PhD in Progress Podcast

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PhD 019: Starting an “Alternative” Career Symposium at Your Institution with Mark Esposito

April 30th, 2015

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A very special thank you to Mark Esposito who also runs the Breaking Bio blog found at breakingbio.org

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Mark wrote a guide about creating the career symposium you heard in this show at http://www.breakingbio.org/resources/

Discussion points:

  • Understanding your career path and constantly questioning your goals
  • Problems with tenure track positions as the default
  • How do we approach learning about “alternative careers”
  • Steps in initiating a career symposium:
    • 1) Raise money via internal and external grants or donations
    • 2) Connect with potential speakers/guests
      • Ask faculty
      • Use LinkedIn or call companies
      • Ask departmental office
      • Location can be important
    • 3) Logistics for travel arrangement, room availability
  • Career areas addressed at the symposium held at Princeton’s Department of Molecular Biology:
    • Policy
    • Education
    • Industry R&D
    • Law
    • Science Communication
  • Related Episodes:

A very special thanks to Mark Esposito. You can find some great, accessible science posts by Mark at BreakingBio.org. We hope you can take some of his advice and start discussions of alternative careers at your school. He was nice enough to write up a summary and supporting materials that you can find at phdinprogress.com/19.

If you enjoy the show, please help support us. The best way to do this is to leave an honest review and rating in the iTunes store. Any comments you have will go a long way to spread the popularity of the show. Also get in touch with us on Twitter @PhDPodcast

If you’re a big fan and want to help increase the quality of recording and distribution, definitely consider becoming a patron by supporting us at Patreon.com/phdpodcast . Even $2 gets us closer to adequate hosting space and equipment. Thanks to Ben McNeil and Sally Ponchak who are currently supporting us.

 

[Image used under Creative Commons licensing and adapted from original by US Dept. of Education]

PhD 017: “We’re NOT Morons!” – Facing Impostor Syndrome

October 3rd, 2014

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[Episode card image adapted from a Flickr photo by Derek Mindler, used under the Creative Commons]

If you would like to donate to help cover costs, please click here.This week we have a friendly dialogue about facing Impostor Syndrome and how it has appeared in our lives.

Resources:

We’ve started something new! So far, all of the funding for this show has come out of my own pocket. To help cover the costs, I’ve started a Patreon campaign where you can pledge to help out the show. I’ve also placed a PayPal Donation button on the site.  The show will ALWAYS be free but if you would like to help us cover costs and improve the quality of our show, please consider contributing via Patreon.com/phdpodcast.

Another great way to support the show is to leave a review in the iTunes store. This is very important because it boosts visibility of our show. Please take 30 seconds to leave an honest rating and review. We’d really appreciate it!

iTunes user dgr- two left a 5 star review,  saying:

“I’d recommend this podcast to any current or prospective graduate students- the speakers always keep the topics fresh and interesting. My only complaint is that while there were two episodes about finding non-academic jobs after school, there hasn’t been anything yet about pursuing postdoctoral or tenure track positions”.

Thank you for the review and we’ll work on getting together a postdoc episode.

Finally, we’re very active on Twitter @PhDPodcast so say hi to us there or e-mail us at feedback@phdinprogress.com.

 

PhD 015: Financial Basics- Priorities, Budgets, and Credit with Patricia Berhau

September 10th, 2014

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Patricia Berhau is an ISLES Asset Building Coordinator who works primarily with moderate and low-income people. She encourages graduate students to remember that their income-level is only temporary as their income potential is much higher in the long-run.

[Episode Card uses a Flickr image by epSos.de under Creative Commons licensing]

Important reminders:

  • It’s all the irregular things that are budget busters.
  • Budget! Knowing where your money goes is crucial to being financially healthy.
  • Mint.com for organizing your accounts and budgets
  • Get a copy of your credit report!
    AnnualCreditReport.com You’re entitled to a free credit report from each of the bureaus per year. Your credit report and score dictate your borrowing potential.
  • If you feel that you want to borrow money at some point, be conscious of your credit handling.

“Make a Resolution to Budget? Here Are Some Apps to Help” by Tara Siegel Bernard – New York Times – Jan 3, 2014

 

Popular Financial Advice:

Productivity Web Tools for Graduate Students

July 4th, 2014

“Productivity” can be a hairy subject. The goal is to get the best results out of your time investment but not become a fully automated robotic cyborg with the sole mission of completing task after task. With this in mind, we want to introduce a few resources we find useful in our own searches to get the most out of the time we spend working and living.

