Category Archives: graduate school

Writing your own letter of recommendation

In response to a recent post, a reader asked for advice on writing a letter of recommendation – specifically for oneself! Yes, for better or worse, “minor fraud” and ethics aside for this post, this is very common and important … Continue reading

Posted in academia, advice, bosses, finishing postdoctoral training, graduate school, job search, mentoring, postdoc, professional, research, strengths and weaknesses, support, uncertainty | 1 Comment

Why I stopped faking it

When I was in grad school I felt like I wasn’t good enough and at the same time that I deserved to have it all – perfect grades, grants, awards, fantastic publications, a great social life and a happy family. My … Continue reading

Posted in alternative career, biotech, bosses, broken dreams, confidence, early career scientist, female scientist, graduate school, having it all, industry, job search, Leaving Academia, letting go, new job, no regrets, perfectionism, professional, strengths and weaknesses, trying to please others, uncertainty, vulnerability, women in science | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life Lessons from Teenagers

“So, what do you guy think of this?” I asked my students, using all my effort to bite my tongue and let my students express their own opinions. I was discussing the 2014 decision by Facebook and Apple to subsidize … Continue reading

Posted in early career scientist, female scientist, graduate school, job search, motherhood, role models, teaching, transitions | 4 Comments

Why I Left Academia and Chose Biotech

I recently met a young undergrad. who wants to become a professor because she loves research and, “professors have great job security, flexible work schedules and can take summers off if they want to!” It made me totally uncomfortable, probably … Continue reading


Posted in academia, alternative career, biotech, graduate school, industry, pharma | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Decision point

I was 25 – three years out of art school, living in Brooklyn, doing odd jobs – when I found something that looked promising on craigslist. An art space down the street from my Bushwick apartment was looking for interns. … Continue reading

Posted in academia, alternative career, broken dreams, graduate school, postdoc, transitions, women in science | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Wouldda Shouldda Couldda

If you knew then what you know now, would you have done the same thing? My graduate adviser asked me this question when I was in third or fourth year of graduate school.  He asked if I still had come … Continue reading

Posted in academia, alternative career, broken dreams, graduate school, postdoc | 3 Comments

On being one of the only PhDs in the workplace

As a graduate student and postdoc, I got used to being surrounded by other scientists that have gotten (or are getting) a PhD. It came with a feeling of camaraderie. A constant topic of conversation was the strategy to succeed … Continue reading

Posted in alternative career, graduate school, job search | Tagged , , | Leave a comment


Every day I make a list and work through it. Except some days I forget. Some urgent task will be on my mind and that’s what I’ll roll right into when I get to work. Then around 4pm I’ll check … Continue reading

Posted in graduate school, motherhood | 3 Comments