for each other.
Her research interests turn towards the future as she studies youth in Ghana and beyond, student migration, labor migration, knowledge societies, social media in the classroom, social media in elections, the intersection of internet freedoms and democratization, uses of augmented reality and decolonizing the academy. Outside of her academic career, Kajsa is a blogger and activist.
[Thanks to the PhD] I have confirmed my analytical nature, other useful outcomes are speed reading, efficiency, self-discipline and producing “good enough” work. As well as not worrying too much about the critique that, as you learn, is looming around every corner. The scare really wears off.
In September 2018 Tina Persson attended the annual Max Planck alumni meeting in Berlin and had a chance to speak with the professor for Applied Mathematics and Physics Dr. Magda Schiegl.
Magda Schiegl made her PhD in Theoretical Plasma Physics at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in 1996 and then had a long career in the financial and energy industry. In 2009 she decided to come back to science and teaching, but this time, instead of theoretical plasma physics research, she chose the practical field of Risk Management and Applied Mathematics. She got a professorship position at the University of Applied Science in Cologne and later moved to Landschut, Germany.
In this interview, Magda reflects upon how her experience as a PhD influenced her career and shares a tip on how to combine interests for the industry and practical problems with the passion for scientific research and education.
For one who wants to be a researcher, or first before becoming a director or a manager, being organized can save time, can make your work perfect and it can make you avoid mistakes as much as possible.
Fulvio Caruso received his Ph.D. in Electronic Engineering in Palermo, Italy with a focus on hybrid inorganic-organic materials for photonics and optoelectronics applications. He joined industry in 2016 when he moved to Lausanne, Switzerland to start working at Novagan, an EPFL start-up company specialised in the nitride technology. In March 2018, Fulvio joined ABB Semiconductors in Lenzburg, Switzerland where he is currently working as a Process Engineer in the metal/PECVD production area for high-power semiconductor devices.
When the PhD refuses to be a pure executor and starts looking both on the detail and the big picture, those are the elements that the industry really would need. And these are the skills that PhDs have acquired during their time at university.
– Dr. Fulvio Caruso, Process Engineer at ABB Semiconductors