Aug 15th 2021 | E065: How Can a Supervisor Support PhD Students In Transitioning To Industry?

Christopher Madan, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Nottingham in the UK. He has a broad range of research interests, but primarily studies memory, aging, and brain imaging. He completed his PhD at the University of Alberta (Canada) in 2014, which included a one-year visiting scientist position at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany. He then worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Boston College (USA) for three years. Chris uses a combination of cognitive psychology, neuroimaging, and computational modeling methods in his research. He also has done work related to open science, mentorship, and implementing learning science strategies in other fields.

Chris’ LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cmadan/

Chris’ book “Academia and the World Beyond”: https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783030826055

The episode was recorded on August 14th, 2021. This material represents the speaker’s personal views and not the views of their current or former employer(s). 

Natalia 00:00 Hello, everyone, this is yet another episode of career talks. And in this episode, we’ll welcome Chris, who is quite an unusual senior researcher who actively helps his mentees transition outside of academia. Chris, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Nottingham in the UK.

Natalia 00:26 He has a broad range of research interests, but primarily studies memory, aging, and brain imaging. He completed his PhD at the University of Alberta in Canada, in 2014, which included a one-year visiting scientist position at the University Medical Center, Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany. He then worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Boston College in the US for three years.

Natalia 00:50 Chris uses a combination of cognitive psychology, neural imaging and computational modeling methods in his research. He also has done work related to open science, mentorship, and implementing learning science strategies in other fields. Hello, Chris, great to have you. Thank you so much for accepting the invitation. And we’re looking forward to-

Chris 01:09 Thank you for having me.

Natalia 01:10 Thank you so much. How did it all start?

Chris 01:16 I guess, up into high school, my plan was to be a medical doctor. And when I got to kind of the summer times between University years, I wanted to have some job and kind of anyways, do something kind of useful. In the summer between ending High School and it was the year just before starting University. And then first year of university, then I worked in a supermarket kind of place that sells, produce and clothes, and toys, and all of that.

Chris 01:51 And I was in the leisure section, which was toys and barbecues, that sort of thing. And I didn’t enjoy doing that very much. Kids come and knock out like, pull toys off the shelves, and it’d be scattered everywhere; setting up barbecues. I did that for two months of summer. As soon as summer was done, then I was done with that. But from that, part of the inclination was not just don’t say have a job, in those summer months, but something that I’m being paid. But also that, I’m learning and developing from it as well.

Chris 02:28 Then within the coming few months after that, I somehow came to the idea of, I wanted to work at a research lab over the summer; for those intermediate summers. Then I started contacting researchers at the University I was doing my undergraduate studies at. And seeing who might want to effectively, hire me over the summer to be involved in research in some capacity.

Chris 02:53 And there are some kinds of, … I did my studies in Canada. There’s some Canadian federal funding agency; things specifically for undergraduate research. With the suggestion of applying to those and otherwise still seeing what options might be there. Some people said they already have someone lined up and they’re at capacity in some sense. Or otherwise, we’re taking time off for their own summer sabbatical, whatever.

Chris 03:23 But I met with a few people and some were willing to apply with me; I’m only allowed to apply once. But we’re supportive to that degree. But one professor in particular, he happened to just started and had been there for only a few months then. And he guaranteed that even if I apply, but if I don’t get it, then he’ll pay me for my startup funds.

Chris 03:47 And in a sense, either way, I have a position. And then I started volunteering in his lab pretty much right away. From October of that year, I was doing research as a volunteer. Reading papers and starting to program a psychology behavioral experiment. And that went over a long time because the lab wasn’t really a lab even. He just started there; people started to contact him. A few months later, we started having lab meetings.

Chris 04:15 But then in those summer months and in between, and later on, I also took research courses for credit and did a lot of research as an undergrad. I liked what I was doing. And with respect to that plan of being a medical doctor; I’m not sure if it was really my plan, just an ideal that was set. But I didn’t like dissecting things, or memorizing random anatomical terms, so that didn’t work as an actual plan.

Chris 04:49 But then I took … I initially was in neuroscience, which I think even to this day is a good thing because that gave me some background in chemistry and physics and physiology. Because those were required classes to take. I didn’t have a high enough GPA to stay in neuroscience. It is a little bit focused on more cellular and physiological, and memorizing anatomy terms and random things about cell potentials and stuff that I didn’t do well at.

