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048: Where the (Wild) Postdocs Are

Shhhh!  There he is.  Behind that rack of Eppendorf tubes….

The elusive ‘Postdoctoral Fellow’ in his native habitat!

If we’re quiet, we may be able to observe him as he completes an experiment, writes a few paragraphs in a grant proposal, and nurtures his young (i.e. graduate students.)

Postdocs are difficult to study in the wild, and no one knows exactly how many of them exist outside of captivity.

But thanks to a recent study from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), we are starting to understand their migration patterns as they leave the safety of the training lab and venture into the wider world.

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046: Do I need a PhD to advance in my industry job?

You’ve worked hard in your biopharma job, and you really love the position.  The team is passionate and dynamic, the product is starting to make an impact in the market, and you begin to imagine your long-term relationship with the company.

But there’s one problem: it seems like no one with a Bachelor’s Degree can move up in the organization.  PhDs from outside the company are hired into management positions, while you and your colleagues get passed over for promotions.

What’s going on? And do you really need a PhD to get ahead in your industry job?

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037: Consulting Jobs for PhDs

Management consulting is an exciting field, but actually getting a consulting job at one of the top firms can be extremely difficult.  Some people argue that you’ll have an easier time getting into Harvard than landing a spot at McKinsey…

We talked to a postdoc-turned-consultant about how she left the bench and got a job in such a competitive field.

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036: What Do Consultants DO, Exactly?

If you’ve worked at the bench for awhile, your only reference to the world of consulting is probably the two Bobs in the movie “Office Space.”  They’re the hatchet men who swoop into a company, fire a bunch of people, and fly back home.  But is that an accurate picture of consulting work, or a just bit of satire?

This week, we turn the tables and ask a biomedical PhD/management consultant: “What would you say you do here?”  You’ll be surprised by her response!

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