The PhD Pathways Series provides an “outside the academy” perspective on career preparation and job opportunities across a range of skills, trends and industries.
Our 2022-23 events and archived series is provided below. Scroll down and click “Listen to the Recording” following the description of the event. Run time is approximately 60 minutes.
You can also check out our PLAY LIST which provides a list of past events and embedded recording links.
For more information on participating in this series, or if you have any feedback, please contact us at email@example.com
EP #30: Navigating Non-Linear Career Paths with Collete Johnson
Stepping off the traditional academic faculty pathway – that well-trodden road leading from assistant to associate to full professor – can feel daunting, especially after most PhDs have invested over a decade of time pursuing a linear training model that leads them from an undergraduate degree to a graduate degree to the completion of a dissertation. How do professionals outside of the academy create and maintain networks, move between roles and industries, and tolerate the uncertainty that accompanies all of the above?
Colette Johnson is Director of Strategy and Operations at Ithaka S+R, a New-York based research and consulting firm that studies higher education. She founded and runs the Ithaka S+R Fellowship Program. She also serves as Professor of Practice for the Calhoun Honors Discovery Program at Virginia Tech. Colette received her PhD in English from Princeton University.
EP #29 PhD Panel: Balancing Non-Academic Career Pursuits While Pursuing A PhD
Pursuing a professional career while in a PhD program can be a daunting task, but there are plenty of successful examples. Join us for a lively panel discussion with PhDs from both inside and outside the academy at PhD Balance.
Robbie Hable PhD (he/him/his) – Graduated with his PhD at the end of 2018 in Chemical Engineering from the University of Kansas. After accepting a BS-level position at an Iowa biorefinery a few months after graduating, he was accepted, via a semi-cold connection request on LinkedIn, into a PhD leadership development program with the large, global chemical corporation – BASF.
Dr. Susanna Harris is a science communicator and multimedia marketer specializing in health sciences company growth. Susanna has achieved success as a leader in scientific communications, community engagement, and optimizing social media platforms by bringing her passion as a researcher and spokesperson for Ph.D. students in mental health advocacy and the promotion of scientific education and accessibility
Alexandra (Ali) Massa (she/her) is a PhD Candidate in Cancer Biology and an Innovation Fellow at Dartmouth. Prior to graduate school, Ali worked in Boston, MA at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard and immuno-oncology startup, Neon Therapeutics.
Eloïse Fairbank (she/her) is a PhD Candidate in Clinical Psychology at Concordia University in Montréal, Canada. Her research focuses on the relation between social support and health among youth.
PhD Balance — https://www.phdbalance.com
Communication for Graduate Students — https://comscicon.com
<< RECORDING HERE >>
EP #28: Embracing Entrepreneurship: From English Professor to Shark Tank
What is the path from teaching 18th century literature to founding an education technology venture? Do there exist fundamental skills, and a defined entrepreneurial mindset, that PhDs can draw upon and activate to build their career of choice, or simply land a job?
Dr. Carol Barash has some answers. After beginning her career as a Professor of Women’s Literature and receiving her PhD from Princeton, she then became a successful start-up founder as well as an executive coach, expert communicator and award-winning author. She has been recognized as a Top Women in NYC Start-Ups , the 10 EdTech Companies You Need to Know, and her current venture, Story2, is backed by Goldman Sachs, Techstars, Kaplan, and Yale Angels.
Join us for a lively discussion about how to create career opportunities amidst uncertainty and challenges.
<<< LISTEN TO THE RECORDING HERE >>>
EP# 27: Turning a PhD to Consulting and Start-Ups Careers
PhDs in the sciences and humanities are in high-demand from the world’s leading consultancies as well as new and innovative start-ups. But navigating the transition from academic work can be challenging.
Nick Edwards completed his PhD in Neuroscience at Brown University and the NIH before jumping into these exciting career areas, while also helping PhDs in their own career journeys. Join us for a lively discussion about the current stat of the market and what it may take to succeed in the consulting and start-up worlds.
Nick Edwards completed his PhD in Neuroscience at Brown University and the NIH. After a short postdoc at UCSD, he moved into strategy consulting at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and commercial strategy at Illumina. In the last few years, Nick has been building biotech startups, as an early employee, investor, and company founder. He’s also the host of the Once a Scientist podcast, where he interviews scientists about their career journeys as a resource for early-career researchers.
<<< LISTEN TO THE RECORDING >>
For information on Case Interviews related to Management Consulting, see Victor Cheng’s instructional videos on Youtube and website here.
