This article was originally published in Nachrichten aus der Chemie (02-2020)
In a seminar for doctoral students, we look at strong and weak parts of a CV. After we discussed how we can put the many highlights of Elizabeta’s career into the best light, Gregor starts to grumble: „I think I have the exact opposite of all these brilliant experiences.“ Twelve pairs of eyes turn on him. Their owners can’t wait to learn what has disgraced his past so much. „Aborted doctorate,“ he adds. „Do I just leave a gap there and hope that nobody notices? Or do I write bluntly: Professional loser who didn´t get along with his supervisor?” Uncertain giggles mix with nodding. Nobody envies him for having to place something like that in his resume.
Make an unpleasant decision in a messy situation – a highly relevant skill
for an industry job.
The same Gregor had caused a hearty laugh just half an hour earlier. We talked about the difference between university and industry. He had leaned back, stroked his beard and let us know:
“The most important thing for me is the timeline. In industry everything is determined by tight project management. At university time is measured in, let’s say, geological
dimensions. Projects are running until death separates you.“
Most industrial employers are happy with their doctoral employees. If there are problems, the complaints are always the same: The scientific qualifications are rarely lacking. Rather, companies criticise the lack of adaptability to the new culture in industry and the different way of working.…