As I eluded to previously, this is a big point of transition for me. All this things are going on in my life. This biggest transition though has been professional. Out of grad school, I was a Knauss Fellow for a year, a NAS Mirzayan Fellow for a few months, I taught a summer course for the University of Pittsburgh, then most recently I was hired for a temporary position with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). It was working with pesticide regulations, so touched on my scientific experience, with a flair of the “making a difference” stuff that I so strongly (and cornily) believe in. Third day into my new job with FWS, I accepted a permanent position with the American Geophysical Union.
I’ll speak more of the new position later (preview: my title is Sharing Science Specialist. SHARING SCIENCE! (meant to be expressed in the same tone as the AT&T guy)). But I wanted to take this opportunity to say how grateful I am to everyone at FWS and how great of an experience I have had.
When I left academia, I was terrified of “The real world”.** Non-academia was foreign to me. How would I fit in? Would I be successful? How would I even measure that? Could I find a job? Well, I found a job, or jobs as it were, and I think that I’m doing just fine. I owe a large part of my success to FWS. I began my post-Ph.D. career with them working in Congressional and Legislative Affairs, and I returned to work in Ecological Services. I am incredibly excited for my new position; however, I will never forget my time with FWS.
* In all fairness, my teaching gig at Pitt was only 3 weeks, but that was a known quantity prior to accepting the position.
** I use this phrase a lot, but honestly I disagree with it. Academia is the real world. Being a grad student is a real job. If anything, it’s more demanding than a typical 9-5. Let me tell you about how many weekends I worked. Or nights. Or weekends.