When you are finishing your PhD, you have a lot of things in your mind: your final exam, all the paperwork, what are you going to do with your life… but it is especially complicated if you are also thinking to move to another place (outside your known world, in my case, as a non-UK/EU Citizen).
I completed my PhD in Biomedical Sciences in Chile (at Universidad de Chile) and I decided to take a postdoctoral position in Europe, specifically in England, because I thought it could give me better opportunities. So, when you are in my circumstances, you know that there are a lot of things to do.
For example, besides the (already) complicated things like having a strong publication record, you also need other stuff. In my case, because my native language is Spanish, I needed an English test, like IELTS (academic version, required for visa paperwork), and if you are not good on that, you should practice… a lot.
But one of the most important things to do is to build a new network. When you are in your Alma Mater, you probably are known for a lot of researchers that can give you good references. However, if you come from a very far or not well known place, like Chile, perhaps their references will not be so useful here.
Fortunately, when I was finishing my PhD, I did an internship in London, so I met a few researchers and that was my first step to get a reference in UK. Obviously, if you already completed your PhD and therefore, you cannot do an internship, you still can write emails, go to meetings (here or in your country with other researchers) and make connections (my next step).
So, in this moment, I am in London as a tourist, waiting for my grade (the PhD certificate) and collecting all the information that I can about job searching, postdoctoral position, how to make a good cover letter and a good CV (British format). You can find very interesting information relating to these topics in “Career Advice” (Cover Letter / CV)
Finally, in my later posts I hope to talk about this journey, about what I did, what I need to do, what I learnt, hoping that it will be useful for someone, and waiting for more tips… (certainly, you can add more information, so please comment below!)
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