Your Education: Coventry

Careers Advice for PGR's

Not sure what you want to do after completing your PHD? Check out this article from Mark Adams on careers advice for PGR's

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While a lot of advice for doctoral programme applicants stresses the importance of knowing what you want to do with the PhD, in reality, many Post Graduate Researchers that I encounter are undecided. It may be that some are absorbed in the write-up that thought about the notion of career – or rather afterthoughts - were relegated in importance. Conversely, for others, what lies beyond completion may be fraught with trepidation and surrounded by a lack of clarity to the point of distraction.

When asked about being a researcher, Albert Einstein opined, “If we knew what we were doing it would not be called research, would it?” Wernher von Braun, the physicist, rocket engineer and chief architect behind the Apollo manned missions to the moon echoed this by saying “research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing." Whilst Neil Armstrong, the first man it placed there obliged with the observation, “research is creating new knowledge”.  In other words, it’s about exploration. So if you don’t yet have the answer, don’t worry - by virtue of being PhD students, you are trained to plot, chart and navigate the unknown. As for the future, your task is not to necessarily to immediately foresee it but to enable it. Having had the pleasure to work with many, many PhD students, I know the tenacity to pursue your interests can lead to doing significant work that you love.  The process of exploring future options and the curiosity that surrounds it is natural to you and should be embraced.

The Talent Team provides impartial support, advice and guidance to students in defining and developing their careers during and beyond their degree. In my capacity of Career Development Consultant for researchers, I have had the privilege of working alongside doctoral students at all stages in their journey to encourage a proactive approach to career and professional development, to raise awareness of possible career opportunities both inside and outside of academia, and to assist with effective preparation of applications and for interview. As the late Terry Pratchett opined, “The best research you can do is talk to people”. Please do book an appointment, I’d love to meet you. 

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