This post was written by lab alum Amalia Aruda Almada, Ph.D.
Hi everyone! It’s a pleasure to be a guest on Ann’s fabulous blog. Ann and I go way back (see photo evidence above…I’m on the right, Ann’s on the left) – Ann taught me how to hold my first pipette when I was a Guest Student at WHOI in the summer of 2006 after my freshman year of college. I convinced her to take me back as a Summer Fellow in 2008 and then as a PhD student in 2009!
I’ve taken a path less-traveled since receiving my PhD from the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in 2013, and I wanted to take this opportunity to talk a little bit more about how I ended up where I did and give some advice to those of you who might be interested in using your PhD for a career outside of academia. I often get the same questions when I have mentorship conversations with students interested in science policy, so I thought I’d compile some of my answers here to share more broadly. I hope they’re helpful!