EP#26: Building Scientific Careers: A View from Europe
October 26th, 2022
What are the career prospects for US-trained scientists in Europe? What are the future trends in recruitment? What are the future possibilities across the EU how might PhD students and post-docs secure them?
Dr. Manolo Castellano is at the leading edge of new career trends by managing Talento Cientifico in his native Spain and in other EU countries. Previously a scientist and researcher in the US at Stanford and Rockefeller University, he currently helps other scientists to expand their professional horizons.
This event is part of our efforts to provide global perspectives on the PhD market. Whether you are a domestic or international student or post-doc, join us and bring your questions!
EP#25: Recruiting Scientists: An Employer Perspective
October 12th, 20222
The recruitment market for scientists and other PhDs working at science-focused enterprises is vast and highly competitive. Yet prospects for graduates across many fields of expertise has never been better.
What does it take to prepare for, and succeed in landing a meaningful job in this industry? What are the prospects for current graduates?
Dr. Anne Meyer-Mineris a Scientific Recruiter at STEMCELL Technologies and brings first-hand experience in developing employer partnerships and helping scientists find meaningful jobs in industry. During her graduate degree, she was also an executive lead for the Life Sciences Career Development Society and currently is an active member of the Graduate Career Consortium.
Join us for a lively discussion and Q&A.
<<< LISTEN HERE >>
EP#24: Gaming and Career Paths: A Discussion with Dr. Jon Tam
September 29th, 2022
Dr. Jon Tam has developed a successful career coaching business (with a core focus on PhDs) and works as a UX Researcher in the fast-paced gaming sector. After completing a Ph.D. at the University of Oxford, and specializing in organizational development, social psychology, and training, Jon has helped many individuals gain clarity of purpose and to build essential soft skills.
In his own pathway outside of mentoring, Jon combined his deep experience in research and mentoring to a lifelong dream of working in the video gaming industry and finding success in his own career.
Supporting links to this event:
Dr. Tam’s YouTube Page focusing on career paths for Millennials: https://www.youtube.com/c/drjontam
UX Coffee Hours: https://storage.googleapis.com/uxcoffeehours.com/site/index.html
ADP List (Mentorship Platform): https://adplist.org/
EP#23: How PhDs are Building Careers in Science Start-Ups
September 14th, 2022
With some of the most dynamic and innovative science work being done inside start-up ventures, what opportunities exist for PhDs? And how might they prepare for and build a career in this fast-moving sector?
Yusuf Uddin, a Molecular Biophysicist and currently Head of Talent at KdT Ventures, offers some rare and practical insight into the world of cutting-edge science start-ups, how they recruit, and what you can do to take advantage of these opportunities.
This format will be a lively Q&A with discussion across a range of topics. Please bring your questions for Yusuf!
EP#22: Building Your Professional Brand as a PhD
May 19, 2022
Are you someone who struggles with the question: “tell me about yourself?” If so, you are not alone. Throughout our university experiences we often devote ourselves to academic research and learning but find it difficult to talk about ourselves to future employers.
In this workshop, Australia-based career coach Tina Li will provide you with some practical steps on how to start building and communicating your brand both online and offline. By knowing yourself and developing a strong personal brand, you can more confidently connect with potential future employers.
• Recognizing who you are, your skills, strength, values and connection to the world
• Discovering blind spots which limit your career success
• Identifying and articulating what differentiates you from the rest
• Understanding your unique strengths and brand key words
• Strategies to promoting your brand to potential clients, investors and employers
• Creating and communicating your elevator pitch and answer “tell me about yourself”
Tina Li, based in Australia, has spent over a decade working in the higher education sector in the fields of career education, training and development, advising and coaching, including programs at Macquarie University, Australian Catholic University and most recently the University of Sydney.
Find out more information on her website at www.tinalico.com
Supporting links to the event:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiiEeMN7vbQ (Growth mindset)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDQ1Mi5I4rg (Susan David, Emotional Agility)
EP#21: A Political Scientist Builds a Career in Data Science
May 5, 2022
Demand for social scientists is soaring across a range of industries and enterprises, from policy work to technology-enabled ventures. Jake Rothschild, PhD, currently Senior Data Scientist at Verasight, a leading data-driven consumer research and survey firm, will talk about his own transition from a political science PhD at Northwestern University to the world of surveys, data, and research insights outside of academia.
As a social and political researcher, Jake will discuss how he employs quantitative research skills ranging from experimental design to statistical analyses as part of his work, and how his PhD skills are utilized every day.
Bring your questions for a lively Q&A.
