Many rejections - Not knowing why

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  • #106
berkeman
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Is it typical for companies to unofficially or officially do a background check on me with previous employers/supervisors before they extend an offer?
Yes, we check all references that a prospective employee gives us. It's common in industry (at least my industry) for prospective employers to ask for a couple references that they can call.
 
  • #107
ProbablyNotMe
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Yes, we check all references that a prospective employee gives us. It's common in industry (at least my industry) for prospective employers to ask for a couple references that they can call.
Where in the process does this happen? After the phone screening and before deciding to move forward to the technical interview, or after the technical interview but before extending an offer? I don't put any references in my resume. I only put I will provide them upon request, but I am not sure if HR reaches out to previous employers through unofficial channels or something to ask about me. I didn't do anything wrong to be worried, but what's happening makes me think it might be the case someone has a different take on me, without ever having shown it to me.
 
  • #108
berkeman
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I think it would be after your 2nd round of interviews with us. First round is with HR via phone/Zoom/Teams, and 2nd round is in-person with technical 1:1 interviews.
 
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  • #109
ProbablyNotMe
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... As I've pointed out before, here in Canada, immigrants from the Middle East/North Africa and African countries have the greatest difficulties in securing employment.
Can I ask why these immigrant groups face the greatest difficulties from all other non-European immigrant groups? I try not to focus on this, and put all the blame on being a non-European white immigrant, because I cannot do anything about it, but I am interested in knowing how this may have affected me in Canada.
 
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  • #110
CrysPhys
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PhD supervisor/student should be a lifelong relationship.
<<Emphasis added.>>

The operative phrase in the sentence above is "should be" . Unfortunately, in some instances, "should be" does not in actuality become "is". I speak both from my own personal PhD experience and from an ~15 yr stint as a volunteer mentor in a program that matched industrial scientists and engineers with STEM students. During the course of that program, my matches included ~12 PhD students, who enrolled in the program because they were not getting sufficient support from their advisors. Their instances spanned the spectrum from benign neglect to egregious abuse by their advisors.
 
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  • #111
WWGD
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I don't know if this is obvious to all, but particularly at this moment, stay as far as possible from politics. Too many rabid lunatics on both sides pushing their agenda.
 
  • #112
CrysPhys
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I have a question: I am sending emails to my PhD supervisor explaining my situation to get some guidance and help from him, but he stopped responding, after he kept telling me just keep applying and don't give up. My knowledge in my field is now is outdated after 3 years of not working in the field. Is this a normal behavior from PhD supervisors not giving even suggestions to their previous PhD students? Obviously I cannot force him to help me or even to respond, but I believe he could help me. He has previous PhD and master students in the industry. He didn't help at all during my PhD thesis, and also after I finished to get my first job. Now I am worried he won't give me good recommendation because he stopped responding, and he is one of two references I have in my field!
<<Emphasis added>>

By now you should realize that asking what is "normal" isn't very helpful. How other supervisors interact with their students (former or present) is irrelevant. The only interaction that is relevant is the one between your former supervisor and you.
 
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  • #113
ProbablyNotMe
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<<Emphasis added>>

By now you should realize that asking what is "normal" isn't very helpful. How other supervisors interact with their students (former or present) is irrelevant. The only interaction that is relevant is the one between your former supervisor and you.
That's true. I was trying to judge if asking my supervisor for help or suggestions is wrong or asking for too much from him, because he stopped responding to me.
 
  • #114
Timo
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I am sending emails to my PhD supervisor explaining my situation to get some guidance and help from him, but he stopped responding, [...]. Now I am worried he won't give me good recommendation because he stopped responding, and he is one of two references I have in my field!
Judging from the other responses you got on this I may be alone with my opinion, but: I do not think that your PhD supervisor is qualified to give you career advice outside of academia. Most university professors never had a full-time job outside of academia. It is also unlikely that former students that left academia keep contact with their supervisor - why should they? Maybe in some very applied disciplines that may be different. In certain fields like civil engineering it is common that some university professors have a first job as the CEO of some company and essentially use the university as their recruiting platform. But if your advisor is not that type of professor, that doesn't help you much.

I think a random stranger on the street is more helpful to you than your PhD advisor. The fact that you got an 8-ball style reply from him ("keep trying") also suggests that. Don't worry about this affecting the recommendation. There is no reason for him to change it, and nothing you can do to improve it, anyways. But I recommend not sending further mails to ask for advice. If he cannot help you, what's he supposed to do?
 
  • #115
Vanadium 50
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Most university professors never had a full-time job outside of academia.

This is much less true in engineering than in other fields.

That said, I don't think we have a clear picture on the interaction with the professor. On the one hand, he is "sending emails to my PhD supervisor" who has "stopped responding", but on the other, "In the last 6 years, I contacted my PhD supervisor 4-6 times".
 
  • #116
bob012345
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This is much less true in engineering than in other fields.

That said, I don't think we have a clear picture on the interaction with the professor. On the one hand, he is "sending emails to my PhD supervisor" who has "stopped responding", but on the other, "In the last 6 years, I contacted my PhD supervisor 4-6 times".
Do we know what the OP's thesis was?
 
  • #117
StatGuy2000
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Can I ask why these immigrant groups face the greatest difficulties from all other non-European immigrant groups? I try not to focus on this, and put all the blame on being a non-European white immigrant, because I cannot do anything about it, but I am interested in knowing how this may have affected me in Canada.
I have one simple answer -- racism.

Contrary to what is at times reported, racism is a problem in Canada, and racial prejudice is often most directed towards Indigenous Canadians and immigrants of Middle Eastern/North African and sub-Saharan African backgrounds.

As to what you've said about already working survival jobs, all I can say is to keep at it, as you have no other choices.
 
  • #118
WWGD
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I have one simple answer -- racism.

Contrary to what is at times reported, racism is a problem in Canada, and racial prejudice is often most directed towards Indigenous Canadians and immigrants of Middle Eastern/North African and sub-Saharan African backgrounds.

As to what you've said about already working survival jobs, all I can say is to keep at it, as you have no other choices.
I hear similar claims in the US, yet if you look at the data
main-qimg-1fc9c4cfbe5c1161ab85335a747fdfab.jpeg
 
  • #119
WWGD
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I hear similar claims in the US, yet if you look at the data View attachment 285785
Surely these are the cream of the crop migrating but not being native/white has not been a major obstacle.
 
  • #120
ProbablyNotMe
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I hear similar claims in the US, yet if you look at the data View attachment 285785
In the US, the job market is large and vibrant, and the demand in high tech is more than supply, and immigrants are usually highly skilled. In Canada the job market is small and high tech companies are very limited, and thus I believe this discriminations is more common. It's not uncommon so see complete or the vast majority of workforce in companies to be white people. If I see such companies I move on, because I know they won't consider me. The PM is trying to make changes, but I doubt employers would get onboard.
 
  • #121
berkeman
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Thread closed for a bit for Moderation...

UPDATE -- Thread will remain closed. We have helped the OP about all that we can, and the thread is starting to head off into the weeds. Thank you everybody for your contributions.
 
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