Name: Vicente Martínez Redondo
Did PhD at: University of Barcelona, Spain
Current position: Research Scientist, Cepheid AB, Sweden
Interviewed by: Maria Manti
Vicente Martínez Redondo is Research Scientist at Cepheid AB since 2018, while he completed his postdoctoral studies at KI before starting the current position.
Looking back to when it all started, Vicente did his undergraduate and PhD studies in Barcelona, Spain. It was during his Master in experimental chemistry that he obtained his first laboratory experience. During that time, he was also introduced to many different labs, which opened the door to a PhD position in the same department.
He found research very exciting and he enjoyed working in the lab, so the search of postdoctoral studies during the final year of his PhD came as a natural choice. “The contacts and a good network helped me to find my postdoc supervisor”, he says. Vicente and his postdoc supervisor, Jorge Ruas, had common contacts, so Vicente was informed that Jorge was establishing his research group at KI. After a successful interview in Stockholm, Vicente took the decision to come to KI.
Challenges in academia
His postdoc lasted 6.5 years and looking back he feels very happy that he did it. Despite his love for research and his academic merits, the challenges to stay in academia were big. “It is becoming harder and harder to get to the top, as there are less opportunities to move forward in the academic ladder. The competition for researchers, especially the junior ones, is tremendous, and they even have to compete with those that are already further up”, he says. These challenges left him outside the academic ground, and that was the time when he started looking for job opportunities outside academia. He spent 6 months learning Swedish, expanding his network and applying for jobs. During that time, he also received guidance from Trygghetsstiftelsen, which helped him to shape his CV for industry and to search more effectively for jobs. Through LinkedIn, Vicente contacted people working at Cepheid AB, an in vitro diagnostic company in Stockholm, to express his interest in joining the company ranks.
“You should be brave and take the situation in your hands. We academics, tend sometimes to be shy”, he says.
He finally secured a position in Cepheid AB, where he nowadays performs his duties as research scientist.
Working environment outside academia
In his current job, he enjoys the numerous opportunities for career development, the security and a good balance between work and family. He also appreciates that the workflow is more structured, with shorter project time span and that his work has a more immediate impact on people’s health. Last but not least, Swedish is quite important in his current position as it is the language by which he communicates with his colleagues.
Problem-solving, scientific writing, along with some technical skills are a few transferable skills that he developed during his academic career and he is currently using.
For the end, I asked Vicente to share his piece of advice for PhD students:
– Research is tough. So always be nice to others and help each other
– Develop and learn new things
– Listen to different points of view
– Be proactive, focus on what you want, and don´t be shy to ask
Photo: Subject’s own, used with subject’s permission.
This career portrait was originally written for the PhD course “Career skills for scientists”, organized every spring by KI Career Service. As explained in the introduction post, all participants in the course interviewed PhD holders with an academic or a non-academic career. Keep an eye on the tags #careerportrait, #InsideAcademia and#OutsideAcademia listed below, for a selection of these portraits. Get inspired and learn more about your options for your post-PhD career!