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PhD Career Stories

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PhD Career Stories is a podcast where PhDs share their stories and experiences in life after a PhD, inspiring you to take the next step in your career development! Visit us at




PhD Career Stories is a podcast where PhDs share their stories and experiences in life after a PhD, inspiring you to take the next step in your career development! Visit us at




#120: Interview with Thalyana Stathis on pursuing a postdoc career in the USA

Are you looking forward to pursuing a postdoc career in the USA? Are you living in Europe, but dreaming of a long-term career in the USA? Are you looking forward to pursuing a postdoc career in the USA? Then this is an excellent episode for you as Tina Persson and Thalyana Stathis extensively discuss the application strategies for a postdoc position in the USA. Thalyana Stathis is the Associate Director of the Office of Career and Professional Development for postdocs and PhD students at...


#119: Interview with Sajni Haria on transitioning from a PhD in Chemistry to a Business Development Manager

During your PhD, have you ever thought if the world actually needs your research? Would people want to use your product? In this episode, Tina Persson and Sajni Haria discuss the entrepreneurial mindset that PhDs can train themselves with if they start thinking of the bigger picture of commercialising their research. Sajni also reminds us of how PhDs do not just have an academic skill set but also a vast set of transferable skills that can help them translate their research. Sajni holds a...


#118: Interview with Sara Andersson about the conflict between her PhD interests and her personality

’I really never knew how I felt in the lab, what does it really mean [for me]?... I’m a creative person, I love to meet people [and] I realised that being in the lab can be quite lonely’, Sara asked herself during her time as a PhD candidate. In this episode, Tina Persson, the founder of PhD Career Stories, interviews Sara Andersson, who tells us about her PhD journey and how she became a talent advisor at Mpya Sci & Tech. Sara finished her PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences at Uppsala...


#117: Interview with Aditya Parekh on can you trust your gut to guide yourself in your career?

”[On average,] one farmer commited suicide every 30 minutes in India”, Aditya Parekh remarks as he talks to our host, Tina Persson. This fact is what changed his mind and sparked his interest in changing that reality. He knew he wanted to help them. In this episode, Aditya shares his journey and challenges in the academic transition from Oncology and Molecular Biology to Sustainable Farming in the School of Design at Anant National University, India. Aditya followed his gut when it came...


#116: Interview with Priya Rangan on transitioning from academia while moving out of her comfort zone

In an age of misinformation, it has become essential for science to reach the public audience in a transparent manner. As a graduate in science, have you ever thought of communicating your science with the world? In this episode, Santoshi Devadas talks to Priya Rangan, who tells us everything about her journey to becoming a scientific communications specialist. Priya holds a PhD in Biology of Ageing and has 11 years of experience working in academic research and pharmaceutical settings. She...


#115: How did Marisa Pereira develop resilience and self-confidence during her PhD?

Am I fit for a PhD? My experiments are going nowhere. Will I see the end of this PhD? I only have academic experience, how will I find a job in the industry? Have you ever been in these situations? Our guest Marisa Pereira had asked herself these same questions, but today Marisa has successfully completed her PhD and transitioned to the biotech industry as a Project Manager. She also is the co-founder and owner of pic.cell, a unique company that designs textiles inspired by microscopic...


#114: Interview with Andrew McKee: On quitting a PhD and a journey of self-discovery

Sometimes life hits you hard, and then you have to make new decisions you hadn’t imagined making. Previous goals and ambitions can evaporate, especially after enduring something emotionally, psychologically, and/or spiritually harrowing. Our guest Andrew McKee was tested by tragedy, on top of career confusion, when he entered an MD/PhD program but realized midway he wasn’t on the right track. He decided to quit his PhD and embarked on a journey of experimentation and...


#113: Interview with Isabeau on strategies for making better career decisions

Have you spent so much time thinking through career choices that you could make but ended up making no decision at all? Sounds familiar? This is called analysis paralysis, which is very common among perfectionists. In this episode, one of our PhDCS team members, Santoshi Devadas, had the pleasure to interview Isabeau Iqbal who helps ambitious perfectionists in higher education. She guides them to overcome analysis paralysis and move forward with their goals. Isabeau is a certified career...


#112: Mark Herschberg on how to train to become an entrepreneur: Tips and Tricks

In this episode, Tina Persson talks to Mark Herschberg about how to learn to become an entrepreneur. Mark’s recently published book “The Career Toolkit, Essential Skills for Success That No One Taught You” gives deeper insights into this topic. Mark has a diverse background ranging from Physics, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Cryptography, to extensive business expertise. His wide experience has enabled him to launch and develop new ventures at start-ups and Fortune 500s....


