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Industry Success

77 Things Getting My PhD Taught Me About Industry Success

My first interview for an industry position happened during my last year of graduate school over a steak burrito. The owner of the company cancelled on me 4 times and then called me late one night and told me to meet him for lunch. He asked me a few questions then gave me the job. This wasn’t what I expected. I thought that I’d be flown out to the company headquarters for a couple of days, give a chalk talk with people in blue and grey suits and then be given a formal offer that, in my mind, resembled an international treaty [...]

You Are Not Alone

Dear PhD, You Are Not Alone. Everyone Is Uncertain In Academia.

I snuck out of lab early the week after finishing my comprehensive exam to go on a job interview. I’d made up my mind—I was dropping out of graduate school. That’s right. I was going to leave with my Masters degree, get a job, get paid, and leave the academic grind behind. I was so excited about the possibility of escaping that I couldn’t hold a thought in my head. The interview went well and I was given an offer. Wow. That was much easier than I thought. But wait—things just got real. Now, I really had to drop out. [...]

Job Candidates PhD

7 Advantages PhDs Have Over Other Job Candidates

“Big companies don’t want to hire PhDs because they’re overqualified and too independent.” This is what a career counselor told a room full of students my third year of graduate school. It was 7pm in the evening and we all had to show up to a late night seminar series that the University was holding for graduate students. Okay, we didn’t have to show up but it was strongly encouraged. So I signed up. The first night was about business ethics, which basically amounted to the guy saying don’t launder money and don’t steal office supplies. The second night was [...]


Two PhDs Go To A Conference. One Gets Hired. Here’s How.

The booth was really busy when I got there. I tried talking to one of the vendors behind the booth but two customers were talking to him at the same time. I could tell he was annoyed so I left. I came back the next day and the same thing happened. I started to get nervous. I’d been talking to this company for a couple of months about a job and they told me to stop by their booth to talk to the President. But the President wasn’t there. I came back again and again and kept missing him. The [...]

Getting A PhD

Getting A PhD And Want An Industry Job? Stop Listening To These 3 People

My carefully planned conversation started to unravel as soon as I sat down with my academic advisor. He looked at me with his hurry up eyes and said, “What did you want to meet about?” I looked down and sputtered out a few sentence fragments and then finally replied, “I’ve been thinking about getting a job in industry.” I wasn’t sure what to expect next. Half of me expected him to bang his fist on the table and shout no, no, no, it can’t be—please don’t leave academia. The other half of me wanted him to shake my hand and [...]

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