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Career paths and professions

Interviews and testimonials about interesting jobs and unusual career paths.

Consultez l'intégralité des REPLAYS des webinaires Focus Métiers - Hors R&D

Depuis février 2021, le pôle Relations Entreprises, Partenariats et Recrutement de l'ABG a lancé la série des webinaires Focus Métiers Hors R&D. Chaque épisode se focalise sur une famille de métiers accessibles au docteurs (PhDs) à travers des témoignages suivi d'échanges. 

Dans cet article, retrouvez les replays des épisodes 1 à 5

PhD's voices : Mathilde Maillard, PhD candidate in materials science and entrepreneur

This summer we interviewed Mathilde Maillard, a PhD candidate in materials science and an entrepreneur from Lyon. We discussed her background, her recent mobility experience in London, as well as her (many) commitments outside of her PhD program! In this first article, she shares with us her background and her perception of the PhD experience!

PhD testimonial: Alexandra Delvallée, from intern to research engineer at the LNE (French National Laboratory of Metrology and Testing).

Today, Alexandra Delvallée is a research engineer at the LNE (Laboratoire National de Métrologie et d'essais). She has climbed the career ladder since her Master 2 research internship. She shares with us her career path, as well as insights on research in metrology and its expectations.

Itane Lacrampe Camus, PhD in Social Geography, and entrepreneur

During the finale of the professional pitch contest 2020 we met Itane Lacrampe Camus and discoverded her background. She is a fresh PhD graduate in social geography, and also half of the entrepreneurial tandem at the helm of the NARRAU project. Read her testimony and check out her advice...

Laure ROUPIOZ: International mobility, a scientific and human adventure

Before her position at ONERA, Laure Roupioz has come a long way…

Solène Baffi, from a PhD in geography to the NGO Codatu

Passionate about mobility and international development, Solène Baffi, holder of a PhD in Geography, is currently working for the NGO Codatu. She shares her experience and advice.

Alejandra MEDINA: from a PhD in Finance to the OECD

During the last Post-Doctoriales seminar organized by ABG and the City of Paris, Alejandra MEDINA told us about her experience. From her PhD in Finance to the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), she looks back at her career and gives some advice for those interested in working for intergovernmental and international organizations.

PhD story: Marjorie Meunier, from anthropologist to entrepreneur

As a daughter of fairground workers, amongst whom higher education graduates are not that common, Marjorie Meunier has led a very unusual career path. She evolved from a PhD in anthropology to business consulting. In this article, she shares with us her journey that led her to create her own company.

The job of playground manager at the Grenoble business school

Playground manager in a business school: an original and unusual job description. Isabelle Patroix, PhD in litterature, holds this position at the Grenoble business school.
In this interview, she takes the time to answer our questions, to tell us - with enthusiasm! - about her job, her career and her background and to give some advice to PhD candidates and Phds.  

From research in the public sector to consultancy in the private sector, there is only one step

Interview by Bérénice Kimpe (Head of International Department)

Resigning from a permanent position in a research institute to land in a company: you consider that as a crazy move? Not at all, as explains Sébastien Rochette, PhD : "leaving academia is not a failure". As long as it is what you really want.

How I defined my career plan step by step

Interview by Bérénice Kimpe (Head of International Department)

Defining your career plan is never easy. It takes time, requires a lot of introspection and network. Here is the testimonial of a doctorate holder who went through different steps and many questions before finding her way.


Medical writing according to Elodie PAUWELS, PhD in genetics

Medical writer is a communication profession, accessible to people with a solid scientific background. It is therefore a "natural" option for PhDs interested in a career far from the bench, but not so far from research.

Met during a Career Afterwork, organized by the MAASCC (the career development center for scientists at Pasteur Institute), Elodie Pauwels, PhD in genetics, agreed to answer our questions. With her 5 years experience as medical writer, she shares with us her background, her experience and sheds light on this profession in this ABG interview.

Being a project manager at the National Geographical Institute of Bruxelles

Interview by Bérénice Kimpe (Head of International Department)

We met Dr Katharine Maussen when she was still doing her PhD at ULB, during a summer school in 2017. Just before being graduated with her PhD, she was recruited by the National Geographical Institute in Bruxelles. Let's have a look at her story!

Recruitment process in Europe: a panel discussion by ABG for the University of Torino

Author: Bérénice Kimpe (Head of International Department)

For the second edition of its PhD Day organized by Lucia Salto, project manager for PhD career development at the University of Torino, ABG invited 6 speakers from  European companies to talk about the recruitment of PhDs in their organisations. The topics covered include the different steps from sourcing to recruiting, the do’s and don’ts in the application and interview, their expectations towards PhDs…

An American (scientist) in Paris

Interview by Bérénice Kimpe (Head of International Department)

Making international moves in the name of science is not uncommon. Whether for a job opportunity that can’t be passed up or because of a desire to live and work in a specific country, international mobility in science is likelihood in many scientist’s lives. This kind of move may come at any point during a scientist’s career; for me, it came in the middle of my PhD studies.

