Navigating Career Uncertainty


Hi everyone, I’m Nick Edwards (he/him). I did a PhD and postdoc in Neuroscience. I work in business now, but still, very much consider myself a scientist. My interest in mental health and neuroscience goes way back and largely stems from watching my mom suffer from severe bipolar disorder. As an undergrad, I decided to become a neuroscientist because I believed (and still do) that it would allow me to contribute to the understanding and treatment of mental health.


During my postdoc, my ADHD got the best of me. I helped a friend start a company and volunteered to evaluate startups for an angel investing group (mostly at night after lab). These experiences convinced me that I could potentially make a real-world impact on important issues through business – which led me to a career in consulting at BCG, then commercial strategy at Illumina, and now I’m transitioning to a startup in stealth mode.


Because I grew up in a fairly challenging environment, I feel lucky to have had these opportunities and believe it’s my duty to help others where I can. So I try to be honest about my experiences and shine light on how the peculiar worlds of academia and business work. I honestly believe that by enabling grad students and postdocs with better mentorship, we can flood the world with science.


You can also check out my podcast, called Once a Scientist, to hear from people who have made the transition into various industries, as well as other important topics (on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc). We’re on Twitter and Instagram @_OnceaScientist

Nick will be taking over the PhD Balance Instagram account tomorrow (10/16) and will also join Fay on this week's Grad Chat episode on Saturday!

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