This week, we dive head-first into the mailbag to answer listener questions about grad school readiness, teaching experience, and more!Read More
“I was observing that there was this growing mistrust in science, and I couldn’t really understand why. I think that people just don’t trust scientists anymore, or at least not as much as they used to.”
As a graduate student at the University of Connecticut, Sarah McAnulty was struck by the anti-science and pseudoscience she saw in the news and in friends who trusted their internet-inspired juice cleanse more than they trusted medical research.
“It’s discouraging to see them not trusting us as a group, so I looked to see where people could access scientists in their daily lives. It looks like most of the pop culture references they have for us are either evil or socially awkward. And even when scientists have noble intentions, you end up with Jurassic Park!”
The best thing about the Hello PhD podcast is our amazing audience of grad students, postdocs, and career scientists. We get emails, tweets, and website comments full of thoughtful questions and insightful observations.
And though we try to read and respond to each message, not every question makes it into the show. Sometimes, we can reply with just a few words of encouragement, or a link to a prior episode.
But this week, we wanted to dig into the mailbag and offer a rapid-fire response to some of the burning questions you’ve sent over the last few months.
But I have no skills! At least no skills employers would be interested in!
As a career counselor, Melanie Sinche heard grad students and postdocs voice this concern nearly every day. She looked at these talented scholars and saw the ability to think critically, analyze data, and solve problems. To her eye, these were transferable skills very much in demand outside the research lab. Why couldn’t the students see it?
“I felt frustrated by that comment, and motivated to conduct a research study around skill development. I would argue that scientific training, by its very nature, lends itself to the development of LOTS of skills.”
You might think internships are the domain of business students and undergrads. You’re training every day in a lab – why would you need more experiential learning?
The short answer is that your laboratory training is a great internship if you want to go on to a faculty position at a major research university.
But what if you want to use your scientific training to craft policy and legislation in your state government?
Or what if you want to work with a Contract Research Organization and help shepherd new drugs through clinical trials?