Transitioning out of Academia

Hi, and welcome to my journey

The Beginning of. . . a Blog

“Are you still using your degree?”

Within the first few years of graduate school, I realized my main passions did not hide in the cabinets below a lab bench.

Hands-on experiments were the necessary means to an end, and I much preferred reading scientific articles than being the author for them. I gathered data with the hopes of attending conferences and reveling in the communal nerdiness shared over a few too many beers. I conducted research at strange hours so that I could volunteer with the local Morehead Planetarium and Science Center as an outreach specialist and trainer. I completed manuscripts so I could manage the team of amazing humans who run PhD Balance and so I could travel to speak about graduate student mental health.

Basically, I worked at the bench so I could find a way to do everything else.

Although there will always be a special place in my heart for the wonderful world of bacterial interactions, I have shifted towards pursuing my dreams of working in communications for science-focused businesses. Since I’m going through a strange transition at an even stranger time, I thought I would document what I’m learning and experiencing along the way.

What can you expect from this blog?

One of the questions I’ve been hit with the hardest is whether I will be using my degree of a PhD in Microbiology. My answer is: kind of. While I won’t be using some of the technical research skills (I miss you already, pipetmen), I will certainly be using the tools I gained to solve problems, build connections, learn rapidly, and Google my way out of most self-imposed problems.

This blog is a way to discuss what I gained (or didn’t) from grad school, and how the lessons of nearly six years have made me into the person I am today.

More than anything, I hope these words are honest and can provide others a view into my frustrations, fears, successes, and excitement. This will be more similar to a diary than a blog. Maybe you’ll find a bit of yourself in these articles, which will detail the awkward fumblings of a bright-eyed fledgling in an unexplored world. Maybe not.

In line with this being a type of self-expression, these posts will be informal AF. Expect typo’s, grammatic’al and spellign errors, and likely a bit of cursing.

This will certainly not be a “how-to” guide on almost anything. I will try to link to the resources I used for each step, but I’m not the person you should go to with questions about the steps.*

Ultimately, I am writing this blog series to track my progress, find some introspection, and give myself a great excuse to procrastinate.

Until next week,
Susanna

*You might find insights through my mistakes and come up with possible ways you can navigate around them. But no promises, there.

Posted: May 15, 2020

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