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Communications PhD to Writer, Director & Producer – Annika Hylmö, PhD

Dr. Annika Hylmö did not start her educational path in Communications specifically to do a PhD, but her desire to continue learning and satisfy her intellectual curiosity drove her to pursue her Ph.D. in Communications from Purdue University. Her expertise in storytelling and connecting with people informed her dissertation work, revolving around a very salient and timely topic – remote work.  She researched and conducted interviews on the experiences and challenges of telecommuting within the government employment space.

Listen to Dr. Annika Hylmö’s engaging career transition story, where she explains how seemingly taking a step back – purposefully – can end up creating the foundations for making a leap forward in your career and life!


Dr. Hylmö’s Biography and her original Intellectual Comedy Short, “Psychicologist”:

Annika Hylmö, Ph.D. fell in love with movies at an early age when she saw Pippi Longstocking and old movies by Charlie Chaplin on the big screen. Her love of stories led her to a doctorate in Communication, or Storytelling, researching movies starring teenaged girls followed by consulting work. Annika worked at the American Film Institute’s Conservatory where she conducted program reviews to ensure that the school continued to achieve its goals of excellence in filmmaking. She is currently involved with a number of projects in the entertainment industry, including coproducing Academy Award nominated Daniel Raim’s upcoming documentary IMAGE MAKERS: THE ADVENTURES OF AMERICA’S PIONEER CINEMATOGRAPHERS and creating a nonprofit for the Harold and Lilian Michelson Research Library. Annika’s short film PSYCHICOLOGIST, about a psychology graduate student who runs into an unexpected teacher in a psychic puppet, is currently funding and in preproduction.



You can support Annika, a fellow PhD outside academia, by checking out her project, supporting the project, and spreading the word! In addition, you can reach Annika on her website:


By Vay Cao, Ph.D.


Got questions or comments, or aspire towards a similar career path but unsure how to get started?  We’ve helped PhDs like you to land research, consulting, science communication, commercial, and client facing jobs with step-by-step, realistic guidance, based on our first-hand experience working away from the bench.  Join our Free the PhD Careers Community for personalized help with your resume, networking, interviewing and skill-building to find a life you love outside academia! 


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