What skills do I need to become a consultant?

I recently transitioned from academia to industry. I was a Ph.D. student in particle astrophysics and now I am a senior consultant.

I am really enjoying being in industry and would like to address this question that I have been asked by Ph.D. students and postdocs:

What skills do I need to become a consultant?


Dear workaholic | Work-life balance | Learn from Libra

Dear workaholic, this post is for you. 

I have timed it with the month of October - the month of Librans.


Getting into graduate school | How many and which schools I applied to | Dealing with rejection

Applying to graduate schools is an exercise in several things: paying tons of application fees, playing the waiting game, and dealing with rejection.

For who knows what reason, schools will reject you but the great thing is you only need to get into one!

I share the story of my grad school applications in this post.

Special hot chocholate
When you get rejected, there is always hot chocolate 💛 When will extra whipped cream come in handy?  

Thinking of your PhD as the business you cannot allow to fail

Every Ph.D. candidate thinks about quitting. It's OK. 

What helped me finish mine was to act like a business owner. 

On the way to graduation
On the way to graduation!

My academic journey through Taylor Swift songs | Just for fun | Goodbye, academia

I was 11 when I decided that I wanted to be a physicist. 

I learned that rest and motion were relative and that the grand unified theory still needed a lot of help.


in Antarctica for blog how to phd
On one of my best days on the journey

Welcome to How to PhD | New member orientation | Thanks for being here!

Welcome to How to PhD! I am so excited to see you here!

In this post, I will quickly go over the How to PhD website so you know what is available to you.

Plus, I will catch you up on the content that has been posted already!


By the Colorado river for blog How to PhD
By the Colorado river :) I 💙 water and rocks

How to add value when sending a LinkedIn connection request | Networking | Job search

Need a job? You have probably heard that it's all about who you know. 

Let's make you more friends on LinkedIn!

By the Cape Fear river for blog How to PhD
By the Cape Fear river :)

What is particle astrophysics?

Particle astrophysics is astrophysics studied with particles other than light.

When it comes to traveling the largest cosmic distances at the highest energies, light is not the most reliable messenger of astrophysics.


astrophysical messengers
Astrophysical messengers. Pictures are all borrowed from Fermi, IceCube and LIGO collaborations, and the Internet.

Why adding value is the best thing to do | Giving mode | Job search | Networking

Everyone who is anyone will tell you to add value first when job searching and networking.

The idea is that you reach out to people and instead of asking them to do things for you, you add value to their lives. 


visiting Colorado blog how to phd
This is in Colorado! I 💜 mountains

Story of a terrible phone screen and the mistake on a cover letter that you cannot afford

I share the cover letter I wrote for a job where I got the phone screen, had a terrible experience and did not get the job.

Although not directly related to the terrible experience, I point out the mistake in my cover letter that I have since learned to avoid at all cost.


Waiting for my flight to Antarctica
I don't have too many pics where I look sad - here, my flight to Antarctica was delayed!


Learning to not take criticism personally

Learning to not take criticism personally is one of the most liberating and productive things you can do for yourself and your career.

In grad school, I learned how to take criticism for what it is.


On top of Ob Hill, McMurdo Station How to PhD
On top of Ob Hill, Antarctica!

How to poster | Research poster template | Goals of a poster

If you have to put together a research poster presentation and haven't done one yet, it is way easier to start from a template.

In this post, I share a research poster presentation template using PowerPoint.


At a poster presentation how to phd
During a poster competition in college - I won the first prize :)

What's a good school for astrophysics?

I get this question from prospective college students:

What's a good school for astrophysics?


at an outreach event oindree banerjee how to phd
At an elementary school for an outreach event during college!

How to write a research statement for a postdoc fellowship

In this post, I share the research statement I wrote to become a finalist in a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship competition. 

At the time of the application, I did not have any main-author papers published yet but some in the pipeline.

View of San Francisco from Alcatraz How to PhD Oindree Banerjee
San Francisco viewed from Alcatraz - cuz why not

How to thesis | LaTeX template | Figures, tables, and equations

In this post, I provide LaTeX templates for figures, tables, and equations by sharing contents from a few chapters of my Ph.D. thesis. 