Chris 05:20 But even then, I was more interested in let’s say, cognitive neuroscience, so the interface between psychology and neuroscience. I shifted over to officially than being in psychology. It didn’t really change; I was taking psychology classes anyway. But there, then Mark shut up a bit, because I very much enjoyed what I was doing.

Chris 05:42 Finished my undergrad, went straight to applying to PhD at that same university. Probably not a great plan. But I only applied there to stay working in that same lab and to some degree, continue what I was doing. I enjoyed who I was working with, I enjoyed the topic and I kept going.

Chris 06:00 Then continued through and doing cognitive neuroscience, behavioral research; learned some MRI things along the way. That part actually, the university didn’t have that many researchers doing fMRI to look at brain activity and how that relates to behavior than other MRI researchers. I spent a year in Germany and had gotten funded to do that. And that’s where I more so learned how to do the brain imaging stuff. And then finished my PhD, went to do a postdoc in Boston. And three years later, started as an Assistant Professor in the UK at the University of Nottingham. And that’s where I am now.

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Natalia 07:09 Okay. All right. Interesting story. And can you tell us a bit about your activities as a person who is involved in mentoring in academia? Because from what I know, you’re actively involved in developing better mentoring programs. And could you tell us a little bit more about what you do and what your vision is?

Chris 07:37 I guess, I’ll start with … I think I’ve kind of started from an early stage even. For instance, when I was done undergrad, I think it got published into me being a grad student. Myself along with someone, a friend at the time who was in a different science department, wrote a paper about undergraduate research and why that’s useful in a reflective way.

Chris 08:00 In a way that was more so, intended to faculty and career advisors to why they should kind of … convince isn’t quite the right word. But suggest to at least some students about why those students might want to do undergraduate research and why that’s a valuable skill beyond research as a career. That was probably my first paper that I would count as a mentorship thing, even though I was doing it as an undergrad, really.

Chris 08:29 But most recently, what my view and what I’ve been doing is … When I was a postdoc, as you kind of have to do, I’ve applied to lots of different universities for faculty positions. But I also thought I should scope out non-academic positions as well. And at least given my own backgrounds and interests. And it’s partly also from people that I’ve met at conferences who, in a sense, I’d say were doing their own PhD or postdoc at the time and progressed into non-academic positions.

Chris 09:02 I looked into software developer, programmer kind of background because I can do that; in terms of skill sets. And one of other things that came up was someone I know went into working for a pharmaceutical company and doing fMRI research. Effectively when drugs are being developed, with the cognitive effects in mind, safety is much of an issue. But in terms of, what are other effects and how does it work in some ways.

Chris 09:37 The idea is do a small sample study kind of longitudinal, on and off a drug, over some period of taking it for a few weeks or something. And let’s say, developing a cognitive battery of tests that you would do to measure your emotional processing, and how that might be affected by drug that’s being developed. That’s not a thing that I’ve done. But that’s something that I had a lot of overlap in the skills.

Chris 10:03 And effectively, it’s still a research. Instead of having a larger sample and trying to be generalizable and publishable as a paper, it’s more about the development and probably just be an internal report. But the methods of what you’re doing are very similar. Someone I talked to and basically did a informational interview, told me about what his day to day of his job is and how he came to do that.

Chris 10:05 It is still a little bit of a limited type of position, because there’s only so many big pharmaceutical companies that would also do MRI research of that sort. But it’s an option still. I looked into these things, and I was able to kind of stay in academia as I wanted to. But now, I’m in a different role; now have a PhD supervisor. I’m supervising a few PhD students. One of them has finished in the last few months now. Two of them are kind of in their writing upstage now; some of them are earlier on.

Chris 11:04 And now, I’m in a different role where I feel as a supervisor, even though I’m obviously in academia. I guess as a broad thing, I think a PhD is not a commitment that you have to stay in academia. But you learn skills across a variety of things. And also, I think it’s important to tailor from the supervisor’s perspective than what type of tasks in some sense, and what is a student doing.

Chris 11:31 If someone’s more interested in science communication, maybe they should be thinking about writing review papers and start opinion, perspective things. Obviously still, the degree requirements need to be satisfied. Actual research needs to be done, data analysis, data collection, whatever that means in the given field. But to the degree that there’s flexibility of adjusting it.

Chris 11:54 If someone is more interested in data analysis, and wants to go to a data science path, maybe they can be involved in some other projects beyond, again, PhD focused. There would be a co-author, and they’re in an analysis role. But maybe don’t, in a sense have to worry about the intro background; that’s on me as a supervisor, or just someone else in the project.

