Dan Segal

What is your current position, and what do you do?
Health Care Consultant - Health Business Group

What made you decide not to pursue/to leave research?
I started my PhD in my late 20s - My PhD research did not work out, and the prospects then of getting a job were slim had I reworked the thesis. Most postdoc positions were age-limited, and I was already close to the limit, so reworking it meant I was out of range. While not my preference, I had to leave to find a job. 

How did you transition into this current role from a science degree?
Worked in banking for many years, then co-founded a neuroscience start-up, and then recently my current role.

How have you used the skills/knowledge that you acquired, from studying science, in your current role?
Science - pervades everything in a world that is technology-dominated. In banking, I worked during the time of the privatisation of the Telco sectors globally, and my science training helped me have no fear about the transitions happening. Same applied to all else I have done – not to mention how it dictates how you think.

What has been your biggest challenge, career-wise?
Doing a start-up, and all that is entailed in commercialising science (very tough, and it still needs much education on both sides).

What achievement are you most proud of?
Doing this start-up, and completing a BSc Honours year, after initially working as an accountant.

What are your interests outside of work?
Currently revisiting doing my PhD – I have a supervisor, but not yet enrolled.

What advice would you give to students starting their science careers?
This is a big topic. May sound trite, but if possible only do what you enjoy as you have to spend a lot of time at work - whether science or something else. While there are exceptions, most careers I know have a random walk element in them. Need to be flexible, and critically need to find good mentors to help you on the way.

Is there anything you would like to share?
We need as many honest productive scientists as we can get.

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