Vivien Badaut, PhD, innovation consultant

Ludovic Fery

Vivien Badaut is now working in Leeds as an independent consultant and supports R&D-intensive companies by offering them different kinds of services: searching for European funding, building a business plan, writing technical reports… Through his history, Vivien Badaut, as a PhD in nuclear chemistry, confirms that networking is of a great help when it comes to career development.

François Quemeneur, from a PhD in biophysics to entrepreneurship

Ludovic Fery

françois quemeneur

After a PhD in physics and a MBA in innovation management, François Quemeneur started a young innovative company with his partner. Freelance consulting missions gave him the project to focus his work on small structures, before deciding to create his own business.

Maria Givony, project manager at Firendo

Ludovic Fery

With her dynamic and creative personality, Maria Givony decided to give a turn in her professional goals by embracing a career in science communication, after her thesis in immunology in 2013. She is now project manager at Firendo, which aims at raising awareness of endocrine rare diseases in France. Her job entails science popularization and graphic design for the patients suffering from those diseases.

Sarah Enouz, research grant manager at Imagine Institute

Ludovic Fery

As a researcher in biology, Sarah Enouz decided to change her career path and became science project coordinator. She is still working closely with the laboratory but not on experiments: she is now dealing with communication activities and the design of management tools for researchers. In her current position, she is in charge of making the biomedical research process flow easier and ensuring that deadlines are met by all the stakeholders, especially for clinical trials.

Three post-docs including two abroad and then?

Clarisse Faria-Fortecoëf

Yoann Le Bars, PhD in physical oceanography, has first experimented the mobility at the national level throughout his studies, from Paris to Nancy via Toulouse where he completed his doctorate (2006 to 2010). At Paul Sabatier University, his research focused on the "Modeling of barotrope ocean dynamics in the Amazonian estuary and plateau". within the LEGOS (Laboratoire d’Études en Géophysique et Océanographie), under joint supervision with the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) and the CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales).
"Then going abroad, it was a little bit natural, given the work done in connection with the CNES and the growing international request in the ocean modeling field".

Develop and mobilize your network...

Clarisse Faria-Fortecoëf

This is one of the recommendations of Charlotte Mallet, PhD in Organic chemistry applied to conductive materials and Researcher at Esstalion, a business venture of research and development established in June 2014 by Sony Corporation, a leader in the manufacturing among others, of communication systems, as well as of information and technology products and Hydro-Québec, Canada's largest electricity producer.
Learn more about her career path and success keys of her mobility on the other side of the Atlantic

Try one's luck in the United States: Why not?

Clarisse Faria-Fortecoëf

Since the summer 2012, Sophie Dutheil has been living in New Haven (Connecticut) where she is completing a postdoc in Psychiatry at Yale University before continuing in 2016 with a new job in a pharmaceutical company which works on mental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases, in Manhattan (New York).
During our interview of December 7, 2015, she told us among others, reasons which led her to leave the Hexagone and those of her choice to pursue her American adventure.

International mobility: a fully fledged competences field?

Clarisse Faria-Fortecoëf

After a Franco-German curriculum in chemistry at the Dresden Technical University and the ENSCR (École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Rennes), a PhD on new materials for organic electronics at the Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research, Dresden, research stays in France, Canada and the United States, Robert Pötzsch is currently, Patent examiner at the European Patent Office (EPO) in The Hague (Netherlands).

"And all of this started with Erasmus..."

Clarisse Faria-Fortecoëf

(Pour consulter cet article en français, cliquez ici)

After a Bachelor's degree in Spain, a Master and a PhD in France, a postdoc in the United States, Neus Sabater, Doctor in Applied Mathematics, decided to settle in the Hexagone and work in a French private company. A logical and almost obvious career path.

From a French-Spanish doctoral experience in Humanities and Social Sciences to adult education and training

After a PhD in French Literature and Civilization (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle) and a PhD in Theory of Literature and Comparative Literature (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), as well as the co-founding of a language school in Spain, Romuald Berty is currently Spanish language and litterature Teacher in a secondary vocational school near Bordeaux. His long-term career goal : start up his own training organization.

A PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences: a springboard for a non-academic career?

Clarisse Faria-Fortecoëf

After a joint PhD in History from the Universität des Saarlandes and the Université Paris-Sorbonne, Pierre Horn has successfully integrated the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM Lorraine) as Franco-German Project Manager, responsible for European projects, such as those intended for companies.

