NGC Graduates

An Interview with Florie Le Prieult

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Florie Le Prieult used to be a PhD student in the Mittmann lab. She successfully finished her doctoral studies in October 2016, the first one of the TransMed program. Of course, only after rehearsing her defense with us at NGC! She currently has a postdoc position at the R&D section at Abbvie, in Ludwigshafen.

How did you find your new job and how was the selection process?
The open position was advertised in the company website. I replied and uploaded my CV on their platform, an application system used by many companies. After they checked my documents, I had phone interviews with both Human Resources and scientific staff's heads. I was subsequently invited for one day, during which I gave a presentation about my former scientific work and I had face-to-face interviews with the whole scientific staff. Lastly, there was a face-to-face interview with the HR where they actually asked me those cliché questions about weaknesses, strengths, conflicts, etc. :-P

In what way is your new job different from your PhD and what do you like about it?
Firstly, in industry, my job has a clear structure, we set goals to achieve with respective deadlines. This highly increases the efficiency, while I still have some flexibility to tackle scientific questions on my own. Secondly, there is much more actual collaboration. In fact, we work as a unit and set strategies and goals together. This allows you to achieve higher goals, despite the fact that you have to coordinate different people with different goals.

Have you found the job you were looking for?
Yes, when I decided to leave academia, I was in fact looking for an environment with higher collaboration possibilities where I could work in a more effective way.

How do you see yourself in a couple of years?
I would like to get a more stable position, which starts already to happen. I have many responsibilities, both as a scientist and as a manager. This can lead me to a lab head position, even though I could have to leave neuroscience. I definitely want to reach higher hierarchical positions and eventually evolve to a more managerial one.

What do you suggest to students who want to leave academia?
1. Be sure you know why you want to leave it. They will ask this during the interviews rounds!
2. Gather as much information as possible on what you can do after your PhD.
3. Talk to people that are actually doing this job. It will spare you bad surprises.
4. Set criteria to narrow down the applications you will send. You cannot apply to everything, it is better to aim in a specific direction and be thorough in the applications. Especially at the beginning.
And last, start ASAP. It really takes a long way to reach the first phone call interview!


Written by Chiara Galante; Edited by Radhika Menon. Featured Image: NGC/Design.

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