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Author Topic: Industry Scientist: two weeks in...  (Read 5737 times)
listerprime
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Posts: 30


« on: October 05, 2012, 9:46:04 PM »

I have to say that being in industry, and particular, being at the company I am at, has been one of the most exciting and fulfilling experiences of my life.  I've been an experimentalist in academia for years, but I've always had the heart of a theorist.  And I have had the chance to do more theory in these past two weeks than I ever did in academia.  I wrote a funding proposal, and all the hard and annoying work, the filling out of forms, and the budget minutiae were handled by someone good at it.  I'm working with a caliber of researcher I didn't know existed.  And the projects being handled by our group, funkier and more cutting edge than at any academic institution I've worked at.  I've been encouraged to "go big, go weird" with my proposals.

In short, I am in heaven.  I am getting paid well and I am doing what I always dreamed of doing when I thought of science as a kid.  Wow.

I'll keep everyone posted.  I'm sure it won't be all sunshine and lollipops.  But, so far, it has been.
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joe_hojo
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Posts: 66


« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2012, 8:23:48 PM »

How's it going now, listerprime?
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"Bart, don't make fun of grad students! They just made a terrible life choice."
listerprime
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Posts: 30


« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2012, 9:34:50 PM »

How's it going now, listerprime?

Sorry for not posting in so long.  Been crazy busy.   But to answer your question:  it's going great.  I'm more or less deliriously happy most days.  At least once a day I just say "I love this job." to no one in particular.

I've scored some internal funding for several research projects I've proposed (very easy) and am PI on a big external research contract.  I also feel valued for the first time in years.   


Honestly I had forgotten what not being depressed felt like.  I remember now.
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gconyers
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2013, 8:39:12 AM »

It's been a few months more. It is it still pretty awesome?

Also, what industry is this? I'm currently finishing up my master's in geology, and I'm thinking about going industry instead of academia. What you describe is my idea of heaven, but I don't know if geologists ever get that crazy.
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listerprime
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Posts: 30


« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2013, 5:49:40 PM »

It's been a few months more. It is it still pretty awesome?

Also, what industry is this? I'm currently finishing up my master's in geology, and I'm thinking about going industry instead of academia. What you describe is my idea of heaven, but I don't know if geologists ever get that crazy.

Yeah, still love it.  I'm part of a contracting research office (CRO) working within an aerospace company, although most of my work is pretty theoretical and not all with applications to Aero.

Some things are difficult.  Fighting to get business development people on board with your research proposals for one..  And you really have to fend for yourself in a CRO.  If you don't have a contract or grant to work on, you need to find internal research projects or come up with one.  If you don't have tasking, you could find yourself out of a job.  It's really for self starters.  But I love the competition and I love feeling valued for my work.  I never felt that in academia. 

I doubt  I'll ever go back.
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