You are about to finish your degree, master or PhD, and you are panicking because you have to apply for jobs but none tells you how to do it? After my last post on how to structure your CV (if you haven’t read it yet, please, check here), I was involved in loads of conversation about transferrable skills and what universities do or, most likely, don’t do to help the transition from academia to industry. I honestly don’t believe this is fair at all as, in many countries, students end up with an eternal mortgage to get an education.
This article has been republished by the website sisterstem.org and can be found here.
The other day I came across an article published on Science Career with the title You have accomplished more than you think! It was written by my friend Karin, scientist and author of the book You Must Be Very Intelligent – The PhD Delusion. The article starts with the story of a postdoc who wants to leave academia but believes that the skills she gained during her academic research won’t grant her any job! Unfortunately, I hear this story over and over again and as I am approaching the end of my PhD, many people ask me “Are you gonna do a postdoc after this? Is there any chemical industry that will hire you after your PhD degree?” When I tell people that you can also work either in science communication, scientific affairs, as a medical writer, get an editorial job, patent attorney with a science degree, they stare at me with their mouth open. “I didn’t know that you could do that with a PhD!
Bookmark scicomm available to purchase from my Etsy shop for £8, check here.
Yesterday I came across a funny tweet. One of my virtual friends asked whether science communication improved mental health in graduate school and if any data was available. I didn’t have any data last night and I just answered that tweet by saying “science communication saved my PhD”. At some point during my PhD, end of my first year, which I failed BTW, my mental health was extremely poor. I was crying every day, couldn’t stay still, had nightmares, strong headaches and felt unsafe to be in the lab. I was questioning my skills as a scientist every moment and thinking of quidding my PhD 5 times a day every day.
I didn’t lose my mind, no no! I did write 10000 words of my thesis in 10 days. It isn’t a typo either! How that happened? The writing up period is notoriously the hardest and most stressful bit of a PhD. And, for students like myself, who are doing their PhD in a second language that should be much more intense! I was honestly quite scared to even open a Word document and put together a few words considering all the bad publicity.
The American Society of Human Genetics states that any attempt to use genetics as scientific evidence to set differences between races shows a profound misunderstanding of this discipline. So, how come James Watson was awarded the Nobel Prize in Genetics? This person affirmed that he was inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa because all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – where all the testing says not really! Probably because Rosalind Franklin produced the crucial piece of evidence which allowed to sort out the structure of DNA and he took the merit for it? For this statement, he lost his job in 2007 and very recently he was stripped of several honorary titles by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, in New York, which he once headed.
I am back to business (blogging) and decided to put together this article to share my experience of being an international student and tell the story of how I became more than my PhD. As I am reaching the end, less than 6 months away from my thesis submission, I have been reflecting on the 4 years spent in Nottingham. I honestly could not be any happier of the unique opportunity I was given to. This PhD made me grow professionally and as a person in a way that I could have never envisioned. I have learned a lot about science, science communication and about myself.
There are loads of things I wish I was told before starting this PhD. The list is so long that I am not even sure where to start with. Apart from the obvious things, like making sure to find a supporting and understanding advisor (really learned this the hard way), familiarising with the wellbeing facilities like the health centre, gym etc, or finding your community of people, either by joining societies, book clubs, becoming member of sport and more professional clubs (will talk about this later on this month).
Connie from Life Of Learning asked me to talked about my Etsy shop and featured me in her section Career highlights. A simple feature of her Instagram page became a 1000 word email which I then decided to turn in a blog article for my own website!
This post is coming a bit earlier than expected. If you been following me for a while you might know that I tend to write a blog article at the end of every month (check Jan and Feb ones) to assess whether I am on track with my goals and check on my progress. Many things happened over the last month, most of them unexpected. So I needed careful planning to make the best decisions for the upcoming and hopefully last months of my PhD!
Continue reading “When your PhD wins over you – 6 months to go!”
Recently, aluminium salts have been demonised as one of the major cause of breast cancer. This is because analysis on breast cancer cells showed a large amount of aluminium. Hence, the claim that aluminium salts, such as aluminium hydroxide and aluminium chloride are responsible for it. To which extent this is true?