Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist

Join Isaiah for a crash course on business terms that industry employers expect PhDs to know

In this week’s episode…

  • First, Isaiah explains that it’s important to have a basic understanding of business terms if you’re transitioning from academia to industry
  • Next, he explores four common business terms that PhDs will be expected to know and understand
  • Finally, Isaiah suggests a few practical ways PhDs can demonstrate their knowledge of business concepts in their industry interview process

PhDs Need To Demonstrate An Understanding Of Foundational Business Concepts

As a PhD, you need to have some knowledge of business concepts in order to be successful in industry. 

You need to understand how your work at the bench translates to a company’s bottom line.

Research – even academic research – is done in a market setting. 

It has to achieve results and be profitable. 

The reason many academic labs struggle is that they are badly managed businesses. 

If you want to get hired in a PhD-level position in industry, you need to understand how businesses work and how your knowledge brings value to the companies you’re targeting. 

That means that it’s important to have, at the very least, a basic understanding of business terms. 

Employers like to slip business terminology into their interview questions to disarm PhDs with no formal experience. 

That’s why today I want to talk about four terms that you may be tested with during your industry interview process. 

Supply Chains Are An Important Part Of Any Business And A Term PhDs Will Be Expected To Know

First, let’s talk about supply chains. 

A supply chain is a network of businesses, activities, individuals, and technologies that are all involved in the creation and sale of a product. 

Without a good supply chain in place, a business can’t be profitable. 

Before your interview, take some time to consider how the supply chain works at your target company. 

Where might problems arise? 

Is that a problem you’re being hired to improve? 

Are there any organic questions that you can that will demonstrate you understand the part of the supply chain that the role you’re applying for serves?

Project Management Is Another Important Concept You’ll Be Expected To Know

Another term you’re probably familiar with is project management

Chances are you’re already well-versed in managing several projects simultaneously. 

In industry, however, project management is much more structured. 

It’s a process that includes specific phases such as initiating, planning, execution, and closing, all with a strong focus on the company’s expected deliverables. 

Many companies have preferred documentation processes in place, and there are different project management styles to consider (such as Scrum or Six Sigma). 

Learn about these terms – if possible, connect with someone at the company and ask questions about the project management systems they use – so you can be prepared to discuss them at your interview. 

** For the full podcast, check out the audio player above.

Ready to start your transition into industryApply to book a free Transition Call with our founder, Isaiah Hankel, PhD or one of our Transition Specialists here.

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