Meet-the-Alumnus │ Philipp van Kronenberg A09 PhD

Name: Philipp van Kronenberg Till
Currently at: best practice consulting AG
Position: IT consultant
Graduated: not yet
Degrees: BSc Biology, MSc Neurobiology, PhD Neurobiology (to be completed 2023)
Graduate studies: Neuroscience


  • Tell us about yourself. What do you currently do?

I am currently finishing my thesis so that I can start at my new job in the beginning of March. In my new position, I will be involved in implementing and customizing SAP solutions for effective data processing and information flow across organizations. Additionally, I will be learning the programming language specific for SAP (ABAP). This is necessary to be able to customize the SAP solutions to specific use cases. What I am really looking forward to is to be working in a Team, with one common goal and to the ever-changing tasks, since software solutions are becoming relevant for almost every area.

  • How did your work in the lab of AG de Hoz (A09) help in your career after graduation? 

Graduating as a PhD will in general give you certain skills that companies value in their employees. For example presenting in front of people, speaking English, solving problems, … and so on. What was specific to my work in the lab of A09/Livia de Hoz was that programming for data analysis was a huge part of the daily working routine. Programming and data science are two fields that offer great opportunities to switch into the corporate world, since the demand is high. My position was specifically advertised for graduates with a natural science background and an interest in programming. What I learned during my search was that often times it does not matter too much with which programming language one is familiar. I for example know Matlab and Python, but will now learn to work with ABAP. I think it is very important to network early on during your PhD, because this will open you up to lots of opportunities.

  • How did you conduct your job search after leaving the SFB?

I mainly searched for jobs on the internet and visited job fairs. For me, job fairs were a great way of finding out if a specific company would generally be interesting for me and if they would show an interest in me. Even though I did not end up at any of the job fairs companies, I was able to sharpen my idea of what I would like to do in the future and which type of company might have an interest in my particular set of skills.

  • What advice would you give undergraduate students in neuroscience?

Do not wait until you have to look for a new position, before you start thinking about your next step in your career. You might be surprised how well it is possible to shape your current research, potential workshops and even outside the lab interests to give yourself additional skills for your next step. This is particularly important for people that might want to leave the typical academic path.

  • How important do you think mentoring was and is for your career development, and would you be willing to mentor a student in our consortium?

It was and is of course very important. Unfortunately, it is sometimes a bit hard to find mentors that left the academic path. You of course do not necessarily need a mentor from the same career path that you are thinking of. A lot of good advice is not specific to the academic career, but it might be nice to talk to someone that stepped out of the “typical” academic path. I think people are starting to improve the situation by organizing talks from people that left academia or the SFB for example with these small interviews. I would be happy to talk anyone interested.

>>> To connect with Philipp, contact SFB Coordinator Marylu Grossman

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