You don’t embark in a master’s or a PhD without confidence. A trust, a confidence that you can delve into the unknown of a master’s or a PhD project and come out with answers to questions no one has asked before. This confidence is what fueled you so far. And during this time, it has grown with you. It may have suffered some blows, and weakened, now and then, but it has become one of your greatest strengths. Today, we’ll be talking with Mark Roberts about how candidates with master’s and doctoral degrees are valued in the job market, and about how the pressure and challenges of grad school help develop traits that are prized by employers in certain industries.

Mark made the move from academia to industry after completing his PhD in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Princeton and teaching appointments at Yale and McGill. Since 2003 he has held different employee and freelance positions as a medical writer and editor. This year Mark partnered with former colleagues to found Stratenym, a specialty medical communications firm comprising a network of expert consultants.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Technical writing as a career avenue
  • The importance of being resilient and pushing through to finish
  • TA-ing as a way of transitioning from grad school to a job in industry
  • The number one strength employers see in candidates with a graduate degree – problem solving ability
  • How listing the skills you exercise for your research and finding jobs where they are vital can help you chart your career path
  • Dealing with the impostor syndrome
  • Preparing for job interviews: dos and don’ts

This episode’s pearl of wisdom:

“Honestly… Although it may seem a bit scary to leave the university environment that I’ve been in for so many years, when you think about it, when you are in your graduate degree, you have to find a question that nobody in the world knows the answer to, and then you set out to answer that question yourself… Now, that’s pretty brave. So compared to grad school, what I do now is pretty much failure-proof.”

Mark’s links:; @Stratenym

You might also like the following episodes:

Clarissa Wright – Publishing:

Fiona Robinson – Patient education:

James Bowers – Communication consulting:

Liliana Vitorino – Industry:

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