Wednesday, July 13, 2016

CIERA REU Career Panel Discussion

By Aaron Geller

Aaron Geller is director of the Northwestern CIERA REU program and an NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow (AAPF) jointly appointed at Northwestern and the Adler Planetarium.  In addition to his REU/EPO activities, Aaron develops astronomy visualizations and researches star clusters and stellar evolution. His interests include dynamics in a star cluster environment and the binary and multiple stars and planetary systems that live inside, and how star clusters contribute to the production of exotic systems.  

Continuing our annual tradition, Northwestern University's CIERA Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) program hosted a live, online Career Panel discussion last week for our summer undergraduate researchers, hosted by the director of the CIERA REU program, Aaron Geller. The archived video can be found here:

Astronomers develop an incredibly useful (and employable!) set of skills while pursuing their degree and research interests. The latest stats indicate that while ~75% of recent astronomy Ph.D.s accepted a postdoc position, over 80% eventually pursue careers outside the tenure track faculty route.  

Similar to last year, one theme running through this panel discussion was the transference of skills and knowledge obtained during our panelists' Ph.D. to their current jobs, and what opportunities students should pursue during graduate school to prepare themselves for the range of careers available. 

Melissa Nysewander - Director of Data Science at Fidelity Investments
Leslie Sage - Senior Editor, Physical Sciences, Nature
Colette Salyk - Faculty Vassar College
Francesca Valsecci - Data Scientist / Consultant at Clarity Solution Group
Eric Wilcots - Faculty/Dean University of Wisconsin - Madison