Why be “more productive”? What are the pitfalls? Doesn’t it seem a little pointless?
I recommend visiting A Year of Productivity, where Chris Bailey chronicles his experiences of living out different methods of being productive. Not everything works but it is interesting reading his thoughts while living in nearly complete isolation for 10 days or drinking only water for a month.

We recommend not trying a full makeover in a short amount of time. This might cause burn out and much discomfort in your personal life. Try a method or a tool for a bit, see how it might fit into your life and your goals, then move on.

Software and Website Tools

  • Papers (34 for students) http://www.papersapp.com 

    PapersIconThis was my first PDF management program and I loved it. My friend called “iTunes for academic research”. If your research articles are all over your computer or just lazily thrown into a single folder, Papers can help you organize it by reading the metadata of the PDF files. It can rename your files (e.g. “Smith_2014”) and you can place them into different reading lists.
    The program started off as Mac only and remained the best Mac solution for a while. If there is something much better, let me know!
    The full retail price is €71 but it is 34 for students.  Again, I have not used this program for the last few years but it now available for PC and can be used cross platform with your current iOS devices.

 

  • Mendeley (free) http://www.mendeley.com/
    After I switched to my MendeleyIconcurrent Windows PC laptop, I bemoaned the fact that Papers for Windows really was not that great. However, people used Mendeley. I’m happy to say that over the last 2-3 years, Mendeley has become a MUCH better program than it was.
    Mendeley and Papers both fill the same functional role: organize and catalog all of your PDF based resources. Mendeley, however, is free. You can save your library to the cloud and then have your iPad or other computers sync with it. When I travel, now I load up on research papers and just have to bring my iPad.

 

  • Google Calendar (free) https://www.google.com/calendar/
    GoogleGoogle Calendar is invaluable. There really are way too many uses for it, whether it be tracking your work or coordinating dinner with your family.
    There are a ton of articles out there on taking advantage of Google calendar

 

  • Mint (free) https://www.mint.com
    MintPeople who are uneasy or scared about their financial situation are often distracted and cannot do their best work.Are your finances all in a mess? Do you even know how much money you have to your name? No fear, Mint’s web application (which also syncs with your mobile devices) can help set you straight.
    For me, the budgeting tool has been a great asset. By staying on budget, I cut down on the amount of choices I need to make on a daily basis, and direct that brain power towards achieving my goals.One warning: If you’re worried about much of your personal finance information being on one site, you may prefer the numerous other offline products available. I have personally not run into any trouble with Mint.com but I’m also aware that nothing is ever completely safe on the internet.

 

 

PhD 011: 3 Topics in Dating and Maintaining Relationships in Grad School

June 25th, 2014

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Ep011_cardWhat dating challenges and mistakes do grad students face?

  • How do you start dating as a graduate student?
  • Should you using online dating services?
  • How can you maintain a relationship while in grad school?

This week we discuss having a love life as a grad student. After a long discussion, we only end up scratching the surface! We’ll be sure to return to this broad subject.

Have you ever searched for love in the liquor store?

Dating: Online vs Offline
Relationship
Sharing interests
Complementing traits and interests
Intellectual intimidation

Let us know what you’d like to hear more in depth. (If you are a bear or a lumberjack, Kelly would also like to hear from you)
Comment at http://phdinprogress.com/love
E-mail us feedback@phdinprogress.com
Interact with us on Twitter @PhDPodcast
or Reddit /u/PhDPodcast , /r/gradschool

 

*Sorry for the audio quality. I’m working on making it better! -J

 

PhD 009: “Career Services, Networking, and Informational Interviews” with Amy Pszczolkowski

June 12th, 2014

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This week Jason, Nikhil, and Abigail sit down with Amy Pszczolkowski, Assistant Director of Princeton University’s Career Services office to discuss career search resources and networking strategies. We encourage you to reach out to your career service office and tell us about your experience!

What can you expect to receive from your university’s career service officer?
-Counseling/Advising: a thought partner and guide; broad exposure
-Assessments: personality, fit, strength/weakness, professional skills, interviewing
-Free valuable information on career center websites

Grad students often don’t know about these services, but the earlier you come in, the better support you can receive.

Mentioned this Episode:

*Buying items through these Amazon  affiliate links directly supports the podcast! Thank you!

