An interview with Alessandro Nesti, PhD
1. What is your name, your full job title, and the name of the company you work for?
Alessandro Nesti, Data Scientist at the Swiss Center for Data Science.
2. What is your favorite part about working in industry?
I particularly like the fact that my projects aim at creating concrete value. They typically bring immediate benefits for colleagues in other departments, who never fail to express gratitude.
3. What does a typical day at work look like for you?
-Planning and implementing analyses (coding in python)
-Data analysis/cleaning (coding in python, discussion with domain experts)
-Documenting (text and slides),
-Presenting results, explaining techniques, and proposing new ideas.
4. How is your current industry position different than your academic postdoc or experience as a graduate student?
In my current role, the focus is on the analysis part (deliver code, report, prioritize according to what brings the most value).
In my previous role, the focus was on producing publications, supervising younger team members, and applying for funding.
5. If you could go back in time to before you received your job offer and give yourself one piece of advice/encouragement, what would it be?
-Start early! Decide on a long-term career plan half-way into your PhD.
-Make a detailed transition plan, discuss it with someone who actually did the same transition before.
-Stay positive! Your mood will swing up and down, keep moving forward one step at a time and eventually you will get there.
6. What was the most important thing you did during your job search that enabled your success?
Reaching out to people in the position I was targeting, to learn what problems they solve, what terminology they use, and how they see their current and future career. This allowed me to better structure my transition by working on similar problems to acquire the relevant skills and build a portfolio.
7. What is the most memorable moment for you (so far) as a Cheeky Scientist Associate?
I still remember how pleasantly surprised I was with all the feedback and support I received when I started discussing my experiences with the group. I remember thinking “ok, with my skills and this community I am confident I can make it work”.
8. What do you see as the next step in your career?
I would like to remain at the center for a while, where the learning and networking opportunities are huge. I can see myself staying with them.
9. How can the association–and the association’s members–help you continue to achieve your career goals?
I hope to maintain the great network of contacts I have developed during my transition and to keep sharing experiences and career steps.
10. Now that you’ve spent some time working in industry, what is the biggest piece of advice you’d like to share with those associates who are still executing their job search?
The same I would give to my pre-transition self: Start early, get your transition plan approved through informational interviews, and stay positive!
To learn more about how you can transition into an industry career like Alessandro, including instant access to our exclusive training videos, case studies, industry insider documents, transition plan, and private online network, get on the waitlist for the Cheeky Scientist Association.
Isaiah believes that if you feel stuck somewhere in your life right now, you should make a change. Don’t sit still and wait for the world to tell you what to do. Start a new project. Build your own business. Take action. Experimentation is the best teacher.
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