Welcome to a new podcast in PhD Career Stories. In today’s podcast, Dr. to be Natalia Bielczyk shares her journey from her homeland Poland to the Netherlands and the different steps she took to become an entrepreneur. Natalia is just about to get her PhD in Neuroscience at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behavior in Nijmegen. In 2018, she launched a foundation, Stichting Solaris Onderzoek en Ontwikkeling, that offers free consultancy to early career researchers interested in self-development or search for new careers in industry. Furthermore, in 2019, Natalia established, Welcome Solutions, a company that helps researchers to develop careers beyond academia. She also wrote a book entitled “What is out there for me? The landscape of post-PhD career tracks.“ Natalia brings us to a journey of self-discovery and recalls how she navigated herself from academia towards the open job market to finally become an entrepreneur.
After graduation, her passion for marketing got her engaged with three startups and establishing her own consultancy firm. At Karolinska Institute she worked as a course leader and later as a project manager at the Alumni Office.
Throughout that journey Michalina gained many new experiences as well as gave birth to two children, and found her way to balance between being a mother and delivering and performing at work.
Nowadays, Michalina is raising two kids, running a freelance consultancy and has a full-time job as a product manager at Spiber Biomaterial – all powered by the stamina and resilience gained from motherhood.
I’m still having my own company and doing some small projects. On the side I’m working fifty percent for a biotech company and fifty percent on maternity leave. As I said, don’t give up! Try it! And see if it’s for you and if you don’t like it, try something else and try from a different angle – try to find your balance and what suits you the most.
Dr. MichalinaLewicka-Yammine, mother, freelancer and product manager at Spiber Biomaterial.