BranchOut! Career Day

December 02, 2022

Postdocs of the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (MPIPZ) together with the Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences (CEPLAS) organised a career day to which they invited 13 alumni from MPIPZ and CEPLAS to present their career paths.

The audience of PhD students and postdocs from the MPIPZ and CEPLAS, was invited to listen to short presentations on the speakers' careers and interacted with the speakers in three panel discussions on careers in academia, in industry and in other fields. 

Prof. Sarah O'Connor, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology Germany, kicked off the day with a nuanced and valuable view on her scientific career. She, and three more speakers at different career stages (Wilma van Esse, Diarmuid O'Maoileidigh and Moritz Nowack) shed light on career decision making in academia before all speakers and the audience had the chance to chat over lunch.

The industry panel, consisting of Maria Salazar Rondon, Markus Berns, Henning Frerigmann, Florian Hahn and Hugo Hofhuis, speakers reflected on the transition from academia to industry and on differences and similiarities between these working environments.

In the last panel, Luise Hecker, Ulla Kemi, Melanie Sapp and Stijn Spaepen spoke about their "less conventional" positions in academic and non-academic environments and excellently complemented thoughts that were voiced in the two previous panel discussions.

During the afternoon, small groups of PhD students and postdocs could meet the speakers individually and and informal dinner with all speakers and audience rounded up the exciting day.

“We would like to thank all speakers for being so open and honest about their career paths and decision making. We would also like to thank the audience for their active participation and hope that the mix of panel discussions and Get-Connected sessions helped PhD students and postdocs to refine their career plans. Lastly, a big thank you to the organising MPIPZ and CEPLAS postdocs for planning the event and everyone else who made this career day possible.“

Nicholas Russell, MPIPZ postdoc Rep

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