Dr. Laura Pirro is an Italian chemical engineer, who obtained her PhD at Laboratory for Chemical Technology of Ghent University at the end of 2020. Currently, Laura works as an R&D engineer at Yara Sluiskil, in the Netherlands, in the field of agricultural products.
In this episode, she will tell us more about several aspects which characterized her professional life choices so far and some lessons learned on the way.
Here are some highlights:
Not everybody is ready to start a PhD at the same time. After obtaining her master in 2014, Laura decided to work in the chemical industry for a couple of years, to get a taste of the ‘world outside of academia’, before deciding whether to commit to a post-graduate study. During this episode, we will discuss the pros and cons of such a decision.
Your PhD is not only about your own research. During her doctoral studies, Laura got engaged with numerous activities which went beyond her specific domain of study, including an initiative to bring the Agile philosophy for project management into academic research projects. We will ask her about how this initiative developed and what added value Agile can have for doctoral and post-doctoral researchers.
Finding two jobs in the year of the pandemics: mission (im)possible? As the end of her PhD was approaching, Laura had to search for her way back into the chemical industry…but a few pitfalls came across, including getting fired after only three weeks because of financial instability of the company that hired her. We will explore with her how to evaluate the options at the end of your PhD, and how to get back on your feet if the professional world punches you in the face.