<<< LISTEN TO THE RECORDING >>>
EP#20: Research Collaboration: A Path Beyond the Academy
March 25, 2022
Dr. Melissa M. Moore graduated with a PhD in Communication and a lot of uncertainty. She now is happily working at YouGov, Inc. as a Project Manager, where she collaborates with a large range of clients (academic, industry, government, non-profit) to facilitate survey-based research. The work is interesting, fast-paced, and fully remote, with teammates all across the globe and a strong work-life balance.
Dr. Moore will discuss her own career path, tips for managing the uncertainty that comes with the job search, and practical points for translating PhD skills into jobs outside academia. Learn more from her experience.
EP#19: Blooming Beyond Academia
March 14, 2022
With vision, curiosity, and tenacity, leaving academia for a different career that’s both fulfilling and stimulating is possible.
Jameela will discuss steps you can take to prepare yourself for the transition beyond academia both emotionally and professionally, along with some tips to help you succeed in your career search.
Dr. Jameela F. Dallis earned her PhD in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2016 and held two Visiting Assistant Professor of English positions before leaving academia in 2019. Now she balances a 9-to-5 career she loves with selected freelance work she enjoys.
EP#18: From Art History PhD to UX Research
February 25, 2022
PhDs are often in high-demand for user experience (UX) positions across a range of industries, from finance to social media. They also come from a variety of backgrounds.
Dr. Risha Lee received her PhD in Art History from Columbia University in 2012, and for years worked as a lecturer, academic researcher, and curator. In 2018, seeking more stability and impact, she transitioned into UX Research, and today leads the UX Research Program for B2B Products and Services at American Express.
Learn more about her pathway and experience.
Note: there are two positions open on Dr Lee’s team at American Express. Go to our jobs page for more details.
EP#17: A Journey from Shakespeare to EdTech
February 18, 2022
Christina M. Squitieri received her PhD in English Literature from New York University in 2019, where she worked as an adjunct professor teaching Shakespeare courses and interdisciplinary seminars before landing a job at Cengage, an educational technology company that focuses on post-secondary and higher education. In this PhD Pathways seminar, Christina will talk about the choice to leave academia, the multiple pathways she tried before finally deciding to move into EdTech, and the rewards of finding a job that values the teaching and research experience of a PhD program. She will also share some advice about accepting a non-academic job mid-semester.
EP#16: Beyond the Lab: The Exciting World of Medical Writing
February 3, 2022
Are you someone passionate about teaching and effective communication? Have you explored positions in education, outreach, and science writing? This might surprise you, but you should also consider a career in the expanding field of medical writing.
Dr. Anique Olivier-Mason transitioned from graduate school in molecular biology, to leadership roles in education and outreach, to her current position at DynaMed where she writes evidence-based content for clinicians at the point of care. Moreover, most of her colleagues at DynaMed are not only fellow expatriates of academia who love science, collaboration, and communication — but also love a 9-5 schedule and the opportunity to work remotely (an option pre-COVID!).
In this webinar, Dr. Olivier-Mason will discuss her own career pathway, job openings for medical writers at her company, and practical tips for PhDs interested in applying to these jobs.
NOTE: Dr Olivier-Mason’s employer, DynaMed/EBSCO, has open positions available today! See below:
Medical Writer – EBSCO Information ServicesMedical Writer – Infectious Disease and Epidemiology, EBSCO Information Services
EP#15: Jumpstart Your Applied Job Search
November 3, 2021
The intense responsibilities and schedule of your doctoral or master’s program make it difficult to find the time to set yourself up to be competitive for applied jobs. What can you do to plan and execute this process most effectively? Join this webinar & Q&A session with Dr. Fatimah Williams, creator of Options for Success Career Exploration Program and founder of Beyond the Tenure Track, to learn five easy steps to jump start your job search and avoid career transition overwhel
EP#14: PhD Enterprise: How to Design an Online, Client-Facing Business to Grow Impact and Income
October 29, 2021
An online, client-facing business is the perfect business model for academics and post-academics with any employment status: fully employed, underemployed, or unemployed. When designed for long-term stability, these businesses (e.g., independent consultants, academic coaches, creative service providers) can generate uncapped side or full-time income, and grow your impact well beyond your field. In this webinar, you’ll learn how to holistically design a business that enriches (without overwhelming) your life, leverages your soft skills as a PhD, and sets the stage for financial and intellectual freedom. You’ll leave with actionable steps to get started right now (and keep going!) on your entrepreneurial journey.
This webinar is presented by Elizabeth Bennett, PhD, founder of The Overeducated Academy and contentCALI.
