Tell better stories with the same facts


Many early career scientists and engineers wanting to build a career in industry approach it with some trepidation because they worry that their experience working an a university research lab won’t be seen as relevant to a hiring manager who needs people to design hardware for sale. This is a relevant concern, but need not put an end to career aspirations.

The key is to tell better stories with the same facts.

Don’t list the research hardware you learned to operate, or describe the obscure aspect of quantum physics that you understand better than anyone else in the field. Tell them how you developed a plan to deliver results that nobody had demonstrated before. Tell them how you worked through unforeseen problems and got the results you were after. Tell them how you found other people who knew more than you did about the problem, and you convinced them to help you get the project done.

Not only will you be telling a story that addresses experiences they may have on a regular basis, but you show them that you can move beyond the academic world and understand the world they live in and the world you would like to work in.

I have much more to say about this one. Stay tuned…

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