Valentina Cassinelli is about to finish her PhD in industry. She works on DNA nanostructures at baseclick, a small biotech company in the Munich area. She shared with us why she picked a PhD in industry and what her experiences are.
Why a PhD in industry? And, why in Germany?
Actually, it wasn’t an active decision to do a PhD in industry. After obtaining my Masters degree in industrial biotechnology, I worked as a researcher at a university in Italy for 1.5 years. My temporary contract ended and as everyone knows the labour market in Italy is a very tough one at the moment, hence I had little job prospects there. Instead of sitting at home dreaming about a career I was not having, I decided to try my luck in one of the largest biotech parks of Europe, namely Munich. I moved to Germany and started sending open applications for researcher jobs to several biotech companies. Then, I was invited for a job interview at the small biotech company baseclick who just happened to have had a positive feedback from the Marie Curie research fellowship they applied for. They told me during the interview that they were looking for a PhD student and asked if I would be up for it.
Was it easy for you, as a foreigner, to find a position in Munich?
I wouldn’t say it way super easy. I quickly realised after arrival that it would be hard to find a position outside of academia without speaking the local language.…