A PhD Is Not Enough!: A Guide to Survival in Science by Peter J. Feibelman

A PhD Is Not Enough!: A Guide to Survival in Science by Peter J. Feibelman

By Peter J. Feibelman

A Ph.D. isn't Enough! is needed examining for a person contemplating employing to graduate college or coming into the technology task marketplace. targeting severe survival abilities, it bargains sound recommendation on making a choice on a thesis or postdoctoral adviser; deciding on between examine jobs in academia, govt laboratories, and undefined; and defining a examine application. This new version positive factors updates all through and a brand new bankruptcy reflecting today's speedily altering global.

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It is not, as I have witnessed more than once. Trying to be another Linus Pauling, Roald Hoffmann, James Watson, 27 0465022229-Feibelman_Layout 1 10/28/10 10:36 AM Page 28 28 a p hd is not enough! or P. W. Anderson is a common road to failure. What a prominent adviser can offer is: . being part of the “oldboy network” (he or she can help you survive if times are tough, sometimes even if you don’t deserve to); and . not competing with you. Point  is self-evident upon a moment’s thought. Point  is not so obvious to the naive.

Do not be a slave to your postdoctoral adviser: If you just sit in your office working, while you are a postdoc, 0465022229-Feibelman_Layout 1 10/28/10 10:36 AM Page 37 Peter J. Feibelman 37 your supervisor will know you, but no one else will. You will get one good recommendation letter, assuming you have performed well, and that is all. If you chose a thesis adviser with good connections, he may still be able to help you find a real job after your postdoc. But what you accomplished as a graduate student does not count for much in later life, unless it is very exceptional.

Why would a hiring officer consider an applicant for an urban planning job who at the drop of a hat is prepared to return to the physics career he really wants? I wouldn’t. A third notion is that even in a market where few positions are available, the number is unlikely to be 0465022229-Feibelman_Layout 1 10/28/10 10:36 AM Page 24 24 a p hd is not enough! zero—and it is the best-prepared applicant who will win the competition. Having a reasonably good idea of what my Sandia interviewers would be hoping for, I spent serious time developing an appealing job talk.

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