The Switzerland at the heart of the Doctorate

Clarisse Faria-Fortecoëf

Project manager and contractual PhD student since october 2011, Jonathan Perron makes ??his thesis in Physical Chemistry at the University Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris (France) in collaboration with the Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen (Switzerland).

From the beginning - this was even a sine qua non condition for his thesis supervisor at the Pierre and Marie Curie University - the integration of a 18-month period in Switzerland was part of the PhD project of Jonathan Perron.

Swiss experience: « A big jump at a personal as well as professional level »

In October 2011, Jonathan left thus, France for Switzerland: « in a mobility framework, it is not a country that comes first to mind ». Jonathan did not know this country, but thanks to La Maison des Français de l'Étranger (MFE) - a service of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs which is responsible for informing all French who considering going to live and/or work abroad - he got before his departure, all data he needed (daily life , taxation ...).
« After, the various issues were quickly addressed and solved in the country such as administrative matters ».

Working in a large international group and living in Germany...

Clarisse Faria-Fortecoëf

This is the choice made by Charles Lales, Ph.D Engineer in Computer Sciences, after an academic and business experience in France.

Early career in the academic sector

After a PhD from the University of Bordeaux and two years as ATER (Attaché Temporaire d'Enseignement et de Recherche) at the IUT of Bordeaux, Charles Lales had to pursue his career outside the academia. At the same time, as he says, a job in the private sector is more interesting in terms of career and salary prospects, especially if you change of company. "In the computer field, this is the right approach, particularly in a region like Bordeaux. After a first experience, this is quite easy. In academia, excepted the "Qualification" to become lecturer or a few research engineer positions, there are little or any prospects. One of the advantages to be a PhD, is that you can look for a job in large companies, especially if you are able to move from a region to another one. But then, Paris is required".
Perspective that Charles will adopt in accordance with the evolution of his personal situation.

Making the most out of PhDs - An interview with Camille Delebecque, Synthetic Biologist and International Serial Entrepreneur

This week, we catch up with Camille Delebecque to discuss his PhD, his experience with research and academia in general. Camille is a very successful entrepreneur and is the founder of the first Synthetic Biology consulting company, Synbio Consulting. Camille made a number of unusual choices during his curriculum and we were really curious to ask him about these and more generally his experience with the academic world and advise. Here is only a short testimony; if you want to reach out to him you can find him on twitter.

Preparation, visibility and knowledge of the targeted sector: three key factors of a good application

Catherine Gayda

"You have to be visible and exceed personal fears," said Raphael Royer. Preparation, visibility and knowledge of the industry are the key words that have guided his path. Today, Development Engineer at Sandvik Coromant in the United Kingdom, Raphael Royer traces the key stages of his career.

Mobility and research in business

Clarisse Faria-Fortecoëf

After studying macromolecular chemistry at the University of Lille 1 (France), Ludovic Marquant, specialist in polymer science, decides to do a PhD in Germany and to work on physical aspects of thin polymer films under confinement, before continuing his mobility experience in the United States in the framework of the VIE programme on conductive materials. Back in France, he now brings together his experience and skills on innovative projects for industries aiming to develop public-private partnerships.

From an Engineering degree to the company’s world and the PhD

Clarisse Faria-Fortecoëf

Back on the career path and mobility experience of Guilherme Apolinário Testoni, young Brazilian PhD student moving between Brazil and France, the public research and the private sector.

Find a job in humanities and social sciences outside the academic world: luck or strategy?

Clarisse Faria-Fortecoëf

Studies in political sciences between France and Germany, PhD in Sweden with stays in the U.S. and Poland, then return to the native country, Germany.
Career path of Barbara Kunz, political scientist and currently project leader at the Geshagen Foundation (Berlin), which objective is to contribute to the debate on the political, economic and social future of Europe, its internal cohesion and its role in the world.

An international research experience within an European network

Clarisse Faria-Fortecoëf

After a joint PhD between France and Italy, a stay in Greece, in the United States and in the UK, Eric Buchlin is currently a researcher at the Institute of Space Astrophysics, a CNRS laboratory and the University Paris-Sud, Orsay.

Is mobility the key to success?

Clarisse Faria-Fortecoëf

Research Associate at the Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse (France), Spiros Kitsinelis worked in England, Japan, Netherlands and Greece.

International mobility: a matter of anticipation and perseverance?

Clarisse Faria-Fortecoëf

Currently Researcher on skin cancer at Harvard (Boston, USA), Marina Kvaskoff developed very early her mobility project in Australia as part of her PhD in epidemiology and in the United States in the framework of a postdoc.

How to take opportunities...

Clarisse Faria-Fortecoëf

Inorganic materials specialist, Olivier Majoulet got in 2012, a PhD in Materials Chemistry after research experiences in Berlin and Tokyo.