Chris 12:17 But creating opportunities to help tailor to given students and definitely talking about non-academic positions. At least to the degree that I can and I know other people that have got into them. And show that those are options, and try to facilitate that as best I can. But definitely, an open discussion about career paths and try to make it as clear as I can. I’m not expecting the students should tell me that like, ‘Oh, they want to stay in academia’, even though they don’t want to, because they feel obligated to it. But give me the most honest answer that they think at the time; and that obviously also can change over time.

Chris 12:57 And I’ll do my best to try to discuss it and share what I know from being in academia and that system. Still after a PhD, I know plenty of people that went into other things and sharing that. And trying to talk it out and do the best I can to supervise them. Not just in the PhD, but more as a career development role.

Natalia 13:18 Now, it’s very important that you’re saying this. I personally know PI’s who share this common misconception that leaving a PhD and leaving academia is a failure. And there is still, I think, lots of senior researchers who unfortunately have that view. Although, obviously, when you look at the numbers, it’s clear that there is not enough room for everyone. Even statistically, it’s just impossible.

Natalia 13:50 And by no means that it should be taken as a failure if you shift towards industry. But still, there are still islands where leaving academia is perceived as failure. It’ great that you help your students, support them, to choose whatever career they might be willing to try. I would like to explore more on this topic. Do you also share your personal views and maybe some of your personal discoveries about …? With respect to your students’ talents. If you as a supervisor, notice a talent. Do you also share with your students and suggest to them that perhaps this specific skill might be useful in specific industry or type of job?

Chris 14:51 At least I tried to … It’s a complicated subject I feel like. Because part of it is, I guess you can establish things over the years. But how comfortable … Some of the same words on the students’ side. How comfortable are they talking about their career plans beyond the PhD? Because they’re there in a specific role. But how much can you talk about, in a sense, the broader view?

Chris 14:51 And at least, should complement things that are done well, even if it isn’t at the larger curve. If something like ready to work is intro, background, that review type of stuff is done really well, communicate that. Some stuff with data analysis is solving your problem that seemed complicated and was a skill to do, and not just something that’s obviously should be expected. Then try and convey that as best you can.

Chris 15:49 And then I’d say more in terms of having that in the back …, as a supervisor, having that in the back of my mind. When there are these discussions that are more career focused, then bring those up. Like say, ‘I noticed that you’re doing it well. What do you think of that type of thing as a career trajectory? I guess one thing along those lines that I’ve done is; I have weekly lab meetings with my research group.

Chris 16:18 And effectively ended up being starting from December last year, then I suggested it and everyone seemed on board with. For the first live meeting of the month, that one’s more focused on professional development in some capacity of that. Sometimes that’s still like, reading something about more career development. Somethings aren’t necessarily professional development, but beyond the research itself.

Chris 16:46 For instance, some students are more towards finishing up. There’s a paper that I read on thesis examination; what are they looking for in a thesis. And that was one of the things we read and reflected on, and that paper itself was across different fields. You’re talking about, how from that, different expectations might be there in terms of things being publishable. Or what state or research should be at for novelty or something.

Chris 17:13 But things beyond of just the topic that you’re studying and the obvious focus, to have some growth and development. There are papers about these things. I’ve been writing some of that now. And I guess part of what I really was doing then; I’m not really trying to sell it. I’ve been working on a book that I call “Academia and the World Beyond”. And effectively what this has been is early, I guess.

Chris 17:44 Before the pandemic, and up until around partway through this year, I’ve been interviewing people that went into academic or non-academic positions. All have done a PhD, most of them in psychology and neuroscience. Partly to just have a more focused relevance. And to talk about some degree of what we’re doing now. What is their career trajectory? What is their daily life and their position? What is some advice that they wanted to share?

Chris 18:13 And as these were getting finished, I had early access to the content. I would pick a few of them and assign them to students in ways that I thought that they may get something out of it. For a given lab meeting, each student writes a different chapter; a different interview. And tried to distill in something they find interesting or something, particularly with advice, that they find useful.

Chris 18:40 And then the lab was the mini discussion of that. Everyone had access to all of the chapters that were being discussed, but I assigned them to each read one. It’s not like we’re just talking about a specific interview, but that is an option if someone else wanted to do it that way. But it was more so, everyone taking turns in the same week reading a different one; things need to be shared. You’d know which one … I sent the email to everyone in advance saying who’s reading which.

