What happens after MTLS?
Have you ever wondered about the possibilities after graduating from MLTS? I interviewed the 6 ever first MTLS graduated students what they are doing now, almost one year after finishing the Master.
When Quentin moved from France to Stockholm, 3 years ago, to start the MTLS Master, he already knew he wanted to go for a Ph.D. afterward. However, by the end of the Master, he had his doubts because finding a Ph.D. position can be quite challenging. He started to search and apply for positions all around Scandinavia, with a special aim in Stockholm and Copenhagen and this process brought him to a couple of interviews. He is now a Ph.D. student at the University of Copenhagen working on sequencing analysis of transcription in plants. His project involves both bioinformatics and wet lab.
When I asked him what advice he would give to future MTLS students, he answered that the topic of your Master Thesis is very important, because he realized that his Master Thesis was the reason why he got to the interviews.
Sarah came all the way from California to study MTLS and she is currently a research assistant in Lucie Delemotte’s lab, at SciLife Lab. She is working on a bioinformatics-based project making use of Molecular Dynamics and Drug Docking. Their work focuses on studying sodium channels in insects to try to understand what insecticides affect them and how they can be better designed to fight resistances in certain bugs.
Unlike Quentin, Sarah didn’t realize she wanted to do a Ph.D. until recently: the project in which she is involved right now gave her the motivation for pursuing doctoral studies.
Sarah’s tips after graduation are to keep an eye out for scholarships applications and “don’t be too hard on yourself in looking for a job”. It will eventually happen, you just have to be patient and “keep in mind what really motivates you!” For example, Sarah has realized she wants to continue in the computational field in her future, even if it means she will have a lot more to learn!
After graduating from the Master, Dorines went back to her homeland, Portugal for some months. For her, it was important to take a break from the studies and figure her mind. She had time to think about what really motivates and drives her allowing to accordingly orientate her job applications. She recently came back to Stockholm with a Research Assistant position at KTH, in the same lab where she did her Master Thesis. And what is even better, she just got a Ph.D. position within that group and it is partly in Stockholm and partly at Kings’s College in London!
Dorines realized she wanted to go on with doctoral studies during her Master Thesis because she had the opportunity to work on something that she finds herself very interested in understanding. Her number one tip for future graduated Master students is to “take time to understand what you really want to do”. Don’t be scared to take a breather when you are not sure about which path to follow.
And the other half…
Another graduate student is doing a Ph.D. and the other two are working for private companies in industry/pharmaceutics.
Doing some statistics (even if the sample number is too low!), 4 out of 6 graduated students went for a Ph.D. so they will stay in academia at least for the next 3 or 4 years.
This shows that MTLS prepares future graduates very well for a Ph.D. in the biomedical and/or bioengineering field, thanks to the combined skills we learn in both biomedicine and bioinformatics. Being able to both run your own experiments in the wet lab and afterward analyze your own data is something PIs appreciate a lot. Not to mention when you are even able to write a program for the analysis itself!
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