Fascinated by the diversity of careers presented at the Neuroscience Alumni Meeting in September in Tübingen, I was intrigued to find out about more GTC alumni that pursued a career path other than academia.
I am happy to present to you four interesting options for neuroscientists!

Name: Daysi Prieto
Current job: Research Analyst at Amazon
Graduated from: MSc in NB in 2015

My role sits in Operations in the Global Talent Acquisition team (EMEA + NA). In a nutshell, the team hires all the people that are involved from the moment you click ‘confirm order’ until the package is at your door. That is, from a senior manager of analytics who is in charge of optimizing a huge transportation network through to the person you call to complain about the delayed package for Christmas.  

In a sentence, my job is to help recruiters to be more efficient using research. That involves providing market intelligence to 600+ recruiters and managers across thousands of jobs. To get across so many people we implement tools and share best practices to simplify processes and save time.

My main projects involve competitive intelligence and market supply. It means to find the best companies to target based on internal and external data. I also build research to help with making important business decisions like where to place a new team. For example, you probably know that the new Amazon headquarters in the USA have been announced, so I am involved in doing research for those cities.

Research here is very different to what it was in academia; the topics might not be as exciting but on the bright side, it is challenging (in a positive way) if you get to work in a big company and it can be just as rewarding if you like what you do.

If I you would like to find similar jobs, you will find them in consultancies. Some international companies might also have them and if you want to know more, just reach out!

This job is excellent for students with:
– skills in simplifying processes
– good argumentative skills
– presentation and writing skills
– some basics in market intelligence

Name: Sabina Lammert
Current job: Management Consultant at borisglogler consulting GmbH
Graduated from: MSc in CM in 2015

A week at borisgloger consulting: Giving advice to a CEO in Frankfurt on how he can change his organizational structure towards inspiring working conditions, the next day off to Vienna to give a two-day workshop on agile product development (e.g. Scrum or Design Thinking) and finally, writing an article for a national project management magazine on Friday. Actually, every week looks completely different and therefore one thing is sure: there is never a lack of challenges.

As a management consultant at borisgloger consulting, my mission is to support companies like Audi or Raiffeisen Bank International to conduct what is called an ‘Agile Transformation’, which describes the organizational change from a hierarchic leadership structure towards a network organization. At the end of such a transformation, product development teams are empowered to make decisions on their own and managers are aiming to make themselves more or less redundant.

We are refered to as ‘change agents’ who accompany teams on all levels within an organization to live according to agile values and principles. And to be honest: it’s really fun! It’s not like classical consulting where often the primary aim is cost reduction. Our main focus is the product development teams within the company. We adapt company structure and teamwork to become more efficient. In the end, the product development teams are building the right product with high quality as fast as possible.

Instead of optimizing single individuals, we are optimizing the surrounding system of the teams. We believe that everyone can only perform as well as the working conditions allow. If we want better performance, the managers within the company have to find ways to optimize the working conditions for the product development teams. Our job is to enable managers and team members to contribute to this cultural change within the company.

The main reason why companies nowadays want such a transformation is digitalization. Products must be developed faster in order to stay compatible and such a development speed is not realistic in the existing hierarchical organizational structures that most companies use at present.

The software, banking, and automotive sectors  started their agile transformations years ago. The pharmaceutical industry is the next to come. My job as a team member of our pharma- and biotech-specialized team within borisgloger consulting is to share my experiences in this industry with my team members and to develop strategies for how to best consult our customers from this area. Thus, I can combine my methodical skills with my biotech background to access new potential customers together with my team.

This job is excellent for students with:
– extraordinary management skills
– interest for areas beyond science (e.g. banking, automotive)
– passion for a fast-changing and challenging working environment

Name: Juliane Schelle
Current job: Test Engineer at P3 Systems GmbH
Graduated from: MSc in CM in 2013; PhD in CM in 2017 (Mathias Jucker’s Lab, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research)

After my time in academia and one year as a clinical monitor at Johnson & Johnson, I started as a test engineer at P3.

P3 is an international company with strong interests in automobiles, aviation, energy, telecommunication, and public sectors. Not only business consulting regarding digitalization, project management, and technology improvements are main competences of P3 but also innovative engineering services for different automobile manufacturers.

In Böblingen, our main customer is Daimler and we improve new infotainment software for future Mercedes Benz cars. As a test engineer, I am equipped with lots of hardware you can find in cars, such as displays, a touchpad, several hardkeys, a head-up display, the head unit and so on. With the help of certain programs, it is possible to simulate almost all software-related features in a car with a laptop. My job is it to test everything that comes to my mind and find software defects.

If you, for example, connect a phone via Bluetooth, route guidance is active, and you want to play music from a USB device, but somehow the USB device is not recognized and only music from the phone is played, you would need to document that defect. After several quality management steps your defect is reported to the customer and will be fixed. Revised software versions will be retested and we try to find and report as many defects as we can.

In addition, we also receive new prototypes on a regular basis. Of course, it is nice to test the software at a test bench, but it is even more important to test it in the actual car. After acquiring a specialized driver’s license for prototypes, I am now allowed to drive and test in those concept cars. Sometimes we drive around Stuttgart, sometimes we go to France or Italy. And the best thing is that the people are quite young and very nice, which makes the time you spend together very enjoyable. Addressing somebody formally with ‘Sie’ [the formal word for ‘you’ in German] does not exist in this company.

At the beginning, you think that the job requires completely different skills than you learned during your neuroscience master and your research PhD. But even though the topics are so different, the mindset is the same. You are looking for critical errors and smart solutions, you present and justify your results, and you are involved in brand-new and highly relevant topics that influence the future.  

This job is excellent for students with:
– analytical thinking and creativity
– motivation to work in an excellent team
– interest in new technologies, cars, programming or development

Name: Yashashree S. Joshi
Current job: Associate Global Market Development Manager
Graduated from: MSc in CM in 2010; PhD in CM in 2014 (Simone di Giovanni’s Lab, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research)

Currently, as a part of the global market development team, I develop strategic marketing plans including analysis of customer segments, business trends, and market opportunities.

What does it mean? I help develop ways in which any message related to a kit or solution can be communicated to scientists who can benefit from these solutions. This is quite an exciting responsibility since I get to draw from my own scientific experience and get an opportunity to communicate advances in solutions to the wider scientific community and help them accelerate their future.

This job is excellent for students with:
– communication skills
– analytical thinking skills
– organization skills

Stefanie Schuster is currently a GTC Doctoral student at the Hertie Institue for Clinical Brain Research in the lab of Prof. Dr. Ludger Schöls.


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