Jonathan Weitzman – Part 2 – Preparing Students For Their Professional Life

In part two of our conversation, Jonathan Weitzman talks about how he envisions career building in academia and talks about different projects he’s championed at the Université de Paris aimed at preparing his students for their professional life and empowering them during their graduate studies.

Academia, Teaching, Career Skills

Jonathan Weitzman is a professor of genetics at the Université de Paris, founding director of the Centre for Epigenetics and Cell Fate, and director of the Magistère Masters in Genetics Porgram.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why you shouldn’t be afraid of having “holes” in your CV
  • How interdisplinary projects can enrich your science and open your vistas
  • Jonathan’s view on the future of academia
  • There is no single right way to build your career

This episode’s pearls of wisdom:

“We’re experimentalists, we should experiment more with our careers.”

“One thing that is really striking every year is that the students want very simple answers to questions like “Do I need to do a PhD or not? Should I do a second master’s or not?” And they always ask “do you recruit people with a master’s or with a PhD?” And the entrepreneurs always look at them like: “I don’t understand the question – we’re looking for people with skills”.”

“There’s no golden path. Everyone gets where they’re doing differently. There’s so many ways to get there and you have to enjoy the journey.”

“I really think this is the future of academia, is to create better interdisciplinary. We’re seeing it with the whole COVID thing.  It’s not just about virology and it’s not just about drug development, and it’s not just about epidemiology, and it’s not just about politics. It’s about how these things come together.”

Jonathan’s links: Twitter – @Epigenetique; LinkedIn.com/in/JonathanWeitzman; TEDx Talk – Who am I ? Learning to read the genes in your unique genome book.g

You might also like the following episodes:

Chris Kent – Biotech Startup CEO: PapaPhD.com/11

Sathy Rajasekharan– Science communication: PapaPhD.com/16

Fábio Rosa (PhD student), Gil Costa (scientific illustrator), Patrícia Monteiro (principal investigator): PapaPhD.com/24

Margaret Magdesian – Biotech Startup CEO: PapaPhD.com/21

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