Two years into his PhD studies, Matthias Antonin realised that he needed a plan B. Although doing a PhD at first seemed as the most logical step after his undergraduate studies in biochemistry, he now found himself more enthusiastic when brainstorming opportunities to found a company, than when performing research. He therefore signed up for economics and psychology studies at the distance learning university FernUniversität in Hagen. A transition that later on landed him a job within sales and marketing at Roche Pharma.
In this episode, Matthias will tell you about his journey from being a PhD student to working at the Startup Program Marketing & Sales of Roche Pharma. He reflects over the differences between distance-based and campus-based studying and the importance of networking outside of the academia to land a job in the industry.
Keep an open mindset and if opportunity doesn’t come to you, create your own opportunity.
– Matthias Antonin, Marketing & Sales Trainee at Roche Pharma
Luca Forcucci is a scientist and an artist at the same time. He holds a PhD in Music, Technology and Innovation from De Montfort University in the United Kingdom. In his research, he investigated how the human brain perceives sounds and space, and how our memories influence the images that we create while listening to the sounds.
Nowadays he is based in Berlin, but he prefers to call himself a “nomad” since he presents his artworks and conducts the research all over the globe.
Martijn Bijker was born and raised in the Netherlands where he did both his Masters and PhD in immuno-oncology. In 2007 he moved to Sydney, Australia to start his postdoc at the Garvan Institute and 4 years later transitioned to the pharmaceutical industry where he consecutively worked as a Medical Science Liaison (MSL).
Nowadays Martijn is an entrepreneur, and his career and coaching company “from SCIENCE to PHARMA” helps many PhDs and Postdocs to prepare for a smooth transition from academia into the pharmaceutical industry and MSL positions.
Erik has a background in plant molecular biology, and he is currently studying the interaction between potatoes and pathogens, as well as potato defense mechanisms both in the laboratory and in the field. He is also leading a project on biofortification of cassava. Half of the time Erik is the director of PlantLink – a collaboration between Lund University and SLU created to strengthen plant research in Southern Sweden. For a couple of years, he had also worked as an in-house editor at BioMed Central publisher in London before he decided to come back into the academic career.
Erik will reflect on his career choices and discuss with Tina how the series of life events may lead to the job of your dream and what do you need to sacrifices to get it.
“Dare and make the step, and move between environments, and going between countries. Because, I think, you learn and develop so much from seeing different systems. So if you have the possibilities, do not hesitate. Make a move!”
Dr Magnus Eneberg defended his PhD thesis Beyond the Product – Enabling Design Services in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises at Lund University in 2015. After working as a controller for a couple of years, Magnus returned to academia by studying theory architecture and design management. The latter led him into projects that had a focus on innovation with a design perspective. Currently, Magnus holds a position as a researcher, lecturer and project manager at KTH – The Royal Institute of Technology, in Stockholm.
In this episode he will tell you about his journey from being a PhD student to working as a service designer in a public organization within healthcare. Magnus reflects over the differences between academia and the “real world” and how one can translate ones academic skills to the skills one need to work in a company or organization.
Becoming a PhD student gave me the opportunity to explore not only the subject area of design, and innovation, organization learning, but also myself. Digging into the ontology and epistemology – it was great time to look at how I view the world, to put words on who I was or who I am.
– Dr. Magnus Eneberg, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
In episode #44 of PhD Career Stories, we are very happy to welcome Professor Wolfgang Nellen to the show. Professor Nellen was born in 1949 in Velbert, Germany, and has during his academic career worked in USA, Germany, Jordan, Japan, Sweden and Indonesia.
As of 2015, Professor Nellen holds a Johann Gottfried Herder Fellow of the DAAD and is currently working as a Guest Professor at Brawijaya University in Malang, Indonesia.
Listen to his fascinating life story in which he generously shares his experiences and thoughts on moving on from student to professor and how that changes your duties.
Interestingly the interviews were like a traveling circus. It was almost always the same applicants but each time one less, this one had won the previous position. Even though we were competitors it was a rather relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Everyone was quite positive that he or she would make it sooner or later. This is probably very different today and much more tuff.
– Professor Wolfgang Nellen, Guest Professor at Brawijaya University in Malang, Indonesia