PhD? Now What?
Exploring Careers Outside of Academia
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If you're finishing, considering, or have a PhD, this is the event for you. For most PhDs, Plan 1 is the tenured professor track. But, what about Plan 2 or 3 or 4? Our goal is to use this event to answer that question. We're bringing you a night of exploration into what other options are available once you've completed your studies. Our speakers are professionals from the fields of life sciences, economics, the humanities, and consulting. They either hold a PhD or work closely with those who do.
We will be hosting a short panel, but please bring your questions. The goal is to have an informal discussion to talk through different potential paths.
6 PM Registration Opens with Light Dinner
7 PM Panel
7:30 Open Discussion
8:30 Event ends
Michael has several masters degrees in the biological sciences from U of Wisconsin and worked for several years as a scientist with the Department of Defense. He then received his MBA from UChicago Booth School of Business and transitioned to a Life Science consulting role with Charles River Associates. At CRA, he works alongside a number of PhDs from varied fields including Accounting, Economics, Engineering, and the Life Sciences. His projects focus on strategy work with companies in the biopharma space although CRA does consulting work in many other fields including litigation, energy, economics, and finance.
Sophie Yang works at Analysis Group, an economic consulting firm. She specializes in pharmaceutical and intellectual property economics. She has worked on a range of pharmaceutical matters involving off-label promotion, kickback, false advertising claims, breach of contract claims, and patent infringement litigation.
Sophie has a Ph.D. in Economics from Michigan State University, and received her M.B.A. degree from UChicago Booth School of Business.
After completing her BS ('01) in biochemistry and MS ('01) in molecular genetics at the University of Chicago, Laurie studied structural biology at the University of California, Berkeley, for her PhD ('07). During her graduate studies, Laurie investigated potential new drug targets in tuberculosis. After graduation, she moved to a postdoctoral position with the Medical Research Council's Protein Phosphorylation Unit at the University of Dundee, Scotland, studying drug targets in human diseases, including diabetes, cancer and neurodegeneration. After 4 years, Laurie moved away from the bench and began her career outside academia, becoming editor of the scientific reviews journal Trends in Molecular Medicine, published by Cell Press. Two years later, Laurie moved once again to join Foundation Medicine, a biotech company in Cambridge, MA, focused on providing oncologists and cancer patients with the information they need to pursue personalized treatments. Laurie ha been with Foundation Medicine for 4 years, working in both operational- and research-oriented roles, and is currently a Senior Scientist with the pathology department collaborating closely with MDs to identify and publish novel insights from their collection of more than 100,000 tumor genomic profiles.
Jessica Ehinger is an independent scholar, currently serving as Grants & Administrative Manager for the Boston University Superfund Research Program. She took her undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago in Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations (specializing in Arabic & Islamic History) and her Masters and PhD at Oxford University in Theology (specializing in the Late Antique and early Islamic periods of Christian and Islamic history). Although committed to continuing her research, she started in graduate work uncertain that a tenure-track position was for her, and disappointed by the lack of broader career development resources available to graduates and early-career researchers. In addition to her academic training, she has more than a decade's worth of experience working in administration and advocacy for universities, nonprofits, and political campaigns. She has organized recruitment programs for positions ranging from interns to senior faculty and executive management, and coordinated five graduate admissions cycles for Oxford University. Due to her familiarity with the particular challenges facing graduate students and PhDs in job hunting, she has spoken on job hunting and employment at the American Academy of Religion and the Ronin Institute, and published on 'alt-ac' employment and broadening PhD job hunting and career development resources for the Chronicle of Higher Education. She strongly believes that graduate education can and must train students for a range of potential futures in order to remain viable, and that all graduate students and PhDs have opportunities both in and beyond the traditional tenure track.
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