Graduate student moving on, what to do next?
February 13, 2014 11:33 AM   Subscribe

Graduate student "Mastering out", trying to begin next steps

Hi everyone,
I'm a second year graduate student in molecular biology but I just submitted my MS thesis and will be done in May. Not a good environment for me and the employment opportunities look bleak so I have decided that now is the best time to move on. I've been looking into job opportunities pretty extensively and have a decent network but I was wondering what other people did in similar situations (or people they know) and I'm always open to advice. The most obvious career route is R&D but I'm also looking into more clinical career paths and in the meantime I've been doing a little work for my roommates' start-up company and may expand into a bigger role but there are many obstacles there.
Any advice would be awesome! Thanks!
posted by jroger2908 to Work & Money (4 answers total)
Really do not worry about it. This is a non-issue. Employers would like geniuses with PhDs and 20 papers and a great national reputation... but given the choice between an average PhD grad and an average person with similar work experience, they are pretty much indifferent. Just apply for jobs, accentuate your positive experiences, and move on.
posted by miyabo at 12:50 PM on February 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

What are the obstacles to working in your roommate's company? Surely they are not put off by your educational pedigree, that would be ridiculous.
posted by oceanjesse at 3:23 PM on February 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

No the obstacles are just that it is a start up and they have limited resources. They started an I phone app and as of now I have no coding skills (yet). I've started doing a lot of phone calls for them or been their guinea pig testing the app but it likely wouldn't be a long term thing. Also they've been talking about selling within the next 6 months or so.
posted by jroger2908 at 6:32 PM on February 13, 2014

When I was in grad school I moonlighted as a bartender, and kept at it after I finished while I looked for a 'real' job. That can be rough if you're a morning person, but I'm a night owl so it was kind of perfect. I'm not suggesting you do that specifically (though service industry jobs -- waiting tables, bartending -- are usually fairly easy to come by because they require little or no experience), but doing something else outside of your career path temporarily can help with money while you find a job. It doesn't sound like your roommate's startup is paying you.

I'd also suggest reaching out to your university's career placement people. They may very well know things you wouldn't otherwise come across (at least, not by your typical job search online).
posted by axiom at 9:06 PM on February 13, 2014

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