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Community spotlight: David Mendes da Silva

As part of our community spotlight series you might have seen on LinkedIn and our other socials we interviewed David Mendes da Silva about his transition from graduate school to co-founder of a communication agency, and producer and host of the Papa PhD podcast, among other roles!

What is your current position and how did you start here?

Co-founder. Through networking and my social media presence with the Papa PhD podcast, I met my now co-founder who first invited me onto collaboration projects, the invited me on board to launch PhDesign.

What do you like most about your job?

Meeting new people and feeling I've helped them in their journey, somehow.

What are 3 skills you use on a daily basis?

  1. Diplomacy

  2. Problem-solving

  3. Languages

Name a recent achievement that makes you proud.

I was invited to give a keynote for a large graduate career symposium.

What was the best piece of advice you got in your career journey?

It was to look back at my professional journey since its beginning when thinking of pivoting or applying to a new position. You're never starting from scratch. Knowing your story gives you the confidence to leap forward.

What’s something you didn’t expect from leaving academia?

I didn't expect that no one would ask about my publications. That was really surprising.

What’s one thing that always puts a smile on your face?

My children, when they're not misbehaving.

What advice do you have for people wanting to explore careers beyond academia?

Start putting your feelers out early, talk to as many people as you can outside your academic circle, and don't be shy to ask people with cool career journeys for informational interviews.

Is there anything else you like to add? Any comments for the Milieux community?

Getting together with other graduate students is very important. A community like Milieux can be a great first step at improving your networking and a great way to hone your transferable skills

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