A few people on this forum have mentioned that my explanation for dropping out of grad school is a possible red flag, so I wanted some advice on this, since I’m pretty worried about what employers who interview me will think.
To give you a quick idea of my background, I’ll just copy and paste what I wrote in another thread:
“I have a BS in microbiology. As an undergraduate, I was a research assistant in an academic lab for 6 months. After I finished undergrad, I attended a Ph.D. program for about 1.5 years and then dropped out without getting any degree. In grad school, I rotated in a bunch of labs and joined a lab very briefly. After I dropped out of grad school, about half a year later (in May 2012), I started working at a company as a research assistant, which is where I am now.”
One of the reasons I gave for dropping out of grad school was that I preferred to do bench work and I didn’t want a supervisory position (like a PI) which would be away from the bench. I was told that this was a possible red flag.
Another reason I gave for dropping out of the Ph.D. program was that I initially wanted to be a PI in academia and funding became an issue with me. I said that funding is very hard to get nowadays and I didn’t want to have a career where I would have to constantly apply for funding and if I couldn’t get funding, my career could possibly be over. Would that also be a red flag or would that be considered an acceptable excuse? Or should I word it differently? If that’s an acceptable excuse, should I not mention the bench work explanation?
Also, why wouldn’t me wanting to do bench work hold up as an explanation for dropping out of grad school? Should I say that I enjoy doing benchwork?
PG- you mentioned in another thread that you’ve hired Ph.D. dropouts, so I’m really curious- for the people who you interviewed who were Ph.D. dropouts, what were their reasons for dropping out? I just want to get an idea.