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Opportunities for Life After PhD
How to Embrace Uncertainty
Juuso Parkkinen, PhD - @ouzor
Senior Data Scientist, Nightinga...
My career in a nutshell
• MSc in bioinformation
technology (HUT / Aalto)
• PhD in bioinformatics and
machine learning (Aal...
Life After PhD is uncertain
4
Academic career?
• PhD training mostly prepares you
for a tenure track - yet most of you
will not get a permanent position...
6
https://www.nature.com/news/many-junior-scientists-need-to-take-a-hard-look-at-their-job-prospects-1.22879
Preparing for an uncertain future
7
How to prepare?
1. Accept and embrace the uncertainty
2. Recognize things in your PhD training
that help in facing uncerta...
Accept and embrace uncertainty!
• There are no safe jobs anymore –
stop planning and start learning
an entrepreneurial min...
My road to the sexiest job of the 21st century*
• Data science: mixing computer science and statistics to solve real probl...
• Trying, failing, and trying again
• Tackling big problems systematically
• Accepting ignorance and asking
questions
• Re...
12
Research is uncertain – you are used to it!
Some personal learnings
• My PhD time feels like a series of failures – after some time I
have started to learn from those...
Reach out
• Make yourself exposed to good opportunities.
• Make your work visible: Write a blog, code stuff, whatever - be...
My hobby: open data
• Blogging
• Open source programming
• The Open Knowledge community
• Blogs: https://louhos.github.io/...
• Agility - learn to fail fast
• Respect other people – it’s all about team work
• Low hierarchy, freedom & responsibility...
How to benefit form uncertainty?
17
Uncertainty makes you ask important questions!
18
What the world needs?
• Try to see your expertise in a broader context.
• Identify important trends and grand challenges t...
• Global cost of diabetes estimated to be 1.3
trillion USD in 2015.
• More accurate data is needed to improve
prediction a...
NMR-based metabolic profiling platform
One sample One test Comprehensive metabolic profile
14 lipoprotein
subclasses
Apolip...
Better decision-making tools
Type 2 diabetes risk
Current risk level
Glutamine Alanine
High
5542
Jun 12 Aug 2 Dec 11
Heart...
23
We are hiring!
https://nightingalehealth.com/company/join
Recap
• Embrace uncertainty
• Make your work visible
• Be ready for opportunities
24
www.nightingale.health
Opportunities for Life After PhD
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Opportunities for Life After PhD

Presentation at Helsinki Life Science Day in November, 2017. Event link: http://www.helsinki.fi/health/PhD_Day2017/program.html

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Opportunities for Life After PhD

