Alumni insights on transition to non-academic careers

Recently DLGS had the opportunity to organise an alumni event against the backdrop of a talk by Jose Mercado, DLGS alumni and Senior expert, sustainable construction at Germany Energy Agency (DENA) about non academic career pathways.

A recent event aimed at assisting DLGS candidates in transitioning out of academia proved to be a valuable platform for exchanging insights and experiences. DLGS alumni Jose Mercado (Senior expert at DENA) and Susann Sieber (Senior Expert at Deutschesbundesbank) shared their personal journeys and expertise, providing guidance to individuals seeking non-academic career paths after completing their PhDs.

The event commenced with Jose delivering a reverse chronology presentation, where he informed us about his current work at DENA, and projects where synergies can be found between DENA and IOER, He further shared his own career trajectory and setting the stage for the attendees to share their own experiences. 

Key topics discussed included the time taken to secure a job post-PhD, visa challenges for international candidates, completing a PhD within three years, and when to initiate job applications. The alumni emphasized the significance of perseverance, networking, and transferable skills in the job search process. The importance of early preparation for job applications during the final year of the PhD was stressed, encouraging candidates to explore non-academic opportunities and build professional networks. Both, Jose and Susann shared their motivations for transitioning outside academia, inspiring candidates to consider diverse career paths. They highlighted the value of transferable skills gained during the PhD journey, such as project management, writing abilities, analytical thinking, and teamwork. The event concluded with a musical intervention by Jose Mercado, Gerd Lintz, and Gerard Hutter, adding a touch of creativity and inspiration to the discussions on career transitions.

Overall, the event offered a valuable opportunity for candidates to gain insights and learn from experienced professionals, empowering them to navigate the academia to industry transition with confidence.