An Afternoon with Career Perspectives

GALLERY: Career Panel 2018

The Career Network of the MPI for Biology of Ageing invited eight former life science PhDs that gave insights into their diverse career paths and their current work life.

Academia or industry? Which jobs are possible at all? Do I have enough skills to leave academia? Is it possible to stay in academia and combine a scientific career with family? Sooner or later in their career almost every PhD or PostDoc will ask themselves those questions. In order to give some answers, the Career Network of the MPI for Biology of Ageing organized a Career Panel discussion with members with diverse career backgrounds.

More than 60 participants eagerly listened to the 8 panel members who commented on selected questions that were raised by students and PostDocs. R&D Manager Sneha Kumar enthusiastically answered to the question ‘What are the main skills that are necessary for your job?’ with the opinion that young scientists already possess most of the skills that are required for the alternative career paths outside academia and that they should not underestimate themselves. Furthermore, the audience was advised to be proactive and to build contacts to people outside academia as soon as possible.

The question about when is the right time to have kids sparked a debate between the panel members with contradicting opinions between females and males. The interesting discussion was finalized with the statement by Data Scientist Marius Garmhausen who concluded that “any point of time is as bad as right now.”

Talking about work-life balance it became clear that different jobs require different amounts of working hours. However, Max Planck Group leader Tatiana Korotkova also pointed out that certain jobs, like research for her, are work and hobby at the same time. Therefore, investing a lot of free time into the job is simultaneously personal entertainment.

The panel session was followed by further discussions over excellent food from bistro Oliveri, where many attendees took the opportunity to talk personally to the invited speakers.

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