Chris 19:08 If someone wanted to, they could look into a non-assigned one anyway. And then we did that for a few months. And otherwise, it was still sprinkled in with having more open discussions. But this helped facilitate some of those discussions then, too. And I guess, partly, a thing that only I could do. I could talk a bit about the background of, how I knew the person and things that I knew that I did that maybe weren’t represented in the interview anyway, because I’m the one that interviewed them.

Chris 19:39 And then, give a little behind the scenes of something interesting. But yeah, that’s what we did for, I think, ended up being three lab meetings worth. And being spread out over more than three months because we didn’t always stick with this. But again, that was my approach. It was definitely to use that to help facilitate the idea of non-academic jobs are okay. These are things to talk about and then also a bit about all these people who did a PhD in. In the interview that is one of the earlier questions, ‘What was their PhD in?’, to try and make them relatable. And then see where they went after that point.

Natalia 20:20 Great. Could you please show us the book once again so that we can see the cover? Okay. Yeah, now I see the cover.

Chris 20:28 Ok, there we go, sorry. I hid my view, so I could see what I’m sharing there.

Natalia 20:34 When is it available?

Chris 20:36 That’s somewhere October, November-ish,

Natalia 20:39 October, November-ish.

Chris 20:40 This isn’t the real book. This is the final cover and I wrapped it around another book for now. But I have seen the contents, obviously. And then hopefully get proof soon. And all of that. But yeah, sometime October, November, that will be online.

Natalia 20:58 Cool. All right. Looking forward, we’ll link the book here as soon as it’s out. Perfect. That sounds … I mean, that’s very bold on you, given that from what I know in the UK, the PhD programs are only three years. If from the first day, you give that time to your students to develop themselves beyond the research projects that might leave them with little time for research.

Natalia 21:27 But it’s great of you that you give it a try and give them space to develop themselves. To properly develop your career is good to spend at least 10% of the time, working time, on broader professional development, not just daily duties, I think. It’s great that you give them incentives to do so. Do you already have some alumni from your lab?

Chris 22:02 There is one that’s from my lab. And then, there were some people that I had some supervision role, but we’re primarily in someone else’s lab. And I was involved for years. But effectively, I think it got started before I was faculty. Two people have gotten, I guess, three people have gotten into data science. One person after a research Master’s that I was still, I think, ended up being three years. And then two people after they finished their PhD are in data science roles. That’s all of them so far, I guess,

Natalia 22:35 It makes sense. I mean, for people with these set of skills, this is the hottest part of the job market to go to, I guess. That’s also a common exodus from cognitive science here in the Netherlands. I think data science is the biggest, the most common choice. Maybe it would be an idea to create some form of alumni association, you know, the alumni from your lab.

Natalia 23:03 Perhaps when they become success in industry, they might also support each other or mentor to your students later on. I’m sure they will be grateful for the opportunity that they could already start developing their careers once they are working for you. For sure, I think. I’m sure they will be they will remember working with you greatly, I mean in a very positive way. Because it’s quite uncommon, I think.

Natalia 23:37 It’s either that supervisors actively dislike the concept of leaving academia, or they tolerate the willingness to do so. But it’s quite uncommon, I think, that they openly support the efforts to build careers in industry. I think in that sense, you’re quite an exception still. That’s great to hear. I think you’re a great example of a person-

Chris 24:09 I guess. One thing you said a bit ago was that, maybe more senior faculty would be thinking the trainee should stay in academia. I think that’s probably biased by the job market they were in. Though, I would hope that they would update their priors based on students in between, not just their own experiences. But if they’ve been supervising for a long time because they are senior faculty, then students finishing and seeing how they did in terms of being able to find positions that they liked.

Chris 24:47 But the reality is, there’s only so many academic positions. More students are getting PhDs than new positions being created in academia. Which in itself … My view is, I don’t think that’s the problem. It’s the view that the PhD is, in a sense, implicit already or some sort of commitment to staying in academia, which is where things go wrong. If someone wants to learn things and, even at Wise, trying research, hopefully.

Chris 25:19 PhD is a little bit more than trying, it’s a lot, it’s being a year commitment on both the supervisor and the students. But there are so many things that essentially, like data science, or… I guess, so one person I know effectively did a postdoc in a university library afterwards and helped other researchers then from the library perspective.

Chris 25:42 But also knows how to do research because, did a PhD, and then now works for a large company that helps with data repository kind of stuff. There’s a lot of things out there that are useful. If you’re going to go into science communication, having a PhD and be able to read the primary work that you’re attempting to communicate more broadly.

