How do PhD students fail in the workplace? What skills do you need to avoid those failures? On May 2nd, four engineering managers shared their experiences supervising really successful (and not so successful) PhD students and post-docs. Some of the main takeaways from the conversation were:
- You need to have strong communication and teamwork skills, be humble, and persevere through challenges.
- Dedicate time during your studies to develop ‘soft skills’ (for example, elevator pitch and time management).
- Start building a network early in your graduate studies because most jobs are found through people you know.
- In the workplace say ‘yes’ to opportunities, seek out new opportunities, do not be afraid to ask questions, and make friends.
- A common pitfall of PhD students and post-docs in the workplace is not meeting deadlines (products need to be delivered to clients on time)
From this list, is there a skill you need to develop or refine? Take a look at the PhD Career Development Workshops and Events! This is an initiative by the Vice-Dean, Graduate and Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering (ILead) to help PhDs and post-docs with their transition into the workplace. Between now and August 2017, they are hosting a series of workshops and events.
For more info, check out http://uoft.me/phdcareerworkshops.