Panel "Life after Ph.D."
(2015-06-12, Janja Nahrstaedt)
Many questions were asked and many questions were answered by our guests
at our first Panel "Life after Ph.D."
Five former colleagues, who finished their Ph.D.s in the last two years, accepted our invitation to our first Panel "Life after Ph.D." Two guests are now postdocs at university and a large research institute, respectively. The other three guests are working as IT consultants or in large technology companies.
After a short introduction, we shed some light on their time as Ph.D. students to find out why and when they decided to pursue a career in science, industry or business. For science careers the support of the supervisors was very helpful. Moreover, some experiences about the application process were shared. Job fairs, for example, offer a good chance to find a future employer, but also to find out where you don't want to work.
Afterwards, we talked about job experiences. If you don't work as a postdoc, the amount of pure math in your daily work will definitely decrease, while, as our guests told us, especially the analytical skills of mathematicians are highly valued by employers and qualify us for many jobs. Depending on which job you are interested in, it might be a good idea to learn object-oriented programming languages (e.g., C++, Python) timely. Also knowledge in Stochastics/Statistics or Economics could be an advantage.
All in all, we got very interesting insights and hints for the time when we will have to decide what will happen in our lives after finishing our Ph.D.s...
Finally, I really enjoyed meeting some former colleagues again. Very often, after your colleagues have finished their Ph.D.s, you don't see them anymore. The SIAM Student Chapter offers a great opportunity to renew old acquaintances and benefit from our colleagues' experiences.
Thank you to Viktor and Petar for taking pictures, and to all attendees, esp. our guests, for joining us on a summery Friday evening!