Chris 26:07 PhD is useful for so many things. We shouldn’t box it in and say this qualification is only relevant for a research career. But there are so many things it’s useful for. And then ideally, I’d still say a bit of tailoring for a given student and what their planned path is. From the degree requirements stuff as a supervisor, what should someone not just me. But whoever’s in that role, can do to make that a little bit better to make that person more competitive in what they want to do.

Chris 26:42 That just makes sense. The students aren’t there to be your assistant or to do your research. They’re there because they want to learn stuff and do research that is obviously relevant to supervisors’ expertise. But that’s not the extent of it. It’s their career development. How many hours a week is the supervisor spending on the students in supervision of a singular student versus the students being a PhD student? It only makes sense that it shouldn’t be this way around of trying to facilitate the development.

Natalia 27:17 How great is that. And I agree with you, the PhD gives a lot of options. There’s also a common problem to PhD graduates of what to choose, because it might develop in different directions, so it’s also a curse of abundance. And one thing that PhD is definitely useful for that is often like overlooked is that today, especially after the corona crisis, the job market changed and the dynamics has changed.

Natalia 27:47 Today, remote work is becoming a default mode of working. And in this new reality, we can no longer compete on the prices of our work, we have to compete on the quality and a PhD also gives this credibility. If you have a PhD next to your name, it’s a stamp of quality. And this is priceless when it comes to competing with all the other professionals out there. At least for me I feel that wherever I go, and I not only work with PhD graduates, but I also have contacts in entrepreneurial circles here in the Netherlands and I have a lot of different collaborations and possible future projects.

Natalia 28:41 I always have this feeling that a PhD gives me credibility; it’s probably the best part of it. And if you have the doctor title in front of your name, people trust you and like trust is just priceless today. Okay, so what type of advice could you give to young researchers, maybe those who are just starting PhD studies? Is there anything in particular you would like to share with them?

Chris 29:15 I guess on a project, they can research things to do what you’re passionate about. But I think it’s also important to, you’ve already said this but, take some time to reflect on your own development. And in a sense, what are you good at? There is a large array of skills that are necessary or at least relevant to varying degrees in being a researcher. Some of those are definitely more day to day, say writing and data analysis.

Chris 29:43 Some are a bit less frequent, and not as straightforward right now, let’s say public speaking. But those probably are expected to do some presentations during a PhD, even if just at an internal conference. Again, current circumstances are a bit different. But how comfortable do you feel with public speaking, you probably have some idea even without having to do it in the PhD itself.

Chris 30:09 Some people enjoy talking about what they’re doing. Some people don’t want to be on the stage. And both of those are perfectly fine as answers. But I guess, first is thinking, what is your kind of current skill set? What do you like? What do you not like? Those are also acknowledging that’s not a static thing. Even if you feel like you’re not good at something, especially during your PhD, that’s a great opportunity to try and change that.

Chris 30:34 And probably something to discuss with your supervisor, ‘Okay, I don’t think I’m great at this.’ They can also give you some feedback potentially, on how they view and maybe your own self efficacy estimate might be off. Maybe you’re a lot better than you think you are. The supervisor has a broader view of things than you’re more focused on yourself. But even then, how can you get better at it; you can do so much.

Chris 31:01 But if your supervisor is aware, more opportunities could be brought up with it, ‘Okay, there’s this thing where someone needs a presenter’. Like doing a guest lecturer in the class, to try and get better at it, if that’s something you want to. It’s not to create more stress for any reason. But skills can be changed and that’s part of the point of the PhD anyway.

Chris 31:24 And then think about what careers might align with that and from array of them. And again, there are lists online. In my book, I’ll talk about some of that stuff there too. There’s plenty of resources to find possibilities. And then ideally, see if you can find someone that’s a recent graduate from where you are, or someone you met at a conference or something.

Chris 31:49 LinkedIn can be good for that. Add people when they’re grad students or postdocs elsewhere that you meet at a conference, and then a few years online, easy enough to look up where they are now. And then talk to someone who’s in that position. And that effectively is this informational interview about what do they like about it or not. You can be as informed as you can and it’s mainly to see what’s out there; And how those align with your own skills.

Natalia 32:19 Great. Okay. Lastly, is there anything that you might have done differently if you had the chance to launch your career again? Is there anything that you think, any decision, that you regret today or anything that you might do differently?

Chris 32:36 My current answer, which is something I think about quite a bit is only partly career relevant. But I think it’s enough so that’s what I’ll go with. With academia … I forgot what I was saying with academia, but it is a broader thing of that. One problem that many experienced, is called a two-body problem. Of meeting someone, let’s say during grad school, obviously during grad school.

