Thursday, August 11, 2016

Does anyone know about the C/hee/ky Scie/ntist Associ/ation?

From the inbox, a good question:
Have you heard of the Chee/ky Scie/ntist*? Know anyone who is/was an Ass/ociate and can say if it was helpful? It looks super interesting, but also potentially scammy. 
Heh. So, bluntly put, I think it looks scammy as well. Joining a private discussion group for over $300 seems outlandish. The website screams "scam" to me as well, although maybe that's just because the template seems to be associated with supplement folks. That said, I'm sure there are plenty of intelligent folks who've forked over the money and gotten good advice and good networking out of it. Here's hoping, anyway.

Personally, I suspect that it's not oriented towards chemists (i.e. sure seems to be a lot of life scientists) and that there's no strong evidence that Associates achieve more success in obtaining positions than those who do not. Readers?

*Googleproofing to (a likely futile) attempt to avoid anonymous hordes on non-regular readers coming into plump the website.

6 comments:

  1. I'm a member of this association. I think it has it's pros and cons:

    Pros:

    - It gives you access to a Facebook secret group where all the associates are, including the ones that have a job already. Some people claim that they found jobs through connections with the people in the association
    - It gives you access to webinars with tips about: networking, resume, salary negotiation, tips and perspective about different types of positions in industry (e.g. consulting, scientist, patent agent, field application scientist, etc.), tips for finding jobs in the US for PhD students with F-1 visas or postdocs with J-1 visas
    - People in the associations tend to organize networking events, so this may be beneficial
    - They helped people to open their eyes about the possibility of getting a full-time professor position with tenure
    - They convince people that they do not need a postdoc to get an industry job (either research related or non-research related)
    - They give you networking scripts to contact people on LinkedIn to help your job search (I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing)
    - They send weekly emails about the best in the group and the best articles to transition to industry posted elsewhere online


    Cons:

    - The Facebook group is very crowded and some people post about things not related to the job search. For instance, a guy keeps posting about how to apply to grad school. In other words, there is no filter on who joins and who does not, as long as you pay the fee. There is people from all over the world: US, China, India, Europe, etc. So, some of the things they post may not be relevant to you
    - Every time they let in new associates they delete all the webinars from your account and start to put them slowly again (there are four modules with many webinars and pdf documents each). So, If you want to go back and find certain webinar it may not be there because is enrollment season
    -There are only about 3 people in the staff to help around 900 associates in the Facebook group, and one of them (the main guy: Isaiah)only puts Facebook likes to all the things you ask for help (resume edit, cover letter edit, etc) without actually helping you. He only comments if you share with the group that you got a job. The other 2 people from the staff are pretty good though and always very helpful
    - Most of the help is provided by other associates in the group (that don't get paid)
    - As expected, the members without jobs are the ones that participate the most in the association
    - They will use your post announcing the fact that you got a job to advertise it to more people and bring new people to the group (more money). Then they will make a 'transition interview' or 'transition call' on Skype that will be used for advertisement to bring more money to their pockets (sorry more associates to the group)
    - Once you join they try to sell you new exclusive memberships to small networking groups focused on the type of job you want. For example, scientist type of job or consulting type of job
    - They try to sell you tickets for a 'summit' which is a 2 day conference in a big US city, like Boston, where supposedly they will help you to get a job
    - They try to sell you the idea that networking and referrals are the EXCLUSIVE way to get a job. This may hold some true but some associates or other people find jobs through applying online without networking (like myself)
    - Every year they have at least 3-6 enrollment seasons and every time they increase the price and tell you that the group will close forever, so they push you to join the association (they will never close as long as they have profit)
    - There are not many chemists in the association but many biologists and life sciences people
    - As chemjobber mentioned there is no evidence that the people in the associations find jobs easier that people who does not. They never tell the number of unemployed people in the association

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon1220 - thank you so much for your assessment.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for deleting it

      Delete
    3. Weird, the spam filter retroactively consumed it. I made it spit it back up.

      Delete
  2. I had the same feeling. For a site that claims to cater for 'intelligent people' it has a very suspicious look. I really want to transition to industry, but at present I am very conflicted whether I should pay over $320 for something that looks shady....

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  3. I agree. I am one of the associate.You don't get to learn any new skill. Writing resume and networking is one thing they try to cater to the members but that don't really help in getting the jobs. There are making lots of profits by acknowledging the facts of less paid situation faced by lots of PhDs and Post Docs. They try to raise the confidence and self esteem in PhD holders. Matter of fact is your situation will not differ by joining this association. Use this money in getting new skills and learning some new techniques that matters to get the job you want. Please don't waste your hard earned money to read face book posts.

    ReplyDelete