Postdocs and graduate students are often faced with a dilemma: seek work in academia or seek a job in industry? For many, this decision is difficult because exposure to industry careers is limited. UC Berkeley postdocs and graduate students developed a program to increase transparency about industry so that new degree holders can make informed decisions about their careers.The Postdoc Industry Exploration Program (see Nature 478, 277; 2011, Nature 480, 576; 2011) launched in January 2011.
This program arranges visits to companies that showcase their organization, work environment, and employees. Postdocs and graduate students are given a valuable opportunity to learn about career options directly from professionals who hold these positions and gain useful connections in the process. PIEP also arranges workshops to provide guidance on creating a professional image and conducting informative interviews with contacts. Postdocs and graduate students learn how to market themselves, on paper and in person, and get information about career opportunities across different industries.
Benefits for postdocs and graduate students:
- Free site-visits to companies of interest
- An opportunity to gain exposure to current industry trends and career paths for PhDs
- A chance to network with company employees in small group settings.
Benefits for companies:
- Gain exposure by hosting a site visit for postdoc and graduate students
- Identify potential future hires from a highly qualified pool of potential recruits
- Organizational and financial assistance with site visit planning
- Give back to the academic community
PIEP is supported by the Offices of the Vice Chancellor for Research, the Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Affairs, the UC Berkeley Career Center and the Intellectual Property and Industry Research Alliances.