Pedro Resende – When The Choices You Don’t Make Take You Where You Want to Go

They say “if  life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” But what if life gives you the proverbial lemons, you press them, and apple juice comes out? In this episode, Pedro Resende shares with us how he came to be a researcher after a stint in industry, and how after accepting some hard noes from the universe and reorienting, he ended up being exactly where he wanted to be at the outset.

Pedro has worked in Portugal, UK and USA as a life sciences researcher, both in academic and industry roles. In parallel with his research, Pedro co-founded two professional associations and experienced roles in policy advice. Pedro is also co-founder and the director of Chaperone, an online marketplace for career development for scientists.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How valuable an internship in industry can be before graduate school and how it can help you stand out when applying to PhD programs
  • Why you should choose a city you’ll enjoy living in, of you’re going abroad for your graduate studies
  • The importance of connecting with the expat student community when studying abroad
  • What you can gain by taking active part in the university/institute governing bodies as a student representative
  • Why you should try to take part in interdisciplinary projects and activities around you

This episode’s pearls of wisdom:

“I cannot stress enough how to found and manage professional associations can be a fantastic learning experience for roles outside acedemia, let’s say – as an entrepreneur or as a community manager, or as a project manager, or anything that involves management of projects and people.”

“It’s surprising how many political decisions are made without evidence. Evedence-based decisions in politics are not common and for someone who works in science, this seems shocking. But it’s true. It is our role as researchers to defend that we must get the right data to the politicians and to make them be aware of this data and to use them to guide their decisions.”

“[In the US] it’s recommended for people as researchers to be involved in other projects. It benefits the society, it benefits the research also, ultimately. This is true for researchers, but it’s true for other fields of study. Nobody gains from everybody being closed in their environments, closed in their offices.”

Pedro’s links: Maria de Sousa Summer Research Program; All Time GABBA (ATG); European Health Parliament; Chaperone.online; Twitter: @PepeResende, @ChaperoneOnline

You might also like the following episodes:

Inês Thomas Almeida – Musicology: PapaPhD.com/27

Kirsten Sanford – Science communication: PapaPhD.com/13

Simon Moore – Industry research: PapaPhD.com/18

Tamarah Luk – Entertainment Law: PapaPhD.com/10

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