Did you miss the Neuroscience and Brain Behavior Career Pathways Panel? Our amazing alumni panelists (see below) had some valuable insights to share.
- Catherine Bond, Analyst for Operations Strategic Planning & Risk at Amgen, AB ‘20 (Neuroscience- Comp Track)
- Eleasha Chew, Product Marketing at Microsoft Azure, AB ‘18 (Cognitive Neuroscience & Evolutionary Psychology)
- Diana Saville, Co-Founder and COO of BrainMind, AB ‘05 (Biochemical Sciences)
- Richard Sima, Brain Matters Columnist for The Washington Post, PhD (John Hopkins), AB ‘12 Neurobiology (Mind, Brain, Behavior Track)
- Should I Go to Grad School? While two of our panelists have enrolled in graduate programs, they are not for everyone. Other panelists are advancing in their fields without master’s or PhDs and had various reasons for not applying—1) Gaining experience in private industry 2) *Financial concerns. (*Our panelists were quick to note that many PhD programs are funded.) PhDs can offer “expert” status, which is important in some fields when dealing with scientists. One noted that the “PhD was a profound period of growth and struggle, but I wouldn’t change it!” One additional bit of advice: “When considering PhD programs, interview students in the program who worked with potential PIs so you can choose an advisor wisely!”
- Skills to add: Understanding how people communicate in a business setting is endlessly helpful. Self management, project management, and team management are also skills you can build through extracurriculars at Harvard. Finally, enhancing your quantitative skills and market research experience is also a pro tip. Rotational programs post-graduation are great ways to learn these skills.
- Trends to watch: The digital health revolution and the importance of machine learning came up multiple times. Computational skills, solutions for an aging population, and learning how to influence human behaviors are also emerging or steady trends.
- Create your own experience: Whether it was advocating for themselves for collaboration and job opportunities or seeking out funding for projects at Harvard, there is incredible value in creating your own experience based on your interests and skill set.
- The importance of your network: Panelists mentioned mentorship and networking as key components to finding opportunities and growing within their careers. Some tips and tools:
OCS PAF Meera’s Take Away:
Reverse engineering your career is a thing! Either divert from your concentration and try something different OR into the role you want/interest you have regardless of your studies.
Resources from the Panel:
- BrainMind Internships
- The Open Notebook (for science journalism and communication)
- Rotational Programs (Check Crimson Careers for additional opportunities)
Final words of advice:
- Catherine: Don’t let decision or analysis paralysis get you! Pick something that piques your interest and go for it.
- Eleasha: What you do next after graduation is just one step in the marathon of your career.
- Diana: Talk to MCS, talk to your academic advisor, anyone that can help you figure out how to create your own experience while at Harvard.
- Richard: You have more time than you think to figure out what you love!