Not only are our courses informed by our hands-on experiences working in diverse careers outside of academia (everything from HR/recruiting to biotech to Fortune 500 companies to young startups to consulting), we have also done extensive research to integrate all of the best practices and advice, from reading through 15+ job/career books for PhDs and beyond, taking multiple courses on business, and injecting the empathy and understanding we’ve provided through 5+ years of personal 1:1 job coaching PhDs like you into diverse careers that are a good fit for each person.
We’ve distilled down all of the root cause answers that you want, and with your investment in our Courses (and thus into Free the PhD as an organization), we can better help you with your career challenges as you tackle exploration, job applications, interview prep, support during the agonizing waiting and radio silences (which are guaranteed to happen to pretty much all of us at various times) and harrowing timelines of negotiating offers.
Check out our Courses and get more personalized support and guidance as you begin to tackle your career journey through each Aim. We include templates, guides and best practices, and you will not be on your own as you go through them! Our Advisors will check in on you and be there when you want to check in with a question, a red flag, or just to hear whether or not what’s happening is normal or not! We will consistently be adding new content and courses for getting started on the right foot once you start your new job!
When I was a graduate student, I felt the working world was totally out of my comprehension. I had no family members or friends who worked outside academia, so felt siloed and clueless about what was out there, and what job was right for me. While I had access to excellent career services programming, the things I felt the most frustrated with was that I received no context or reasons for all of the advice I got, so it was difficult to adapt what I was told to specific circumstances I ran into in my job search.
The perspective gained after beginning to work outside of academia has thrown all of the advice given to PhDs (and beyond) into the appropriate light. Now, so many things make sense about the advice, and now we want to pass that knowledge and perspective back to you, so you can skip the months (or years) of stumbling around trying to troubleshoot your job hunt without any feedback.
We get you, because we were there. Check us out with a week’s Free Trial, no strings attached. You deserve support from people who have been there and are in it to help change how the system trains PhDs, and how the job market values PhDs, one person and job offer at a time. Hope to see you there! – Vay
Free the PhD is an extremely helpful framework for PhDs thinking about transitioning into industries outside of academia. The modules are extremely well thought-out and provides actionable steps from exploring industry opportunities, forming connections, to writing an industry resume, applying to positions, going on interviews, and negotiating job offers. The platform also brings together PhDs actively looking for positions and PhDs in various industries to provide a supportive group during the transition period that further extends to working in the industry. Finally, Vania is extremely helpful and is always generous to share her ideas. I would recommend Free the PhD to anyone who is looking to transition or advance their careers.
I would say this is one of the best career development resources out there for PhDs/postdocs who are looking to move out of academia! Vay Cao (Free the PhD's founder) is amazing! She leaves no stone unturned when it comes to 1:1 mentoring, sharing ideas, keeping mentees motivated and providing perspectives from her own experiences. The FTP family is an amazing place to learn from fellow peers, mentors and mentees - each with their own inspirational stories, guidance and challenges. The educational materials in the platform are well thought out, directed and easy to understand for first timers going through the process of networking, resume building, interviews, negotiations and signing the offer. I wish Vay and FTP all the best for their growth. Keep up the great work! Highly recommended for any PhDs/postdocs who need that special 1:1 mentorship, together with a family that will support you through thick and thin. Trust me, you won't feel alone.
Joining the Free the Phd community was a monumental stepping stone in my career outside academia. I joined Free the PhD while I was writing up my PhD thesis, because I needed mentorship and guidance to transition into an industry job that aligns with my particular career aspirations. Free the PhD’s courses, that include, how to find the job, how to land the job, CV templates, how to network, informational interviews, how to prep for the interview, and how to negotiate your salary and contract, were invaluable. All are skills that I will use in the future. Vay Cao (Free the PhD’s Founder), was extremely attentive, understanding and provided great advice and mentorship. Advice that not only helped land a job in a startup compony, but she also helped me negotiate my initial salary and contract. Free the PhD mentors give advise that is spot on! The mentors’ personal and professional experience as PhD graduates that transitioned into an industry job (into different areas or departments) will help you understand how industry works depending from all aspects. I look forward to continue to be part of the Free the PhD community!
I first found Free the PhD through a Beyond Academia conference at UC Berkeley. I attended Vay's workshop, which was extremely well done. She had hit on the problem many PhDs have: decoding job ads and descriptions. She has developed a methodology for wading through the vagueness so that we can write better resumes and cover letters. I joined Free the PhD and found it a unique service among other similar approaches-I really enjoyed the online community and it is frankly an excellent value for the low monthly fee. Vay has developed a curriculum that is very useful and which I incorporated into my application materials. More than anything, Vay and folks at Free the PhD help give shape to imagining what a post-degree career future can look like-something that often seems insurmountable.