getting away from the bench

Margaret A. Keller, Ph.D. keller at email.chop.edu
Tue Jun 4 10:21:05 EST 1996


Nannette,
I second Marc's comments about having found a career that utilizes both my
science and people skills. I decided to leave bench science for a core
facility director position last year. After an industrial postdoc, I was
unsure that a PI position in industry was the best use of my talents, and
I had already decided that the traditional academic tenure track was not
for me. I enjoyed my industrial experience immensely, however, I too get
the most enjoyment out of teaching people one on one. I also wanted to try
my hand at management, and director of a core facility gives me the chance
to do that. Good luck finding your niche. 
Margaret Keller

In article <4p0ec1$p0f at dfw-ixnews9.ix.netcom.com>, magoldst at ix.netcom.com
(Marc Goldstein) wrote:

> Hi Nannette,
> 
>         The question you ask is a good one. It took me several months of job
> searching to figure out that there were actually a lot of options for
> people with PhDs. I found that during my post-doc, the best parts of
> my day were when people came to me to ask for help with their
> projects. Realizing this, I decided that an applications support
> position might be the thing for me, and I started researching the jobs
> in this area. One thing led to another, and I wound up getting a great
> job with a major equipment manufacturer. I get to do lots of things in
> the course of my day. I develop applications for the equipment, I
> install it at customer sites and train them, and I aid in the sales
> process by providing technical expertise.  Other positions you might
> fit into include lab management or core facility management. PhDs can
> be very valuable in these slots, but the challenge is a lot different
> than the traditional academic track.  Good luck, and email me if you
> have any specific questions.
> 
> Sincerely,
> Marc Goldstein, PhD
> magoldst at ix.netcom.com
> 
> user at host.uci.edu (Enter Your Name Here) wrote:
> 
> >Hi everyone,
> 
> >I'm currently a post-doc (going on my 5th year in the field of molecular
> >immunology) and have come to realize that although I am fascinated by many
> >aspects of science-I'm not all that thrilled with bench work anymore
> >(although I was at ages 25-31 and am 34 now).  Right now I'm in the
> >process of trying to work out what the ultimate career move might be, and
> >with all of the difficulties assoicated with academic careers, I'm looking
> >pretty seriously at jobs in the private sector.  
> 
> >The overwhelming concern I have about a job in industry is that it seems
> >most Ph.D.s do continue to work at the bench.  Ultimately, I think I would
> >be happiest with some type of job where I could do background research
> >into new scientific areas, or some type of project management, or possibly
> >something completely different.  
> 
> >Most of my colleages who have fled the "academic ship" for industry are
> >either working at the bench or have very high level jobs (they had high
> >level jobs in academia when they left).  I was hoping to get input from
> >those of you in industry about the spectrum of non-bench positions (I
> >realize this will vary tremendously from company to company-but what the
> >heck-asking never hurt anyone).
> 
> >Also, I would greatly appreciate input from anyone (with experience in
> >both academia and industry) who feels that leaving academic life would be
> >a mistake. 
> 
> >----Looking for light at the end of the tunnel from those who have escaped
> >the perpetual post-doc syndrome----
> 
> >Nannette



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