PhD 005: 3 Important Points of Advice to New Graduate Students

May 13th, 2014

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This week Jason, Nikhil, and Abigail hope to help newer graduate students by discussing what they WISH they knew earlier in their studies.

Self-management, the production mindset, and failure are the 3 broad topics we dive into for this discussion.

We mention a couple of neuroscience studies-
Chronic partial sleep deprivation:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19961/

Sleep and memory – way too much literature, but the wiki is pretty comprehensive
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep_and_memory

Where does Nikhil find his best ideas?
How can you earn your secret Ph.D.?
And correct, unurgent is not a word. Thank you in advance.

 

PhD 004: “A Case Study” – Leave of Absence and Self-Education

May 5th, 2014

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This week we talk to Zach about taking a leave of absence, self-education, and preparation for consulting job interviews.

Abigail gets ready to defend, Nikhil finishes up experiments, and Jason is a subpar caterer.

Nikhil interviews Zach. They discuss the reasons Zach took a leave of absence, what he did during that time, and how it prepared him for his next career.

During the interview, Zach mentions two books (“the classics”) he has read during his preparation for a consulting job search:

Competitive Strategy by Michael Porter
Competitve Advantage by Michael Porter

 

We’re active on Twitter @PhDPodcast.
If you’d like to help boost our visibility, please consider sharing the show with your friends or rating us on iTunes.

We’d appreciate all the honest feedback, questions, and comments you’re willing to send our way.

As always, you can find this week’s show notes and all the information I just mentioned at PhDinProgress.com

 

A Response to the “Fear of Becoming ‘Nonacademic'” post

April 17th, 2014

Our friend Fatimah PhD (see: Podcast Episode 2 and BeyondTheTenureTrack.com) sent in a great response to my Fear of Becoming “Nonacademic” post. She says:

The fear of losing your academic identity is one of the biggest challenges of considering a nonacademic career. Who will I become? How will people know how awesome and accomplished I am if I don’t tell them about my degree and research? What else can I lead with when introducing myself?Even for an avid networker like myself [more…] this question tripped me up for some time and still catches me off guard in some situations.

No one is really defined by one thing. I work as a management consultant but I also coach PhDs on professional development and career planning.

One of my colleagues is a tenure track professor and runs a nonprofit organization that promotes the health of girls in urban communities. One of my mentors, a PhD in Engineering, is a CEO of a billion dollar national consulting firm, a published author, and a public speaker. No one is doing just one thing anymore. It’s liberating!

Find the top 2-3 ways you want to be positioned in the world. For example, mine are project manager, practicing academic, and PhD Career Coach. I choose which of these to lead with depending on the environment I am in and who I want to attract to me in my networking. As conversation deepens I talk more about other areas of my profile, as pertinent.

In Episode 3, we will discuss some of our personal “2-3 ways [we] want to be positioned in the world” and what we are doing to get there. What are some of your goals for your next job. Let us know by sending a message to feedback@PhDinProgress.com

 

Would you like to receive semi-regular, non-spammy (yes, that’s a word now) updates via e-mail? Subscribe to our new e-mail list and we’ll make sure you don’t regret it. In fact, you’ll do the opposite of regret it.

PhD 002: Beyond the Tenure Track with Fatimah Williams Castro, Ph.D.

April 13th, 2014

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Thank you for supporting our brand new podcast! We’re constantly trying to improve the quality and content. In this week’s episode, Jason, Nikhil, and Abigail briefly discuss the 61% of PhDs who pursue nonacademic careers as they review the American Institutes for Research article titled “The Nonacademic Careers of STEM PhD Holders” released in April 2014.

Then they interview Dr. Fatimah Williams Castro, the PhD career coach behind BeyondTheTenureTrack.com about starting your career search outside of the academy. She will be participating in the “Beyond the Professoriate” virtual conference taking place on May 3rd and May 10th 2014. For more information go to [more…]FromPhDtoLife.com/conference 

You can find the article here: http://www.air.org/sites/default/files/downloads/report/STEM%20nonacademic%20careers%20April14.pdf

Next week, we will discuss a few strategies we’re using in our own career searches.

If you want to participate, write down 3 qualities you want in your next job or career move. Send them, along with any other comments or questions, to feedback@PhDinProgress.com or @PhDPodcast on Twitter.

Let us know what else we could do to improve your podcast experience!