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Sujatha Jagannathan @RNA_biologist
, 20 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Thread. My notes from today's industry session at #RNA2018 organized by @jrRNAscientists. I figure it would be useful to fellow PIs whose people may also be interested in industry careers like mine are. /1
FAQ: Do I need a Postdoc?
Mostly yes. Especially if you hope to grow in your position. Without a postdoc, you might cap out at a certain point. Even a short postdoc (1-2yrs) is fine. /2
FAQ: Does an MBA help?
Depends. If you go to a mediocre school, not so much. If you go to a top 5, yes, but it gets expensive. /3
How to get a foot in the door? Ideally, do summer internships during undergrad. It can transition into an RA position when you graduate and would be a good job to have for a year or two before going on for a PhD, and it will be easier to return to the industry post-PhD. /4
If you are a graduate student, there are still plenty of internship opportunities and they may transition to an actual job. Email someone at the company you are interested in and ask! /5
How to prepare for an industry job?
Find out what kind of job you want and which company you want to work for.
Title and job responsibilities are not consistent across different companies. /6
Eg. RAs in some companies are technician-type positions that PhDs may be overqualified for (and therefore not even considered for even if you apply to them). Find out what they are for each company you are interested in. Do not assume. Informational interviews can help here. /7
Email people in positions that you want and have informational interviews.
Find out what skills you lack in order to get that job.
Get those skills and then apply. /8
How to apply for industry jobs?
Going through a personal connection >>>>>> online application
Even if the personal connection is someone you cold-emailed.
Keep looking for open positions and apply as soon as a job is posted. /9
Pay attention to the advertisement. Include keywords from the ad in your cover letter. HR may do automated screen for specific keywords before the hiring manager even sees your application.
Tailor the application as much as possible to the position and its requirements. /10
If you meet 50% of the criteria listed in the advertisement, apply! Do not self-select yourself out (especially true for women and other URMs)
Learn about the format of an industry-style CV or resume and make one. Highlight skills, not papers. /11
Always send PDFs! (if you must send a word document, make sure you any tracked changes are accepted!).
Opportunistic hires are common in small companies and startups. If you think you have something to offer a company, ask. They may even create a position for you. /12
How to do well in the interview?
You are the product, so market yourself.
Prepare an elevator pitch: big picture, nuts and bolts, impact and upshot. /13
Prepare for the technical interview. If you say in your CV that you know how to do something, expect to be asked about it in detail. Be honest in your CV about your skills in the first place. It's easy to tell if you are bluffing. /14
How to thrive in an industry position?
Industry work is goal-oriented, not exploratory. Being able to communicate with peers and managers about how your work fits into the company’s overall goals is essential. /15
Job stability in the industry is only as good as the financial well-being of a company in the last quarter. When companies merge, 10-20% of the positions get purged. So be prepared and stay relevant. /16
Miscellaneous notes:
Contract companies can offer a good, stable job as big companies are increasingly farming out routine experiments to them. /17
International students/scholars are harder for small companies and startups to hire because of visa sponsorship issues. Small companies often do not have the legal infrastructure to support H1B petitions, etc. /18
Internships can still be done on J1, but if you want a permanent position, be mindful of the H1B cycles and whether a company can even do them for you. /19
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