#111: Interview with Niba about the turning point in her career

In this episode, Tina Persson interviews Niba Audrey Nirmal, a science communicator. Niba is dedicated to hosting and producing science videos related to plants, skincare and cosmetics. If you are curious, you can find Niba’s work on her YouTube channel NotesByNiba. During the interview, she shares her career path and talks about her decision to not pursue her PhD further. She also tells us about the factors that drove her to follow a career in Science Communication. In addition, she...


#110: Interview with Headhunters from GE Hunter

In this episode, Tina Persson interviews Grażyna Żywot-Ciecierska and Ola Samuelsson, who are co-founders of a global company called GE Hunter. They are experts in headhunting, recruitment and client advisory. They have 20 years of international experience in finding talents for the pharma, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), medical, industrial and more sectors. Ola Samuelsson specializes in roles within Finance, Supply Chain, IT and Manufacturing, while Grażyna Żywot-Ciecierska’s...


#109: Kathleen Champlin Story

Kathleen Champlin graduated with a doctorate in Contemporary American Literature from Ball State University in Indiana (USA) in 2015. Currently, she is an online writing tutor with Pearson's Smarthinking and a copyeditor for several companies. In this episode, Kathleen will provide an example of a disabled PhD's career transition in the humanities. From her story, you can learn how her disability impacted her academic and professional paths and how she was able to overcome the many...


#108: Adriana Bankston Story

In this new episode, Adriana Bankston tells us about her career story. Adriana is a Principal Legislative Analyst at the University of California Office of Federal Governmental Relations in Washington, DC, where she serves as an advocate for the university with Congress, the administration and federal agencies. Adriana grew up in a family of scientists, which made her interested in pursuing a research career. She earned her PhD in Biochemistry from Emory University and later on she...


#107: Rachel Kindt Interview

In this episode, Tina Persson interviews Rachel Kindt. After a PhD in Biology and a postdoctoral fellowship, Rachel dove headfirst into the biotech world, working her way from the lab bench to the corporate boardroom over her 20+ year career. Leveraging her scientific training and acquired - some might say improvised! - business savvy, she led drug development teams and built high-performing organizations. Rachel is known as a master facilitator, dedicated coach and mentor, and keen thought...


#106: João Graça Story

João Graça holds a PhD in Biosciences from Cardiff University and currently works as an R&D Project Manager for LIPOR, the entity responsible for waste management in Greater Porto (Portugal). His current projects mostly concern the valorisation of bio-waste to high-value products. João has been involved in the creation and coordination of Smart Waste Portugal Young Professionals (SWYP). This group, currently with 80 members, aims to create work and knowledge sharing networks between...


#105: Interview with Lauran Fuller

In this episode, Tina interviews Lauran Fuller. Lauran is a mother of three, an entrepreneur, and a doctoral student. For the past 7 years, she has owned and operated a dessert bakery in southern Oklahoma. She wants to take the lessons learned along her journey and educate others. She is particularly keen on self-development and work-life balance, as prioritizing her family has posed its own challenges along the way. Focus and determination drive her every step of the way, as her educational...


#104: Interview with Bärbel Tress

In this podcast, Tina Persson interviews Bärbel Tress. Bärbel is a Research Career Expert & Advisor. Her main expertise is to advise young researchers how to successfully conduct and complete their PhD studies, how to apply for academic jobs, and how to improve research performance and efficiency. Bärbel has a PhD in Landscape Ecology from Roskilde University, Denmark. She worked in academia for more than a decade, as postdoc, researcher and lecturer at universities in several European...


#103: Interview with Adam Sierakowiak

In this podcast, Tina Persson interviews Adam Sierakowiak with a focus topic: the career transition into the pharmaceutical industry. Adam is a medical advisor at MSD since 2018. He has a master's degree in biomedical sciences from the Karolinska Institute, where he later pursued his PhD in neuroscience. Adam discusses the importance of learning the local language, of communicating the transferable skills as well as of knowing the industry language. He also talks about the importance and...


#102: Interview with Ofer Yizhar Barnea and Elena Itskovich

In this episode, Tina Persson interviews Elena Itskovich and Ofer Yizhar Barnea. Elena has a PhD in stem cell biology from the University of Cambridge. She volunteers for ScienceAbroad and has hosted the macadamia podcast. Ofer has a Ph.D in Human molecular genetics. He has served 6 years as an officer and ran a RnD team of physicists and mathematicians. In parallel he is a co-founder of a company that has been growing and evolving for 3 years now. The main topics discussed in this podcast...


#101: PhD Career Stories returns

Dear listeners, it is with great joy that we welcome you to our new home and to episode 101 of PhD Career Stories. After a year-long pause, we return to podcast publication with a fresh and functional website, in which you can find our entire podcast catalogue conveniently organized in relevant categories. We believe that storytelling is a powerful way to connect with others and to find one’s own path in career and life. We believe that our new website helps us fulfill our ambition of...