Multiple Moves/Mentoring

Kathleen Ann Sindt kas4e at
Thu Jun 20 13:30:04 EST 1996

lizkosler at  writes:

> college.  I've been working in industry for the past three years, and have
> a paper in review.  I have tons of lab experience in molecular biology,
> and some experience in immunology.  As well as enjoying my job immensely,
> I also love to learn.  I am starting to apply to graduate schools to go on
> for my PhD. I have absolutly NO desire to teach, at any point in my career
> (she says now:).  I've tutored <sp.> several semesters, I've TA'd, and I
> hate it.  So, what are the job prospects for someone like me, who wants to
> get all the education I can, but wants a career in industry? As far as

With your background, as long as you don't spend ten years
getting your PhD - your outlook would be better than some.

I say that because you have been working in industry at this
point - and for a fair amount of time.

> moving around goes, I am only applying to grad schools in warmer climates
> (I HATE Wisconsin winters).  I'm married and have a five year old son, and
> my husband is all for moving, but then wants to settle down.  For this
> reason, I am especially interested in grad schools near Reaserch Triangle.
>  So, any advice, suggestions, or  warnings would be greatly appreciated!

Duke and North Carolina State are both excellent schools. I
might suggest, wherever you go, trying to chose a lab with
industry connections.  Regardless of whether or not you want to
teach - teaching experience looks great - you might aim for
teaching a class or part of a class instead of TAing a lab.  It
shows leadership ability and ability to work with people -
important on industry applications.  Also, industry also wants
to hear in a recommendation that you are a "team player."

While your husband sounds flexible, I would chose a school where
he can find a great job - a job he loves and is great for his
career also.  A happily employed spouse makes a better partner
and supporter. 


It's easy to forget the big picture and bury yourself in your
little project.  Nobody sets your deadlines or forces you to
constantly remember what you need on a CV to get ahead.  You
need to publish, present your work at meetings, work with enough
profs that you can get great letters of recommendation,
teaching experience looks great.  Try applying for student
fellowships - NSF, HHMI, AWIS are some examples.  Work on your
presentation skills and writing skills.  Attend workshops on
marketing yourself - know how to write a great cover letter.
In your spare time (HA!) - take to to read the job ads and see
what's out there and ask yourself if you qualify for the job.
Don't wait until you are about to graduate to find a job.
Sure, somplaces dont' want to hear from you until you are about
to finish - but fellowships through the NRC, DOE, NIH, and
others may have deadlines almsot a year in advance.

While job prospects seem dismal, I think those that think about
their future and plan for it do better.  If you've been reading
here, then you aren't totally naive to the difficulties that
lay ahead.  With your work expereince, you do have a taste of
science - so I'd say - hey - go to grad school!

Good Luck!
Kathie Sindt
kas4e at

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