“Thank you for submitting your resume but the position has been filled.” This is the only response I received after several months of applying to PhD jobs online. I submitted dozens of resumes and only heard back that one time. It was embarrassing. At least I thought it was embarrassing. Years later I found out that only 5% of resumes submitted online ever receive a response, good or bad. Just 5%! I assumed I would always get a response after submitting my resume, even if it was negative. I also assumed that there were at most 20-30 other people applying [...]
What are you supposed to do when you send hundreds of résumés out and get nothing back but a few automated responses? This is the question I was trying to answer my last year of graduate school. I literally sent out hundreds of résumés. I posted my resume to Monster.com and waited for the tidal wave of industry job offers to roll in. Yeah…that didn’t happen. I polished up a generic résumé and uploaded it to dozens of industry job websites. I remember getting on Pfizer and Baxter’s websites, clicking the job opportunities tab, and seeing all the industry job openings. [...]
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 [...]
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. [...]
“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 [...]
Ping Lu, Ph.D.
Ping is a Ph.D. and Research Fellow at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a prestigious Harvard University Research Center.Join Isaiah Team! More
Matt Giulianelli, D.M.D.
Matt is a D.M.D. and co-founder of a successful private dentistry practice. He is a current Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry.Join Isaiah Team! More
Arunodoy Sur, Ph.D.
Arunodoy is a PhD in Integrative Biology and has training in intellectual property, entrepreneurship, and venture capitalism.More