EP#13: Start-Up PhD: Utilizing academic training to launch or grow a new venture
October 8, 2021
From Google to Moderna, PhD and advanced degree holders have been at the forefront of innovative start-ups that are shaping our future. How can PhD students begin to think about utilizing their academic training in the start-up world? What are their competitive advantages? Dr. Deep Sran has founded a well-known learning technology company and a leading private school, after working in corporate law and receiving his doctorate in Human Development. Find out how his experience in building new ventures and making an impact can be relevant to your own career potential.
Dr Deep Sran, Esq., PhD
SVP, Actively Learn
EP#12: All the World’s a Stage: An Improvisational Approach to Building a Post-Doctoral Career
February 24th, 2021
How do you turn a post-MFA in Acting and an Ed.D into a 15-year career in medical education and a Principal consultant in an education consulting firm? Dr. Ryan Palmer shares lessons learned through his own career development and ties everything back to the fundamentals of improvisational techniques. In this talk, Ryan will discuss the many challenges and lessons learned he faced in not one but two major career shifts. He will discuss how each has informed the other, and how some of the fundamental acting training he received in improvisation has served as a useful guide through his circuitous, unique career path.
Ryan Palmer, EdD, MFA thought he was going to be a professional actor. But after attending the prestigious Theatre School Conservatory at DePaul University, he decided to shift his career toward medical education in both faculty and administrative leadership roles, where he reached the level of Associate Dean. After 15 years he started a new career as a Principal consultant in an education consulting firm.
December 17, 2020
EP#10 Using LinkedIN to Leverage Your PhD for Career Success
December 3, 2020
Join Ed Brodka for a webinar that will cover how to create an effective LinkedIn profile. 80% of all jobs are found through networking, including those with PhDs. You will also learn to use LinkedIn, along with Versatile PhD to make connections to achieve career success.
Career Coach, University at Buffalo
Ed Brodka holds a Master’s degree specializing in Organizational Communication. As a Career Coach with the University at Buffalo he has done hundreds of presentations on job searching and networking.
EP#9: Why Do Tech Companies Hire So Many Economists?
Note: This event was hosted by the Graduate School at Columbia University as part of its PER Series and included the participation of Versatile PhD.
EP#9 Why Do Tech Companies Hire So Many Economists?
Neal Ghosh, PhD, Senior Manager of Economics in Corporate Development, Amazon
Todd Maurer, Versatile PhD and Edunomix LLC
<< LISTEN TO THE RECORDING on YOUTUBE >>
EP#8: Publish and Pivot: Turning your PhD Skills into Careers in the Private, Non-profit and Government Sectors
April 27, 2020
<< LISTEN TO THE RECORDING >>
Join Dr. Mrim Boutla for an interactive webinar that will help you become more aware and fluent in the transferable skills, knowledge and value you have been gained through your PhD, and how to translate those into industry- and sector-specific talking points to increase your credibility and competitiveness as an emerging professional. This webinar will review critical skill sets, career options and trends as well as practical exercises and resume guidance you can immediately use to clarify and reach your own definition of career success.
Dr. Mrim Boutla is a neuroplasticity PhD turned career coach. At Brown University and at the Kelley School of Business (Indiana University), Mrim successfully coached hundreds of liberal arts graduates, MPAs, MBAs, and PhDs secure jobs that maximize impact and income. As a social entrepreneur, Mrim received the 2013 AshokaU/Cordes Prize for launching More Than Money Careers (MTMCareers) in partnership with Dr. Mark Albion (Faculty Founder of Net Impact). The MTMCareers software helped over 5,000 graduates get clear, get connected, and get hired for internships and jobs that blend financial rewards and social impact and environmental stewardship. Mrim serves as a startup mentor through I-Corps, HeraHub, NETVA, and AccelerateDC. Half-Swiss and half-Moroccan, Mrim was the first in her family to go to school beyond 9th grade. She started her journey in the US as an F-1 student and became an American citizen in 2015. Mrim earned BSc/MA in Psychology from UCLouvain (Belgium), her MA and PhD in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from the University of Rochester, and completed her neuroplasticity postdoctoral fellowship at Brown University. Beyond work, Mrim enjoys international travel and watching NBA games with her daughter.
EP#7: Working for Education Technology Companies After Your PhD
February 11, 2020
<< LISTEN TO THE RECORDING >>
The rapid development of education and learning technologies around the world can offer many career opportunities for PhDs. But what kind of knowledge and skills are applicable? And how might PhDs build a meaningful career in this growing industry?
