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144. Finding a Career that Fits with Marlys Hanson

Sarah had achieved her dream. With a PhD in Physics, she had accepted a new position as a Theoretical Physicist.

But as the months wore on, she started to feel overwhelmed and depressed. She’d done well in school and enjoyed her classes – why couldn’t she focus on her work?

Sean graduated with honors from his engineering program. But after six months on the job as a field representative for a machine company, he was fired.

He had been an excellent student, and excelled in class with top grades and praise from his professors. In the field, he had none of that feedback, and his motivation plummeted. He blamed himself for the failure, but he couldn’t understand how all his success had collapsed so quickly.

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142. Advancing Racial Equity in Science w/ Dr. Kenneth Gibbs

When Dr. Kenneth Gibbs talks about diversity and inclusion in the sciences, it’s not just a cause célèbre. It’s personal.

“For those of you who don’t know me, I am a Black man. A descendent from enslaved Africans here in America, so my family has been here for hundreds of years. That’s part of my story.”

And while his grandfathers had 4th and 8th grade educations, his parents were able to go college in the 1970s because of public investment in programs like Upward Bound. He and his sisters were able to go to graduate school.

“I had a PhD from Stanford by the time I was 27,” Dr. Gibbs recalls. “You can see that arc, but you can also see that when I got that PhD, I was the only black man in my building for that five years that wasn’t a mailman, janitor, or technician.”

He finishes, “There’s nothing wrong with any of those jobs, but I said, ‘There’s something kind of “off” here.'”

Now, he’s working to fix the system, and to make science look more like society.

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141. Why We (Still) Podcast

What makes two PhDs who escaped from grad school years ago want to revisit all the highs and lows of their training?  Short answer: Beer!

But the long answer: Grad school is no cakewalk – classes are challenging, experiments fail, and sometimes, PIs seem like they’re from another planet. We made it through one day at a time, relying on regular conversations and scheming over a beer at the end of a long week.

Hello PhD is your chance to join those conversations and benefit from the experience of other scientists who have made their living in, and out of, the lab.  We want to help you take advantage of all of the great benefits of your science training experience, and avoid some of the mistakes and pitfalls.

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