Interview with Tatiana Alvarez Giovannucci by Ana Amaral
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Tatiana has been a PhD student at KI for 5 years now. Last year she took part of the Doctoral course Career Skills for Scientists, where people with a science background share their different career paths with PhD students. This happens once a week for one afternoon between January and March and provides the students the chance to learn about career options and an increased understanding of the transferable skills acquired during the PhD.
In our conversation, Tatiana highlighted the workshops focused on skills including scientific writing, how to build your CV and how to prepare for an interview. From my impression, Tatiana’s favourite was definitely a workshop that aimed to help students figure out what they want to do in the future as she acknowledges that it is so normal that students don’t really know what to do after the PhD.
“We covered aspects such as which interests do you have, what do you like in your current job, what you don’t like that much, what are you missing, in which kind of jobs do you think you could be good because you think you are good with these skills. It is basically about understanding your potential,” Tatiana explained.
At the end of the course the students have the possibility of applying for a 1-month financed internship in a company or institution outside KI to gain experience in a different working environment. Tatiana did her internship at Notch Communications, a marketing company for the life science, pharma and chemistry markets. Tatiana highlights the experience acquired in writing skills:
”Writing is an art! You have a very condensed piece of text that has to say a lot, that has to sell the product and you have to write exactly the word that says that!”
She also realized that this knowledge will help her a lot in the future for any type of writing she might need to do.
In the podcast linked to this post (see top of the page), you can listen to my conversation with Tatiana about the Career Skills for Scientists course and the internship at Notch Communications. She also shares some reflections on the value of initiatives like this one, which she liked a lot and recommends totally.
Hopefully this podcast can inspire you to explore this course and dare to experience work outside an academic lab during your PhD. Applications are open during the Autumn term with the seminars starting late January.