Facing the “PhD crisis”.

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What do you look for in MARS42?

A job? Skills to manage a start-up? A better life condition? Higher work satisfaction? New experience? A different point of view? Nothing of all of this?

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When I applied to the MARS42 Summer School 2017 I didn’t know exactly what to expect. I had no clear plans about founding a startup, neither was I actively looking for a job. I was simply curious about new job opportunities, maybe looking for a better life condition, work satisfaction, or willing to collect a different point of view and a new experience.

I got something more than what the organizers wanted to teach me.

I learnt that the “PhD crisis” is a well-known problem, almost a research topic by itself, with more and more studies, publications, statistics and, why not, opportunities. The motivations behind it are diverse: more and more difficulties in finding a stable position, poor economic stability, the need to constantly move to different countries, the passion drop. I found people similar to me, full of passion and energy to fight this situation and make a positive change.

I learnt that, regardless of the job one wants to do, the need for a great willpower remains!

In many cases, research would need more managers and leaders, people able to share passion for their own work and give motivation to research groups. In this sense, the interaction between universities and companies should be bilateral. Although their apprach to work is very diffferent, in both cases it is useful to keep in mind and to apply concepts as innovation, marketing and also personal idealism.

Taking part to multiple Job Fairs after the School, I had the chance to do job interviews and get into a network of people I did not know about. I found the new standpoint and the new vision I was looking for. Finally and because of that, I decided to stay in Academia. I think that this experience will be useful to me in future, whether if I decide to stay in research, looking forward to well-leading a research group, or not. The most important thing I understood is that, for a researcher with a PhD, research is not a cage without exits, but a choice.

The credit of excellence schools like SISSA offering opportunities like MARS42, is to make this choice as easy as possible, opening this caged Academia toward the wide world of work and vice versa, because there is a lot to learn!

The “PhD crisis” is a serious problem not only in Italy. Admitting its existence and reasoning on it in order to find a solution is the first important step to pave solid bases for the future. My opinion is that The Doers, in collaboration with SISSA and other companies involved, begin to plant a seed that in the early future will bring important results.

MARS42 is not the standard fair where you will find a job, but surely it is the right place to face your personal “PhD crisis”.

 

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