Skip to content

Industry Transition Spotlight: Rubenka Bandyopadhyay, PhD


An interview with Rubenka Bandyopadhyay, PhD

What is your name, your full job title, and the full name of the company you work for?

My name is Rubenka Bandyopadhyay. I am currently employed as an Energy Analyst at a non-profit called Advanced Energy Corp. in Raleigh, North Carolina.

What is your favorite part about working in industry?

The variety of projects that I am able to participate in. Tasks could range anywhere from statistical analysis to GIS-based siting studies for residential, commercial and utility-scale projects. I have always enjoyed staying up to date with the various modeling tools/software that could be used to analyze energy data. As an electrical engineer with a background in statistics, its great to have the chance to use all the tools in my toolbox!

Can you describe what a typical day at your job looks like?

It varies quite a bit. As an energy analyst – I am involved in a large chunk of ongoing projects at our company. Some days involve a mix of client meetings and internal discussions on determining steps to complete given projects. We also have the option of suggesting smaller internal projects that could lay the ground-work for anticipated future projects from our clients. Once we have decided on a set of deliverables for the data analysis component of the project, I may spend the next couple of days building energy models and analyzing the data. Occasionally I also accompany engineers in the field, to assist with data collection.

How is your current industry position different from your academic postdoc or experience as a graduate student?

I would say that while my training in academia has laid the ground work for my professional abilities, the project timelines and breadth of technical expertise is different in my current position. I was involved in multiple projects during my PhD and postdoc but they usually ran for several years. The turnover time of my current projects are often in the order of a few months. Given that the energy industry is currently exploring a wide array of innovative technology, I have to grasp new material fairly quickly and map out data analysis schemes accordingly.

If you could go back in time, to before you received your job offer, and give yourself one piece of advice or encouragement, what would it be?

Go out and meet people! As an introvert, it was initially very difficult for me to interact with people not known to me, and to build professional connections. However, with every networking event and conference that I attended, it got easier for me to initiate conversations. A good work ethic and a diverse skill-set is not particularly useful if one is unable to demonstrate that to one’s peers.

What was the most memorable moment for you (so far) as a Cheeky Scientist Associate?

I particularly enjoyed the salary negotiation webinars. Before CSA, I usually took offers as something that is set in stone – learning that start dates and vacation times could be negotiated upon, was particularly helpful in allowing me to look for jobs while still being able to commit to providing deliverables as I wrapped up my postdoc.

The visa webinars – although I no longer require visa sponsorship to work in the US – is a great addition to the CSA materials. There is so much that international PhD graduates have to offer, and I am glad that CSA is providing them the materials to be able to navigate visa sponsorship issues.

What do you see as the next step in your career?

I am hoping to get my professional engineering license after a few years. Data science projects involving more rigorous modeling and analysis of energy data are also of great interest to me, moving forward.

How can the Association and the Association’s members help you continue to achieve your career goals?

I don’t have any specific suggestions at this time – just keep doing what you do! I enjoy reading the transition stories on the Facebook page, and contribute to the discussions when I am able. Being part of a network of dedicated PhDs navigating their professional lives has been a great source of inspiration for me.

Now that you’ve spent some time working in industry, what is the biggest takeaway(s) you’d like to share with those who are still executing their job search?

Don’t give up on your dream job! Whether you are feeling stuck in academia or at an unfulfilling industry job, there is always the opportunity to find the position that you have always wanted. As part of CSA, you have access to a great network of peers who are looking forward to contributing to your progress.

To learn more about how you can transition into an industry career like Rubenka, including instant access to our exclusive training videos, case studies, industry insider documents, transition plan, and private online network, get on the wait list for the Cheeky Scientist Association.

Isaiah Hankel

Chief Executive Officer at Cheeky Scientist
Isaiah Hankel holds a PhD in Anatomy and Cell Biology. An expert in the biotechnology industry, he specializes in helping other PhDs transition into cutting-edge industry career tracks.

Isaiah believes--from personal experience--that if you feel stuck somewhere in your life, it’s a clear sign that you need to 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.

Isaiah is an internationally recognized Fortune 500 consultant, CEO of Cheeky Scientist, and author of the straight-talk bestsellers Black Hole Focus and The Science of Intelligent Achievement.
Isaiah Hankel


Top 40 Networking Scripts For PhDs

Learn how to get replies from top employers and recruiters as a PhD. This eBook will show you the exact words and phrases to use ...

Informational Interviews For PhDs

Learn how to set up and execute informational interviews with PhDs and other professionals working in industry. In this eBook, you will learn exactly which ...

Top 20 Transferable Skills For PhDs

Learn the top 20 transferable skills that industry employers ranked as "most important" for PhDs to include on their resumes and LinkedIn profiles. In this ...

Salary Negotiation For PhDs

Learn advanced salary negotiation strategies for PhDs. In this eBook, you will learn how to set your "walkaway number," spot "appeal-to-authority" tactics,  and avoid "muddying ...

Industry Resume Guide For PhDs

Learn how to craft the perfect industry resume to attract employers. In this eBook for PhDs, you will get access to proven resume templates, learn ...

Top 20 Industry Jobs For PhDs

Learn about the top 20 industry careers for PhDs (regardless of your academic background). In this eBook, you will gain insight into the most popular, ...

Related Posts You Might Like

Karina Petrossian PhD transition pic

Industry Transition Spotlight: Karineh Petrossian, PhD

Industry Transition: An interview with Karineh Petrossian, PhD, Director of Development in Philanthropy Communications   What is your name, your full job title, and the ...
Read More
Sherri Ter Molen spotlight banner

Industry Transition Spotlight: Sherri Ter Molen, PhD

Industry Transition: An interview with Sherri Ter Molen, PhD, National Council Of State Boards Of Nursing   What is your name, your full job title, ...
Read More
sara artusi's industry transition banner

Industry Transition Spotlight: Sara Artusi, PhD

Industry Transition: An interview with Sara Artusi, PhD, Scientist Platform Development, Krystal Biotech, Inc.   What is your name, your full job title, and the ...
Read More

Industry Transition Spotlight: Nicole Bowens, PhD

An interview with Nicole Bowens, PhD, Medical Writer, Arbor Scientia   What is your favorite part about working in industry? What I most enjoy about ...
Read More

Industry Transition Spotlight: Marios Tsatsos, PhD

An interview with Marios Tsatsos, PhD 1. What is your name, your full job title, and the name of the company you work for? Marios ...
Read More

Industry Transition Spotlight: Joydeep Pal, PhD

An interview with Joydeep Pal, PhD 1. What is your name, your full job title, and the name of the company you work for? Joydeep ...
Read More