We organized a panel with successful industry-based engineers to provide insight into starting a career outside of academia with an advanced degree. Our panel consisting of John Kasab from Innovations at Ricardo, Mary Kinsella from the Air Force Research Laboratory, Britta Jost from Caterpillar, and Kim Groshek from GC-Strategies discussed with attendees their personal paths to their current positions. Britta Jost emphasized the importance of interning during graduate school to have a leg up when applying to industry positions. All the panelists agreed that attending and networking at large conferences, such as SWE, is a great way to receive more information on companies that interest you and to get your name out there. Kim Groshek stated to never hesitate in introducing yourself to someone new and was able to have lunch with a CEO of a successful, large company just by introducing herself! The process of transitioning from academics to industry appears tricky, but it is possible to parlay your research experience to an interesting and successful career outside academia.
Elly Sinkala and Courtney Shell