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What's next after a PhD? A workshop for female scientists

Since my PhD project is approaching the end soon, a lot of questions raises in my mind: what am I going to do next after a PhD? Should I stay in academia and do a post-doctor, or should I go into the industry? Can I go back to academia again if I choose to work in industry? What will the career path look like in- and outside academia? How to get all the job information?  How to improve job application skills? etc. Recently, I received an invitation from BAM to attend a workshop only for female participants - Application training for researchers: Extend your career options in- and outside academia.  Without any hesitation, I joined this workshop, and I have to say it was really a great experience with so much practical and useful information.

The workshop was held by WiNS Adlershof program in Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. WiNS stands for Women in Natural Sciences Adlershof. I was surprised to discover how well they are doing to promote the gender equality, as women are still underrepresented, especially in scientific leadership positions. They provide effective support to encourage young women to pursue a scientific career. For more interesting workshops, you can look at https://fakultaeten.hu-berlin.de/en/mnf/wisskar/wins-adlershof
Participants and coach
It was a two-day workshop from 16 to 17 May, which involves 12 participants (mainly PhD candidates) and one coach Dr. Sabine Blackmore.  The atmosphere was very good, we interacted a lot during the lectures.  Sabine first showed us some statistic facts about female professor career life.  She explained that there are more opportunities than only doing a post doctor. 65% of PhD graduates go to the private sector actually. If you leave academia, it may be a problem to go back to university again, but you will be highly welcomed to join the universities of applied science. Besides if you want to stay in academia, apart from universities, higher education, science or research management organizations are also good choices.

What impressed me most were the exercises that Sabine gave to us. One exercise was to give scores to your skill nets, from this exercise I felt I had a clearer understanding about my weaknesses and strengths. Another one was to read the advertisement and outline each requirement to match your CV. It helped me to further build my confidence to ‘perfectly’ fit the job. I particularly like the exercise about summarizing your core competencies in three points. It gives me an opportunity to reflect myself and further be sure what my best qualities are.
During workshop, we ask questions and discuss together

Of course, Sabine also gave a lot useful advice on how to find job information? How to write CV and cover letter? How to do networking during a job fair? How to behave in the interview? How to dress up for interview?  If you are also interested in the content of workshop, I highly recommend you contact Sabine Blackmore (https://blackmore-coaching.de/) for more information.

On May 16, there was even a special item added in the afternoon to the workshop: A keynote lecture by Rouven Sperling (Berlin Partner) on the topic “All paths open." Insights on the job market for female scientists in Berlin and the surroundingsVery useful lecture as well especially if you aim to find a job in Berlin area.

Thank you so much to Dr. Petra Metz from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin for organizing this workshop, thanks to our professional coach Dr. Sabine Blackmore, it was a fruitful workshop.  If you have same doubts as me before, join their workshop 😊!

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