What is the highest degree in astronomy/physics you have received? PhD
What is/was your most recent academic position in astronomy/physics? PhD candidate
What has been your career path since you completed your degree? Joined Accenture as a Management Consultant, then joined Woolworths to work as a Strategy Manager in their corporate strategy division (current position). I own and run an Edu Tech startup alongside my regular job.
What were the most important factors that led you to leave astronomy and/or academia? Diversity of work and problems that I would get to solve and financial security
What is the job title for your current position? Strategy Manager
What is the name of your company/organization/institution? Woolworths
What city and country do you live in and/or work in? Sydney
What is your social background? Are there any identifiers that you think are particularly relevant? nan
What do you do for fun (e.g., hobbies, pastimes, etc.)? Snowboard, cricket, travel etc..
List your favorites. Band (or singer/composer/etc.), recent film, current TV series, food, color, pet. nan
What’s something you greatly miss about grad school? What about something you definitely don’t miss? nan
If you have made a career change, what was your age at the time? 25
What have been particularly valuable skills for your current job that you gained through completing your degree? Quantitative analysis, problem structuring and solving and written communication
What advice do you think advisors should be giving students regarding their career path? There are genuine options for careers outside outside Astronomy and the skills you learn are in demand.
What, if any, additional training did you complete in order to meet the qualifications of your current position? Required a lot of case interview practice. Nothing other than that.
What job hunting or networking resources or other advice/resources did you use to land your current position? Go to as many company meet and great sessions at universities
Describe a typical day at work. nan
How many hours do you work in a week? 45 to 60. Varies depending on projects.
What is your salary? nan
What is your level of satisfaction with your current job? High
What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job? Least enjoyable? Highly dynamic and fast paced. The consequences of my work become apparent in the real world very quickly.
What do you like most about your working environment? Dislike most? nan
What opportunities does your job provide to be creative and/or to take initiative? High level of independence in creativity and taking initiative.
How satisfied are you with your work-life balance in your current job? Very
How family-friendly is your current position? Very
What advice do you have for achieving work-life balance (including having a family)? You need to have clear expectations with your bosses about working hours and be able to bring it up with them if expectations are not met.
Do you still interact with people who work (directly) in astronomy and/or are you still involved in astronomy in some way? Yes
Were there any emotional difficulties or social consequences to your career choices? Do you have any advice for those who are thinking of switching careers, but are wary of the side effects? Just do it! There would be a small adjustment to the culture change but nothing that can’t be overcome with an open mind and a bit of effort.