  1. 1. Opportunities for Life After PhD How to Embrace Uncertainty Juuso Parkkinen, PhD - @ouzor Senior Data Scientist, Nightingale Health - @NgaleHealth Helsinki Life Science Day, November 9, 2017 2
  2. 2. My career in a nutshell • MSc in bioinformation technology (HUT / Aalto) • PhD in bioinformatics and machine learning (Aalto) • Data Scientist (consultant) at Reaktor • Now: Data Scientist at Nightingale Health 3
  3. 3. Life After PhD is uncertain 4
  4. 4. Academic career? • PhD training mostly prepares you for a tenure track - yet most of you will not get a permanent position in academia. • Many of you will have to find alternative career paths, also outside academia. • You will thus face a lot of uncertainty about the future. 5
  5. 5. 6 https://www.nature.com/news/many-junior-scientists-need-to-take-a-hard-look-at-their-job-prospects-1.22879
  6. 6. Preparing for an uncertain future 7
  7. 7. How to prepare? 1. Accept and embrace the uncertainty 2. Recognize things in your PhD training that help in facing uncertainty 3. Reach out to the real world 8
  8. 8. Accept and embrace uncertainty! • There are no safe jobs anymore – stop planning and start learning an entrepreneurial mind-set! • You can’t figure out the future. • Learn to be good with discomfort and uncertainty. • Be ready for opportunities. 9
  9. 9. My road to the sexiest job of the 21st century* • Data science: mixing computer science and statistics to solve real problems with data. • In high-school I hated statistics and didn’t know how to program. • My skills and interests grew gradually, together. *Harvard Business Review 2012: Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century 10
  10. 10. • Trying, failing, and trying again • Tackling big problems systematically • Accepting ignorance and asking questions • Respecting science and the scientific method • Continuous learning • Writing and presenting 11 PhD training makes you good at
  11. 11. 12 Research is uncertain – you are used to it!
  12. 12. Some personal learnings • My PhD time feels like a series of failures – after some time I have started to learn from those. • In consulting, I was able to quickly engage in new projects and business domains. • Collaboration in research taught me to describe my work in common language. • I ask a lot of questions without shame. 13
  13. 13. Reach out • Make yourself exposed to good opportunities. • Make your work visible: Write a blog, code stuff, whatever - be creative! • Visit events and talk to people (outside your bubbles). • Educate yourself broadly: read books, news, blogs. • These will help in your academic career as well! 14
  14. 14. My hobby: open data • Blogging • Open source programming • The Open Knowledge community • Blogs: https://louhos.github.io/, https://ouzor.github.io/ 15
  15. 15. • Agility - learn to fail fast • Respect other people – it’s all about team work • Low hierarchy, freedom & responsibility • Common sense https://www.reaktor.com/cases/city-of-helsinki/ 16 Key learnings from Reaktor
  16. 16. How to benefit form uncertainty? 17
  17. 17. Uncertainty makes you ask important questions! 18
  18. 18. What the world needs? • Try to see your expertise in a broader context. • Identify important trends and grand challenges that you can contribute to. 19 “The challenges posed in the twenty-first century by the merger of infotech and biotech are arguably bigger than those thrown up by steam engines, railways, electricity and fossil fuels.” – Yval Noah Harari https://www.nature.com/news/reboot-for-the-ai-revolution-1.22826
  19. 19. • Global cost of diabetes estimated to be 1.3 trillion USD in 2015. • More accurate data is needed to improve prediction and prevention of chronic diseases. • At Nightingale Health, we are tackling this problem with the help of our novel blood analysis technology. 20 Solving chronic diseases https://nightingalehealth.com/news/a-beginners-guide-to-nightingales-technology
  20. 20. NMR-based metabolic profiling platform One sample One test Comprehensive metabolic profile 14 lipoprotein subclasses Apolipoproteins Phospholipids Cholesterol Ketone bodies Fluid balance Amino acids Particle size Fatty acid saturation Fatty acids Inflammation Glycolysis-related measures
  21. 21. Better decision-making tools Type 2 diabetes risk Current risk level Glutamine Alanine High 5542 Jun 12 Aug 2 Dec 11 Heart disease risk Current risk level Phenylalanine Omega-6 FA Moderate 2.280 Jun 12 Aug 2 Dec 11 Total fatty acids 72% of people in your reference group have higher values Alanine 51% of people in your reference group have higher values Tyrosine 21% of people in your reference group have higher values Glutamine 8% of people in your reference group have higher values Healthcare professional use Type 2 diabetes risk Heart disease risk Underlying data Type 2 diabetes risk Current risk level Glutamine Alanine High 5542 Jun 12 Aug 2 Dec 11 Type 2 diabetes risk Current risk level Glutamine Alanine High 5542 Jun 12 Aug 2 Dec 11 Type 2 diabetes risk Current risk level Glutamine Alanine High 5542 Jun 12 Aug 2 Dec 11 Heart disease risk Current risk level Phenylalanine Omega-6 FA Moderate 2.280 Jun 12 Aug 2 Dec 11 Total fatty acids 72% of people in your reference group have higher values Alanine 51% of people in your reference group have higher values Tyrosine 21% of people in your reference group have higher values Glutamine 8% of people in your reference group have higher values *Concept example
  22. 22. 23 We are hiring! https://nightingalehealth.com/company/join
  23. 23. Recap • Embrace uncertainty • Make your work visible • Be ready for opportunities 24
  24. 24. www.nightingale.health

Presentation at Helsinki Life Science Day in November, 2017. Event link: http://www.helsinki.fi/health/PhD_Day2017/program.html

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