Chris 33:01 And then, figuring out how to both find jobs thereafter, is a complication that many people deal with. My approach was, I’ll wait until I get a stable job around now, but a bit earlier than today. And then I’ll try and find someone after that; that didn’t work as straightforward as I thought. Because in grad school, you meet lots of people, both in your department. It somewhat depends on circumstances.

Chris 33:34 But maybe you have a cohort that was admitted at the same time as you. You know some people in years, more senior and more junior as time goes. Go to conferences and your cohort, in a broader sense also exists. But after that, as a postdoc, it’s harder to meet new people, I guess, conference is still a thing. But it’s different dynamic than grad school where, especially if you had classes during that, which really brings your cohort together and having confusion about something that happened in a lecture.

Chris 34:09 When you get to faculty, not so straight forward to meet someone in another department. That doesn’t work the same way. Or even outside of academia, just how to meet people, is the general advice seems to be figuring things around hobbies. I don’t really have those. I just like academia a lot in different ways and then that’s complicated.

Chris 34:32 Within academia, I feel like I’ve more specialties than most. But I don’t really have a lot look outside of academia, like gardening or cooking or wall climbing. I don’t do any of those things and I’m quite introverted. Meeting people gets hard later on. Again, it might be varied by my personality traits as well, but I underestimated how easy or difficult it is to meet people at a later career stage, and just assumed it would be same as where I was at the time. And that was not the right decision.

Natalia 35:08 Are we looking for a girlfriend for you right now? What are your requirements? Like maybe there is someone suitable who is watching this material. Maybe it’s good if you will list your expectations, and they’ll see.

Chris 35:26 Yes, preferably would be someone in UK area; the UK itself is pretty small. Things can be figured, commuting in middle points for that. Someone who I guess, has ambition in something. Topic, in a sense, doesn’t matter just something that they care about, I guess she cares about and is important. Academic or not, either way is fine; I guess professional in the life degree kind of setting.

Chris 35:57 Doesn’t need to be employed by a university. But I guess ideally, a PhD to also understand to what is it I’m doing because I like to be able to talk about the research and stuff I’m doing. And even if it’s a PhD in different fields, there’s more understanding than someone else who, let’s say, only has a bachelor’s and then went somewhere else life wise.

Chris 36:17 I’ve got nothing against that, but there’s a difference in how easy it is to relate. Ideally has lived in different countries. That probably makes things more complicated, but it also makes it somewhat easier to relate to, because UK is country number 4 for me.

Natalia 36:36 I totally understand. And I have to say that it’s often the case that hardworking people are quite discriminated against. I feel this is, you know, to such an extent that you are too afraid to admit that how hardworking you are. If two hardworking people meet on the meetup, they both pretend that they have lots of hobbies, you know. And you feel compelled to put all these photos of yourself, like photos from vacations on social media to just stage your social life.

Natalia 37:11 Just admitting openly that you’re hard working and your biggest fun is at work is not really perceived in a positive way. I can relate. Okay, I wrote it down. I’ll keep my eyes open. But I also understand that if you have like too much disproportion in education, then even if the other person can technically understand you, there might be some competition in a relationship. I can see that. If one person is a professor, the other one is a Bachelor’s graduate. There might be some just hidden competition and tension, so I get it. It’s really important to have similar careers.

Chris 37:59 Even in academia it’s funny. Competition makes it easier to compare like, how many papers in the last year, and then that’s a whole other thing that I have seen happen.

Natalia 38:11 Well, that’s true as well. Okay, I’ll keep my eyes open. Let’s hope that some nice lady watches this episode and gets the concept of contacting you. Okay, perfect. I get it. I mean, I totally understand. I think there are quite a few people who could say the same, you know. They keep on working, hoping that one day when everything is in place, their careers sorted out, then time comes for another stage.

Natalia 38:42 And then, they discovered that everybody else is already taken. Or something like that. Yeah, I get it. I get it. But I mean, we keep positive here. I’m sure there will be some very nice lady soon that arrives on the horizon. Okay, perfect. Thank you so much, Chris, for all your insights and for being so supportive tor your students.

Natalia 39:11 I’m sure they must be lucky that they came to your lab and thank you so much for that. Okay, and for you guys who came to the end of this episode. Hey, we are looking for a girlfriend for Chris. If you know anyone who knows anyone, let us know below. And thank you so much for watching, and see you next time.

Natalia 39:34 Thank you, Chris.

Chris 39:36 Thanks.

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