Julia BandiniAssociate Behavioral/Social Scientist, RAND Corporation

Can you describe your career path and how it has led to your current work?

I was interested in research around health and aging when I came to Brandeis as a PhD student. For my dissertation, I spent two years in intensive care units (ICUs) interviewing critical care clinicians and family members of ICU patients about end-of-life decision-making and followed these family members into bereavement. This work solidified my interest in around end-of-life care, and I had an opportunity towards the end of my PhD program to work as a summer associate at RAND in which I worked on a project on end-of-life care. I enjoyed working in a collaborative, interdisciplinary research environment and ultimately applied for a position as a full-time researcher.

What services and/or resources did you use while at Brandeis for your career search?

I found my professors and mentors to be incredibly helpful as I set out to look for a career in research. I also utilized some of the resources at the Center for Career and Professional Development, particularly for reviewing my CV and cover letter and reaching out to professors.

What skills from your Brandeis degree have you found most valuable in your current work?

Research skills! My work at RAND is 100% research, and I am primarily involved in qualitative research, so I use my qualitative training and skills every day. This includes conducting in-depth interviews, analyzing qualitative data, and writing reports as well as peer-review manuscripts.

What advice do you have for current students as they embark on their job search? 

I would encourage graduate students to think outside the box and recognize the importance of their training and skills that can be applied across many different realms of work.