An interview with Georg Payrhuber
Written by Isabelle
Georg Payrhuber did his PhD in AG Stroh on the role of PRG1 at the dendritic spine. He successfully defended one year ago (July 2018) and moved to the world of industry. In this interview, you will learn more about hims and his experience in both academia and industry.
What did you do decide to do after the PhD?
Right after my defense I got married and we went for our six weeks’ honeymoon to Australia! This was the perfect ending of my time as a PhD student. Just two days after we got back from holidays, I started my new job in Böblingen, near Stuttgart. The final move to our new place took some time. But, by November we had it all done. My new job is, at least in some aspects, completely different from working in the lab. I am working at a company that supports the development and production of cars. No biology whatsoever, although I am still planning experiments or tests and am involved in data analysis and the presentation of the findings.
How did you find your new job?
I started to look for a new job about half a year before I finally defended my thesis. During that time, I wrote dozens of applications and had a couple of job interviews. There are plenty of job offers on the internet, but it is also highly competitive for some positions. When I read that an automotive company is looking for a biologist, I was a little bit confused, but also curious. So I wrote an application and got invited. When you get the chance to visit the company you want to work for, it is always quite interesting to meet the people there and see how they work together as a team.
If you think about your time as a PhD student, would you have done anything different that could have been important for your new job?
I would not have done anything different in my PhD. During that time, I had the opportunity to try out different things, and could enjoy the freedom of science in academia. Even though my new job is completely different from my PhD studies, I can still use my experiences with planning experiments and subsequent data analysis. All in all, I would say that the PhD taught me a basic set of skills that I can now apply to any new challenge I may face in my career.
What aspects of academia do you miss and not miss?
I miss the “freedom” to just do what you think is right and try out new things, even though they might not work. Another plus was the flexible timings, nobody cared if I started at 9 or 11 in the morning. On the other hand, the uncertainty is something I definitely do not miss at all. I don't have to fear that my contract or the project may not be prolonged anymore.
What is your long-term goal?
My long-term goal is to gain further expertise in my new field of work and to ultimately get a bit higher up in the management. To sum it up: I would like to be part of the innovations in the automotive industry and actively shape its future.
Thank you Georg and good luck with your future career!
Written by Isabelle Arnoux; Edited by Radhika Menon. Featured image by NGC/Design.