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How to Land and Succeed in an Industry Postdoc

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2005 12:12 pm
by Dave Jensen
JJ,

Telephone interviews are extremely difficult, because they often come at odd times when you least expect them. One of the key things to remember about them is that you are NOT obligated to speak at the moment the phone rings. As in any professional business conversation, you may ask the caller if you can get organized and call him or her back in 30 minutes, etc. They understand that you may have been in the shower, feeding the baby, etc. and there are MANY people who will take a few minutes to recover from the shock of the call and find a quiet place with pen and paper before conducting the interview. It also gives the procrastinator a few extra minutes to read up prior to interview time,

Dave Jensen, Moderator

How to Land and Succeed in an Industry Postdoc

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2005 12:22 pm
by Rich Lemert
You may also find, as I did once, that the person calling has forgotten to check what time zone the area code he's calling is in. I once had someone from Virginia list me as one of the first items on his agenda for the day, so he called at about 8:30 his time. The problem was, I was living in Oregon at the time.

Once I figured out who he was and why he was calling, I asked him to call back in about three hours if he could. I told him we'd both get more out of the call that way.

How to Land and Succeed in an Industry Postdoc

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2005 1:45 pm
by Tara
All the telephone interviews that I have had have been after corresponding by email and setting up a day and time for the telephone interview. Do interviewers just call on the telephone without setting up a time by email? I am in the postdoc search phase right now and that seems kind of scary.

How to Land and Succeed in an Industry Postdoc

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2005 2:23 pm
by Pam Maynard
Hi Tara,

Yes, this does happen and therefore, to Dave's and Rich's point, it's a good idea to be prepared for this and to certainly request a better time to talk if this is your preference.

~Pam

How to Land and Succeed in an Industry Postdoc

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 9:13 am
by Dave Jensen
One of the most popular questions that I get when I am out on the road giving a seminar or workshop is about industry postdocs. How do I find one? What are the differences between that postdoc and one in academia? Does an industry postdoc REALLY offer me any advantages if I wanted to pursue a career in the biotechnology industry? Each and every one of my trips over the years has seen this question come up, and that's why we all thought that it would be the ideal topic to start our new "Guest Host" program.

As you saw in my announcement of the program yesterday, Pam Maynard from Genentech has generously given us her time and experience for a one-week stint as our first Guest Host. This should be fun, and very informative for all of us, because Pam is one of those people who work right at the "front door" of this major employer. She sees both the great CV's and the not-so-great, and has for a number of years been the person who manages the flow of CV's for most of the research function. Most importantly, Pam receives the CV's for the company's industry postdoc program, which is why she is the perfect person to manage the question posed this morning.

For the next week, we'll have Pam to answer our questions on this topic area. The thread will be a "sticky" type, so it will always be on top. Get your questions ready for Pam Maynard, and fire away!

Thanks for telling your friends and lab mates about this unique opportunity,

Dave Jensen, Moderator

How to Land and Succeed in an Industry Postdoc

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 10:57 am
by Denise
Hi Pam,

Firstly, thank you very much for all this helpful information and many thanks also to Dave Jensen for establishing this!
In general, what would be the timeline for hiring postdoc from initial application to first day?
Also, do the postdocs in the Genentech programme tend to come directly from grad school or with some postdoc experience under their belts already?

Many thanks,
Denise

How to Land and Succeed in an Industry Postdoc

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 1:37 pm
by Pam Maynard
Hi Denise,

Since there isn't a hard deadline to fill a postdoc position, the mentor can look for the best candidate and can be open and flexible in negotiating a start date due to the postdoc candidate's personal goals and situations (relocation, current projects, manuscripts, etc.). Therefore, generally, it can take from 2 weeks to 6 months.

Most of our postdocs come directly from grad school. If the candidate is applying for a second postdoc, we want to understand their motivation for applying and I would recommend putting this in a cover letter or objective statement in your CV. As mentioned earlier in response to Matthew's question, we have hired individuals into a second postdoc but there would have to be mitigating circumstances. If one is leaving because it wasn't what he/she thought it would be then we wouldn't look to hire them. If an individual switches fields or to a new technology then we would consider that.

~Pam

How to Land and Succeed in an Industry Postdoc - Suggested END OF THREAD

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 4:42 pm
by Dave Jensen
Hello Science Careers Forum readers:

Thank you for a successful week of our new Guest Host program. It is obvious that this is a working concept, and that many people got a lot out of the experience. Thank you to Pam Maynard for the exceptional job she did with her commitment. We'd love to have her back at any time.

Future "Guest Host" programs will be announced here in the near future. For any additional followup questions/comments about the topic of industry postdocs, I'll start a separate thread.

Thank you all!

Dave Jensen, Moderator

How to Land and Succeed in an Industry Postdoc

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 6:23 pm
by Pam Maynard
Dear W,

I wanted to comment on your separate thread entitled "what about average people?". You bring up some very good points and I just wanted to clarify a few things so that the expectation is one of high standards but is not intimidating. In reality, pedigree can matter, but more important is the track record of productivity and demonstrated publication record. That does not mean that these papers must be Nature or Science papers, but the papers have to be high quality and focusing on interesting science in respected journals. There should also be more than just a single one.

~Pam

How to Land and Succeed in an Industry Postdoc - Suggested END OF THREAD

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 6:25 pm
by Pam Maynard
Dear Dave and all,

I've enjoyed this opportunity and will refer our candidates to this helpful forum. I hope that the information has been useful and relevant and I thank you all for your time, your thoughtful questions and your interest in this week's postings.

~Pam