Template for a figure, group of figures, figures using subfloat, tables, and equations are provided below!


at my phd graduation how to phd oindree banerjee
At graduation - with my advisor and PhD sibling!

LaTeX resume template | One-page resume | PhD resume

I provide a one-page resume template in this post.

In LaTeX!


Since it's late and I need to use a pic here

How to make a superconductor in two easy steps

Today I am sharing how I made a superconductor in college.

It was for a class - senior lab - and I ended up having way too much fun as always.


Chemistry of making YBCO! Blog How to PhD by Oindree Banerjee

Cover letter that led to postdoc interview at MIT

Sending out postdoc applications and some of them require a cover letter?

Been there. I will keep it real as always and share with you the cover letter I wrote for a postdoc application at MIT - where I got the interview and had loads of fun visiting!


mirror selfie at the hotel before the interview at MIT oindree banerjee how to phd cover letter mit
Mirror selfie at the hotel before my interview. It was February and I was COLD in just that jacket. Don't take Boston lightly. Everrrr.

How much crying is normal?

I saw this question on Reddit under the GradSchool subreddit. 

How much crying is normal?


swimming how to phd blog oindree banerjee how much crying is normal

My statement of purpose from a successful graduate school application

In this post, I am sharing my statement of purpose from a successful graduate school application.

I wrote it over 5 years ago, so I definitely cringe at a few things now, but hey, it got the job done and I am still rather proud of it. 


oindree banerjee at her college graduation at nc state on blog how to phd write a statement of purpose for graduate school
The author of the example SOP in this post, that is, me 5 years ago ;)

How much do graduate students get paid as stipend?

Question from an undergraduate student:


How much do graduate students get paid as a stipend?


at my desk during my PhD oindree banerjee how to phd blog how much do graduate students get paid as stipend?
Just a day in grad school - I was cold!

Should I stay longer and make sure the paper gets published?

Question from a PhD student:


I want to transition to industry as a research scientist. 

I have one protocol paper accepted, one second-author paper, and one first-author paper that is not yet submitted.

I am worried as my advisor wants to add more data to the first-author paper before submitting, and it keeps getting delayed. 

Now he wants me to stay as a postdoc to finish it.

My advisor knows I want to transition to industry.

Should I stay longer and make sure the first-author paper gets published?


oindree banerjee at phd graduation pic for blog how to phd should I stay longer and make sure the paper gets published
This is at my graduation, but I think I could pass as an agony aunt here

Free food in graduate school and what I learned from it

In graduate school, my office was on the third floor of the physics research building.

There was a big atrium in the middle of the building on the ground floor. 

There was a seminar room adjacent to it - this was where many events took place.

Events that generated FREE FOOD.


picture of plate of food by oindree banerjee for blog how to phd free food in graduate school and what I learned from it
No, this is NOT free food, just a pic I took and decided to use for this post

What happened when I joined the Cheeky Scientist Association

I sat in the dark in my bathroom.

It was late one night in November of 2017.

I was worried about my future.

What was my future?


what happened when I joined cheeky scientist association blog how to phd oindree banerjee
Photo credit: Linda Cremonesi, a postdoc at University College London

How to finish your PhD and graduate in a timely manner

So you started a Ph.D. Great!

You are doing lots of research, or maybe you are burned out. Either is understandable.

Maybe your advisor loves you and wants you around forever.

Or maybe they hate you and don't want to support you in any way. 

Or maybe they ignore you... a lot. 

Whatever the situation, it is in YOUR best interest to finish your Ph.D. in an (at least somewhat) timely manner.

But how?


picture of me Oindree Banerjee at my graduation ceremony used on blog post how to finish your phd and graduate on blog how to phd
At my graduation!

What next list compiled for summer science camp graduates

Interested in community outreach?

In this post, I share materials from an outreach effort that I have been part of for some years.

ASPIRE is a science workshop for high school women.

At the end of the camp, we like to address the question:

What next?
picture of recommended books including particle physics by griffiths and others for blog how to phd

How to thesis: Free LaTeX template and note on Overleaf

While writing your Ph.D. thesis, the last thing you want to worry about is - the writing part! 

You are doing a million things - finishing your projects, training the new grad student(s), looking for a job, maybe teaching..!

