How did I go from a PhD in Medieval Studies, to a project manager in financial services? Find out in Episode 24 of GradSquare Radio, where Marco interviews me about my academic background and my transition into a business career.
GradSquare Radio offers a range of fantastic interviews with former researchers and other professionals. The interview with recruiter Anne Hersh in Episode 3 is especially thought-provoking. Anne runs her own recruitment business in New York, specialising in financial services.
It’s refreshing to hear Anne’s views on a range of topics, especially since they contrast with opinions you may encounter within higher education! So for instance when asked how higher degree holders are perceived outside of academia, Anne says that ‘an advanced degree is viewed in a positive light.’ Remember that for the next time someone tells you that a PhD puts employers off!
And any Ivy Leaguers listening are in for a shock … Anne says that many firms don’t want to hire Ivy League candidates, perceiving them to be entitled, arrogant and conceited!
I really like Anne’s perspective on what a busy Human Resources person looks for in a résumé. Anne says that it needs to be logical that the candidate is applying for the job. This really chimes with my own advice to market yourself as a ‘fellow professional’ when applying for jobs outside academia.
Finally Anne has some great advice about the dreaded topic of networking. Get a list of alumni from your college or school and start contacting and talking to these people. This is the easiest way to build your network!
Further reading – marketing yourself
Applying for jobs outside academia – from PhD to fellow professional, by Chris
How to tell a great story about your transition out of academia, by Chris
How to recognise and overcome the failure story after your PhD, by Chris
Feeling like a failure? 4 strategies for beating the post-PhD blues, by Chris