Plenty of PhDs go into consulting after graduation, but what do consultants actually do? Dr. Jessica Vargas from Exponent joins Kayla and Sally to discuss her journey from chemistry PhD to technical consultant. We chat about her grad school exit strategy and her transition from individual contributor to manager. We also address the most pressing questions such as... how many hours do consultants really work? We are stoked to share Jess’s story with you all, and her team is hiring - search for polymer or analytical chemistry roles in Exponent’s Menlo Park location! https://www.exponent.com/careers
Sally and Kayla welcome Dr. Serah Kang to discuss her experience applying for academic postdoc positions and industry roles. After completing her PhD, Serah spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Gladstone Institute and now is a senior scientist at Genetech. Serah also discusses how her applications and job decisions were impacted by transhood and how employers can attract and support trans scientists. This is the first in a new series about finding your path after getting your PhD! Stay tuned!!
Caring for a new baby is a full-time job - and then some! In this episode, Sally and Kayla share their experience with parental leave and returning to work after the birth of their kiddos. This is a followup to our “Pregnancy in Graduate School” episode and is a must-listen for anyone thinking about becoming a parent or anyone wanting to be a better colleague or supervisor to (potential) new parents. We also discuss how institutional parental leave policies can support parents in STEM and the potential benefits of doing so.
Is grad school the “right time” to have a baby? What is it like to be pregnant while working in a lab? How should you interact with your pregnant colleagues? In this episode, Sally and Kayla share their experiences and discuss what institutions can do to support pregnant students and student parents.
Ah, the slump - that mid-PhD abyss when goals are ambiguous, motivation is waning, and stress is overwhelming. Dr. Emily Lingeman joins Sally and Kayla to discuss her own PhD slump and how she got back on track. Dr. Lingerman also shares strategies to destress and know when "just exercise!" won't be enough. Don’t fear - the slump is normal and you can get through it!
Are you considering a PhD, but not sure if it's right for you? Or, are you deep into a PhD and trying to remember why you started in the first place? In this episode, Sally and Kayla interview Dr. Raj Kumar about the ins and outs of graduate school with a focus on PhDs in STEM. Topics include the differences between PhD and Masters degrees, how much graduate school costs, and reasons to (or not to) get a PhD. Raj is a recent PhD graduate turned Lecturer at Stanford University in the Materials Science and Engineering Department where he pursues his passion for mentoring and teaching
How many women are working in STEM careers? What are the major hurdles to achieving gender equality? Claudine Schmuck founded Gender Scan to find out. While the project originates in France, Gender Scan is expanding to collect data from across the globe. In today’s episode, Kayla and Sally discuss the launch of the 2021 Gender Scan survey and how data collection is critical to supporting women in STEM.
Gender Scan Survey (scroll down and look left for the survey link)
-Be sure to answer “Double Shelix” when asked “Are you answering to this survey following the suggestion of a partner of Gender Scan?”
-The progress bar will make the survey seem quite long, but you actually only need to answer about a quarter of the questions to complete the general survey. You will then have the option to complete additional surveys about specific subtopics.
Meet Time’s First-Ever Kid of the Year
Timnit Gebru’s Exit From Google Exposes a Crisis in AI
Sally and Kayla GRADUATED! What were some highs and lows of graduate school? What did they wish they had known sooner? In this episode, Sally and Kayla reflect on their experiences while pursuing a PhD as well as share exciting updates for the next season of Double Shelix.
Are you a recent or soon-to-be graduate stressed about recruiting and how you will find your first "real" job?
In this episode, Kayla and Sally talk to Entrepreneur, Career Agent, and Advocate - Fatoumata Fall (Fatu) - about how graduating PhDs can optimize their job search experience. Fatu is a co-founder of Ralph, a company specializing in tech industry negotiations. They have supported over 130 STEM Ph.D.s in their negotiations, as well as their career decision-making and transition from Academia to Industry. In the episode, Fatu shares what she learned about the job search process from advising the most successful Ph.D.s. She also shares her own experience as an entrepreneur as well as her insights into the efforts tech companies are making to recruit underrepresented candidates.
What do you study? Whether it's to a leading faculty in your field or to your aunt's best friend, you have probably been asked to explain your research many, many times. How can you make your answer count without reciting an entire review paper? Sally and Kayla discuss how to craft an effective research “pitch" and then test their skills in real time. Spoiler alert: practice matters.
-General tips on three minute thesis
-Three minute thesis at UC Berkeley (search your university for similar events)
Sometimes bad projects happen to good people. Kayla and Sally discuss how to identify if your project may be in trouble, talk about these challenges with team members, and say good riddance to bad project. We also talk about letting go of good projects that come to an untimely conclusion due to circumstances outside your control - lost funding, changing priorities, or, you know, a global pandemic.
Requesting, writing, and stressing about letters of recommendation? Been there! Kayla and Sally cover all these letter of rec worries and more! We get into the weeds like what to do when a recommender asks you to "write the first draft for me" and how many "friendly reminder" emails are too many. Finally, we walk you through writing your first letter of rec about a trainee. It's the first of our Skill Share series - hope you enjoy!
How involved should graduate students be in activities outside of lab? Sally and Kayla discuss how to strategically choose personally- and professionally-fulfilling extracurriculars while still budgeting time for life.
Science policy panelists Andrew Bremer, Stephanie Mack, and Kathy Shield join Sally and Kayla again to discuss how scientific research is funded with a focus on the process of allocating and distributing government funding. The panelists also share how graduate students can be involved in this process and impact research funding for years to come.
Journal Science Policy and Governance
National Science Policy Network
Science Policy Group of Berkeley
When her first career dreams were absolutely dashed, Dr. Maria Artunduaga reinvented herself, founded a company, and learned to thrive.Trained as a physician in her home country, Colombia, Maria dreamed of coming to the US to become a pediatric plastic surgeon and hustled to make it happen. When blatant discrimination and subsequent litigation forced her out of medicine forever, she felt stuck. Eventually, she trained and studied to become an engineer and entrepreneur. She founded Respira Labs and is using acoustics to identify COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) flareups. Maria shares her journey, her advice for others going through career hell or facing discrimination, and lessons learned as a CEO. We are honored to share her story as part of our Journeys series.
Find Maria on Twitter @DrArtunduaga and Respira Labs @RespiraLabs or RespiraLabs.com.
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Thanks to the Berkeley Student Tech Fund for supporting the series and to Joel Wanek for editing and production.