Friday, April 3, 2015

It's soooo haaaard to fiiinnnd aaaa chemiiisssttttt

From the inbox, a link to a new social network space called GradSquare and this sad/interesting blogpost by the founder of it, Marco Altamirano:
About a year ago, I met someone at a conference who worked at a food chemistry lab in New Orleans. She was telling me about how her company had tried to hire a chemist with a Masters or PhD by putting some ads out on various job boards, but no one with the right credentials had applied. I thought this was strange because, having recently finished grad school at Purdue, I knew several Masters and PhDs that would have loved to relocate to New Orleans with their proposed starting salary....
(We should note for the record that, apart from being an entrepreneur, Dr. Altamirano is (was?) a philosophy instructor at LSU.)

I'm pretty sure the problem is that food chemistry is a niche field and the qualifications/training are pretty specific - I strongly suspect the food company would be better served with personal contacts for job searches.

As Dr. Altamirano's social network, hey, a more targeted version of LinkedIn aimed at employers and graduate schools could work? I dunno. LinkedIn is pretty crappy as a social network, so I would welcome competitors. Anyone have any experience with GradSquare?

UPDATE: Frequent commenter bluekirby notes a GradSquare podcast with a plant chemist for Sherwin Williams who tells his story; it's quite good, I thought, in tracking the trajectory of a career in (broadly speaking) our field. 


  1. Well I just tried it and couldn't even get through setting up a profile (site not functional). Couldn't see job postings but I doubt there are any.

  2. My grad school administrator just sent out a general email about this company. It seems to be currently promoting itself to R01 institutions. I haven't tested the site out yet, but I will point out that is has a podcast series (in the blog) and episode 22 would be particularly interesting to some readers. It's the story about how a MS Inorg Chemist transitioned into industry, now a Senior Plant Manager for Sherwin Williams. It's a 19 min podcast, and is available at

    1. bk, thanks for the comment on this -- I did see that and I will be listening to it.