Dr Brian Johnsrud completed his PhD in Stanford University’s interdisciplinary Program in Modern Thought and Literature, and subsequently worked with several leading education technology companies and institutions. In this PhD Pathways webinar, Brian will talk about his experience transitioning from a PhD program to the education technology industry and how he applied his skills and domain expertise in various roles. He will also share some practical tips on how other PhDs can enter this exciting area of work and innovation.
EP#6 Cultivating Reslience: How to Call Out Self-Doubt and Lean on Your Values During Career Transition
Danielle De La Mare, PhD, Self-Compassionate Professor, Inc.
<< LISTEN TO THE RECORDING >>
Contemplating your exit from academia can be stressful, scary, and complex. Stepping into a new career identity brings with it many difficult emotions as well as intense confusion about career goals and trajectories. This webinar will teach you how to turn into your difficult emotions, identify the painful beliefs you hold about yourself, shed the prison of self-doubt you have created for yourself, and begin a new leg of your career journey with a greater sense of freedom.
Danielle De La Mare, PhD is a former tenured professor of communication studies and founder of Self-Compassionate Professor, Inc., where she helps university faculty and PhDs lean on their deepest values to create meaningful careers both within and outside academia.
EP#5: PhD Problem-Solving: Adopting an Effective Mindset for the Job Market
Alok Gupta, ABD, Genius Squared,
December 18, 2019
>> LISTEN TO THE RECORDING >>
For many PhDs and post-docs, solving problems should come naturally. Why, then, is this mindset so seldom applied to the job search, and when interacting with employers?
Alok Gupta left his PhD program in Oceanography to land a string of research and technology-related “dream jobs” before becoming an elite academic and career coach. He did this, at every turn, by adopting a problem-solving mindset and pro-active approach to landing jobs. Find out ways to test and improve your own approach through this webinar and live Q&A session.
EP#4 GOING HOME: Exploring Global Opportunities for PhDs
Shane Dillon, Founder & CEO, Cturtle
December 2, 2019
>> LISTEN TO THE RECORDING >>
For many PhDs and post-docs, the most impactful career path can mean returning home. But after so many years in the US, how does one begin to prepare for a career and build a network back home, or in a region outside North America?
Shane Dillon founded one the largest employment networks for international students—and PhDs– returning to their home countries to pursue a career. He will share his own insights on how his company, Cturtle, works with graduate students returning to Asia and, more generally how you can prepare for and build a career back home.
Join us for this exciting event if you are an international student or want to deploy your PhD skills abroad.
EP#3: Using Your Skills in Consulting: How to make an impact beyond your academic discipline
Kathleen Foote, PhD, Senior Consultant, Deloitte
November 22, 2019
>> LISTEN TO THE RECORDING >>
Dr Kathleen Foote turned an expertise in Physics, with a focus on Physics Education Research, into a successful career in consulting by leveraging her diverse quantitative and social science skills. In this webinar, Kathleen will talk about her pathway to non-academic work, provide insights into the world of consulting, and discuss the need to absorb and utilize knowledge (something PhDs should be good at) on the job. She’ll discuss the value of building a diverse skill set and how pursuing broad interests paid off.
How might you apply your knowledge in the sciences or humanities in a broader work context? Do you need to change your mindset, and if so, how?
Join us to learn more about Dr. Foote’s experience and pathway to success.
EP#2: De-Mystifying the Private Sector: Tips on How To Thrive Outside the Academy
November 14, 2019
Angela Murphy, PhD, Manager of Strategic Partnerships, MSTS .
Leaving academia for the private sector can be confusing and frustrating for many PhDs. How should you prepare differently for a private sector job? How might employers perceive your PhD? More importantly, how can use your superb education as an advantage in the search process?
Dr Angela Murphy turned an English PhD into a successful career at a leading financial technology company. In this webinar, Angela will de-mystify the job search process by sharing her own experiences and insights on private sector employers, including how to best prepare and leverage your skills to find meaningful work. There are many non-traditional pathways to success. Dr Murphy’s story is one of them.
EP#1: Post-PhD Financial Success: How to Prepare for and Navigate Your Transition
November 29th, 2018
Emily Roberts, PhD (Founder, Personal Finance for PhDs)
<< LISTEN TO RECORDING >>
Start your next job on the right foot by successfully navigating your financial transition out of your PhD training. This webinar will be your roadmap! We’ll discuss everything from moving expenses to higher taxes to your possible new financial priorities like student loan repayment, retirement savings, and buying a home. You’ll leave the webinar with a list of concrete action steps to take and pitfalls to avoid whether you’ve just accepted a job offer or are still a year or more away from looking for a job.
This FREE webinar is presented by Dr. Emily Roberts, the founder of Personal Finance for PhDs.