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Passion drives everything I do! Being a scientist by training (molecular endocrinology), I tend to analyze (sometimes over-analyze) situations. The learning that comes from this analysis is what my life thrives on. My Ph.D. and postdoctoral work has taught me to streamline my ideas and channel them to ignite the flame of success. My current role in the biotech industry allows me to characterize generic drugs such a monoclonal antibodies before sending theses drugs for clinical trials. Additionally, recently I secured the opportunity to become a branding ambassador of the same company. This is allowing me to use my creative side of things to achieve success beyond the scientific world.

Abha Chalpe, PhD

Articles Written By Abha Chalpe, PhD

If You're This Kind Of PhD, Cheeky Scientist Isn’t Worth It

By: Abha Chalpe, PhD

Cheeky Scientist isn’t worth it for you! Yes, you read the title of this article right. You’re probably wondering why Cheeky Scientist would publish such an article on its own website. Why would any company ever advocate for anyone to avoid its products? It seems like a poor business strategy. Am I right? And is it true that Cheeky Scientist isn’t worth it for some PhDs? For me, Cheeky Scientist was definitely worth it. I’m not sure I would have escaped academia and found the career I currently enjoy without it. I’ve recommended Cheeky Scientist to many fellow PhDs. PhDs…

Is The Cheeky Scientist Association Worth It?

By: Abha Chalpe, PhD

The professor I was speaking with took a full step backward.  Her eyes widened. I had just casually repeated a piece of feedback I received on one of the graphs that I had created for a lab presentation verbatim: “I hate your colors.” I had shared the comment solely to illustrate that data visualization didn’t come naturally to me.  Sure, I wouldn’t recommend critiquing someone’s work this way. But I had heard so much worse in academia.  On top of that, I had been bullied repeatedly into apologizing anytime I showed any sign that such comments had hurt my feelings.…

Your 2021 Job Search Strategy Is Probably Flawed. Here Are 8 Ways To Fix It

By: Abha Chalpe, PhD

My job search strategy felt inadequate, it was a painful experience. I was perplexed. My frustration knew no bounds, self pity and doubt shrouded me. I could not understand where I was going wrong. I spent days fixing my resume. Then, applied for one job at a time and waited to hear back from hiring managers and recruiters for 2 weeks before starting with the next job application. I applied for every single job that came my way. The wait was painful, it was excruciating to bear the silence from the other end.  Every moment I questioned myself; why would such…

Why Employers Hire Less PhDs In January And February (And How To Be The Exception)

By: Abha Chalpe, PhD

The holidays were not so happy for my family as my husband was about to be laid off by his employer due to funding restraints at the lab. Employers hire but they truly do not care. We had finally come to realize that academia does not look after people. Even after dedicating our time and effort to writing grants, publishing papers, and tirelessly working for hours in the lab, we were expendable.  This was a wake-up call; the plight of a postdoc in academia. We started sending our resumes to every company in January with the hope of a miracle. Endless…

The 7 Questions You Should Never Ask During An Informational Interview

By: Abha Chalpe, PhD

My postdoc tenure was ending soon but with no possibility of an extension. As a result, the stakes were high and the mere anticipation of the unemployment situation gave me chills. To make matters worse, all I was able to hear from the people around me were unhelpful advice, while information and help were all that I needed.  It was frustrating enough to not have a prospective job, but not knowing my industry fit was even more disheartening. Upon scrolling down job postings, I saw that there were several job profiles that I was unaware of. I knew everything about…

This Is Why Most PhDs Get Hired In November And December

By: Abha Chalpe, PhD

I had been enthusiastically job hunting since February but a series of rejections were slowly starting to dampen my spirit. It started gradually, but at some point imposter syndrome got the better of me and I became absolutely sure that I wouldn’t get hired that year. My efficiency and focus plummeted, I went from connection with 20 potential referrals every month, to 5 and then to none. In November, a connection offered to refer me for yet another position. With the last shred of strength left in me, I pulled myself through the process even though I did not have…

5 Ways Academic Career Centers Fail PhDs

By: Abha Chalpe, PhD

If anyone should have known how to execute a PhD job search, it was me. The institution I was earning my PhD at was one of the top 10 across the nation. It was awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) in the award’s first funding cycle. My career center was one of the best. What made it one of the top ranking career centers was that they provided opportunities and resources to help trainees prepare for a diverse range of careers. I had taken courses on intellectual property, college teaching, and participated in training…

7 Surprising Moments To Use Silence During An Interview

By: Abha Chalpe, PhD

I remember this interview as if it was yesterday. I was just a couple of months out of grad school and actively reaching out to potential clients to establish myself as a freelance medical writer. My biggest mistake was not using silence to my advantage.  This was my third round of interview with this client – I had already made it through the phone screen and the writing test – and it was supposed to be the last. It was a virtual panel interview with the lead editor and fact checker.  I had been preparing for this for weeks, researching…

5 Ways To Limit PhD Anxiety And Protect Your Career

By: Abha Chalpe, PhD

You should have seen my academic CV. I would have set off anyone’s anxiety. It was a total disaster. By academia’s standards, it was fine. But I had a real monster of a CV, over 5 pages long and full of academic jargon. And there was no cover letter either. Can you guess what industry employers did after taking a glimpse at my CV? They probably threw it away – that’s assuming it even reached employers. More likely, it was filtered out of candidacy by application tracking software. You might think that, given the current situation, you should be focusing…

5 Ways PhDs Find Successful Careers As Medical Writers

By: Abha Chalpe, PhD

As a PhD, you already have the strong communication skills you need to succeed as a medical writer. You just need to focus them on other audiences besides academics, like doctors, patients, regulatory bodies, and the general public.

5 Mistakes That Prevent PhDs From Getting Hired And How To Fix Them

By: Abha Chalpe, PhD

PhD hiring in industry is up by 500%. You read that right. A recent MassBio report shows that science PhD job listings were sitting at 27,700 in Massachusetts alone. That’s the second-highest number on record, and only by 3%. If you were wondering, Massachusetts is home to 3 of the most PhD-populated cities worldwide. The American Institute of Physics displays a long list of employers who have already hired PhD-holding employees between 2009 and 2016. So why are some PhDs struggling so hard to get industry jobs? They’re going about it the wrong way. Your PhD is an asset, not…

3 Negotiation Strategies PhDs Don’t Know About But Should Be Using In Industry Interviews

By: Abha Chalpe, PhD

What do PhDs have to lose by avoiding salary negotiations? To be blunt, and even a little obvious, the answer is money. Lots of it. According to a survey by Jobvite, 84% of negotiators enjoyed higher pay than the baseline offers they were given when they accepted the job. What’s more, only 29% negotiated at all. But consider that about a fifth of those who negotiated received 11-15% higher pay than the baseline offers. So if it’s not clear by now, negotiations are a pretty big deal, and this sentiment is firmly backed by statistics. For those who don’t negotiate,…