Episode S1.1 (Part 1) : A career journey from PhD to Banking and AI Research

Welcome to the Episode 1-part 1 of STEM Professionals Chat!

In this episode, we are bringing you a conversation with our guest Dr. Harshvardhan Khare, where we discussed his unique career transitions from studying plant biology to pursuing a Ph.D. in structural biology to working as a data scientist in “Citi Bank” to now acting as a connectomics & machine learning post-doctoral fellow. We explored Harshvarshan’s career journey with special emphasis on understanding his own thought processes key challenges & learnings behind each transition and along the journey for him. The host for this interview were Dr. Deepak Iyer  & Dr. Rasika Hudlikar.

We talked about all of the following and so much more…

  1. What were the key factors that influenced his early career choices?
  2. What were some responses from family members & peers community upon making such career transitions?
  3. How did colleagues & mentors influence his career transitions and trajectories?

Key learnings

  1. How to identify the challenges and create opportunities out of them?
  2. How to plan for unique career transitions? Specific strategies
  3. What are the key mantras for planning transition?

About Dr. Harshvardhan Khare

Dr. Harshvardhan Khare is a postdoctoral fellow in the area of connectomics & machine learning at Institut Pasteur, Paris, France. He started his journey with a B.Sc. in Plant Sciences and earned a master’s in bioinformatics. Later, he graduated with a Ph.D. degree from the Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), India, where he worked on computational analysis of protein folding and X-ray crystallography.  Post his doctoral studies, he undertook an interesting career transition, that is, working in Citibank as a ‘Data Scientist’ to build predictive models using customer’s financial data, a fairly rare career path for a person with a biology background.

Video Interview on YouTube

Listen Podcast

Harsh’s tips for successful career!

Whatever comes your way, if you are adaptable and flexible enough to learn new things and be appropriate for the situation, you should be able to do that.

Everyone has something unique to give to others, if we are receptive to it. They will have different opinions which may or may not resonate with ours. We need to take the contradicting points plainly and understand them with the least bias. Most of the time different points of view are useful.

Understanding the domain is going to be challenging but once you do, you will be able to use your own methods and you can find what else can be done in the field. This will make things more interesting. Adaptability and additional efforts for understanding the domain are always challenging in transitioning.

Being receptive to new ideas and peers is important. You need to learn or adapt to work with a team. There are limits to what one person can do. I know, some people can do everything on their own, but everyone cannot!

Never fixate on any goal. Invest in the process of it, and the goal became a consequence. Rather than going in pursuit of consequence, just focus on the process. The consequence is because of the process, not the other way around.

Thank you, Harsh!

If you enjoyed this interview with our guest, let them know by clicking the link below and leaving them a message on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/harshavardhankhare/

Did you enjoy STEM Professionals Chat? Leave us a comment here with your Twitter/LinkedIN handle so, we can thank you personally!

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