You are not about to lose your mind. You have lost it a while ago. 

Fighting with LaTeX cannot be your problem right now. 

I more than understand. So, I share in this post my LaTeX thesis template for you to grab and start using.


An example of text using LaTeX showing Chapter 1 Exciting astrophysics happen far, far away


Summary of my PhD thesis and link to the full text

I am happy to report that I finished my Ph.D. a few days ago! My defense is done and the thesis submitted. 

So now I have a final draft of the thesis and share the short version/conclusions as well as a link to the full text in this post. 

Picture of Ob Hill in McMurdo, Antarctica. Taken during hikes in Antarctica where I was working on the experiment for my PhD.
I climbed Ob Hill (Antarctica) a few times during my Ph.D. so here is a glimpse of that

How to successfully defend your PhD thesis

A Ph.D. defense is one of those things that one can never feel prepared enough for because usually, it is the first time one is doing it! 
I go over mine here, having successfully defended my doctoral thesis in particle astrophysics a little over 48 hours ago.


Title slide of my defense talk. It says Studies in particle astrophysics with the ANITA experiment. Shows my name Oindree Banerjee, school name Ohio State University, the date July 12 2018


Establishing a diverse and inclusive workplace

I attended the panel discussion on "Best Practices for Establishing a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace" at the American Physical Society's April Meeting this year.

I felt that it was important that the discussion we had reaches a wider audience, hence this post!


picture showing a diversity of flowers, taken in London, UK by Oindree Banerjee

4 ways to help you decide which graduate school to choose

Got into multiple graduate schools and can't decide which one to go to? 

Congratulations!! That's a great problem to have.

Here are 4 ways to help you choose a grad school!


picture by oindree banerjee taken at windsor palace, used in blog how to phd, 4 ways to help you decide which graduate school to choose

Answers to 8 FAQs about doing graduate school applications

Determined to go to graduate school, but not looking forward to all those graduate school applications you have to work on?

Here are answers to 8 FAQs about doing grad school applications, plus an example SOP!


university college london oindree banerjee photo, how to phd blog, answers to 8 faqs about doing graduate school applications

7 reasons why TA-ing is good for you

Worried that TA-ing will set you back in classes and/or research? Disappointed about not getting that department fellowship? 

Don't worry, be happy! 

TA-ing will make you a BETTER, not worse, graduate student. You will be MORE successful, not less. 

Here are 7 reasons why: 


reasons why TA-ing or teaching is good for you, ohio state university picture by oindree banerjee

10 tips on giving a great talk

Getting ready to give your first talk? Or just looking to improve your game a bit? I have compiled 10 tips in this post :)


london stage st martins theater performance photo by oindree banerjee, used in blog how to phd, tips on giving a great talk

31 things to pack for your Antarctic expedition

Does your Ph.D. involve an expedition to Antarctica? Mine did. Or, maybe you are just curious. 

I share 31 items to pack if you have to take a trip to the bottom of the planet, along with tips on the essentials for the trip and a very important note on hikes that could save your life!


On an Antarctic expedition to launch physics balloon mission ANITA for PhD, picture of oindree banerjee, used in blog how to phd, things to pack for your antarctic expedition

How to break up with your advisor

Feeling unhappy and lost? It might be time to break up with your advisor and go back to dating! 

A Ph.D. is a long-term commitment (longer than many marriages), you might need to date for a bit to understand what works for you. 

Which is totally fine, I promise, as long as you follow ONE golden rule:


Photo taken in Bath, UK during collaborative research visit during my PhD, used in blog how to break up with your advisor, shows a bridge


How to succeed in the PhD candidacy exam

Worrying about your Ph.D. candidacy exam (prelim)? 

Been there, and here to help! 

I will cover everything from what is candidacy and what a first-year grad student should focus on, to what to do on the day of your oral exam.


My son Fuji who happens to be a cat, studying from my lab notebook during my PhD, pictures used in blog how to phd, How to succeed in the PhD candidacy exam


How to finish your PhD and graduate in a timely manner

So you started a Ph.D. Great! You are doing lots of research, or maybe you are burned out. Either is understandable. Maybe your a...