Hosted By

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

Join Isaiah as breaks down ways that PhDs can use volunteer experience to build relationships and practice vital industry skills

In this week’s episode…

  • First, Isaiah acknowledges there’s very little time outside of PhD studies to gain work experience or network
  • Next, he explains that PhDs who volunteer have the opportunity to do both
  • Finally, Isaiah breaks down a few ways PhDs can turn their volunteer experience into a job offer

Volunteer Experience Requires Little Time Commitment But Offers Tangible Work Experience

For PhDs, working while you complete your degree is almost never an option. 

Your research and publication take precedence over…well, just about everything. 

But when you graduate, that Experience section on your resume suddenly feels very empty. 

There’s a workaround to this – a kind of on-the-job experience that you can get at big-name companies you’d like to work for.

The schedules are flexible, and the work provides a great opportunity to network with professionals already working in industry. 

I’m talking about volunteering.

PhDs With Volunteer Experience Demonstrate To Industry Employers That They Share One Another’s Values

This can be a great way to demonstrate your value to employers on your time and gain valuable industry experience. 

You might think that you don’t know where to start, and may even question how useful volunteer experience can possibly be. 

Employers promote volunteerism among their employees for a lot of reasons. 

For one, it’s a great opportunity to demonstrate the company’s brand and its value – both to customers and also to investors and shareholders. 

Volunteering also acts as a tool for recruitment and talent attraction – who doesn’t like the idea of working with a company that gives back? 

Pick The Projects You To Give Your Time To Strategically

If you have a company in mind that you’d like to work with, start there. 

Some companies have opportunities to volunteer with them directly. 

If so, apply and treat your volunteer experience like a job. 

Be punctual, be personable and try to make connections with the people you come into contact with. 

Check the company’s site for press releases or news about their giving projects. 

Make it a point to volunteer with the same organizations they do if you can’t volunteer directly with your employer of choice. 

You can then leverage the contacts you meet while volunteering or the experience of volunteering itself as a reason to connect with professionals at your target company. 

“Hey So-and-So, I see we both volunteered with Red Cross this year” or “Hey, we met volunteering this weekend with the Red Cross.” 

You can use this as a reason to build and nurture a relationship. 

“Is this your first time working with this organization? Maybe I’ll see you at the next event.” 

Sometimes job leads can fall directly into your lap if you’re talking to the right person. But don’t go into your volunteer experience expecting a job. 

You need to be sure that you’re earnest and genuinely interested in giving back. 

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

If you’re ready to start your transition into industry, you can apply to book a free Transition Call with our founder Isaiah Hankel, PhD or one of our Transition Specialists. Apply to book a Transition Call here.

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