Jason McSheene

An Outlet for Thoughts, Ideas, and Discussion

Month – April 2014

Format Change, But Don’t Worry

I have not updated in a bit but I am definitely not sorry about it! There have been great triumphs in the last couple of months that I’d love to discuss:

1) I began wrapping up experiments and have since had my final committee meeting. The committee (i.e. the professors who help me throughout my grad school experience) have agreed that I can defend my thesis and graduate at some point in early September! As such, I’ve been running around scheming how to finish collecting and analyzing the

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data I need to in order to submit my first-authored paper.

2) I launched a podcast and associated website called PhDinProgress.com . This has personally been very challenging for me. I have been a life-long radio fan and it’s almost mind blowing that I can now record an episode each day from my own apartment. Podcasting has made this possible. What is the most challenging is putting together formats for each episode and practicing my public speaking. I am in no way a natural speaker: I stumble over my words often and am not the most eloquent. However, this venture outside of my comfort zone has already proven very helpful in my personal growth.

3) Finally, I have seriously begun my career search. Part of this has been chronicled in the PhD (in Progress) Podcast but much of it will remain private until the search is done. Regardless, I look forward to what my life has in store for me. I’ve spent 22+ years in school, so I’m very ready for the next chapter. I am also ready for this new job to be yet another opportunity for me to grow professionally and personally.


Because of all of these factors, I decided that this blog will become more of personal blog for my friends, family, and those who share my mindset or are interested in my views. The professional/career growth material will be shared on PhDinProgress.com , where you can also find my podcast. The contents of this blog will likely be migrated to JasonMcSheene.com as a dedicated site to my thoughts and interests of all sorts. There I will keep track of my personal PhD experience, personal anecdotes, and commentary on different religions/faiths which I am learning about (one of my favorite topics)! I’m excited, so pardon the dust as things begin to move around and migrate. It’ll be worth it.




A Response to the “Fear of Becoming ‘Nonacademic'” post

Our friend Fatimah PhD (see: Podcast Episode 2 and BeyondTheTenureTrack.com) sent in a great response to my Fear of Becoming “Nonacademic” post. She says:

The fear of losing your academic identity is one of the biggest challenges of considering a nonacademic career. Who will I become? How will people know how awesome and accomplished I am if I don’t tell them about my degree and research? What else can I lead with when introducing myself?Even for an avid networker like myself [more…] this question tripped me up for some time and still catches me off guard in some situations.

No one is really defined by one thing. I work as a management consultant but I also coach PhDs on professional development and career planning.

One of my colleagues is a tenure track professor and runs a nonprofit organization that promotes the health of girls in urban communities. One of my mentors, a PhD in Engineering, is a CEO of a billion dollar national consulting firm, a published author, and a public speaker. No one is doing just one thing anymore. It’s liberating!

Find the top 2-3 ways you want to be positioned in the world. For example, mine are project manager, practicing academic, and PhD Career Coach. I choose which of these to lead with depending on the environment I am in and who I want to attract to me in my networking. As conversation deepens I talk more about other areas of my profile, as pertinent.

In Episode 3, we will discuss some of our personal “2-3 ways [we] want to be positioned in the world” and what we are doing to get there. What are some of your goals for your next job. Let us know by sending a message to feedback@PhDinProgress.com


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