Chris Pohalski, MA, MS, Engineer


Master Career Counselor, Coach, Strategist and Trainer for Business, Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (B-STEM) Professionals and Academics

Pohalski STEM Career Counselor Coach TrainerI am a career counselor, coach, strategist and trainer for Business, Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (B-STEM) Professionals. I provide specialized career counseling, coaching and consulting services for professionals and organizations, particularly those in academia and the tech, life sciences and biomedical sectors. Applying my first-hand experience in industry and academia, I help B-STEM professionals and advanced degree holders advance their careers, achieve greater job satisfaction and expedite career transitions. I provide:

  • Individual coaching, assessment, practice interviews, and review of resumes, curriculum vitae (CV) and faculty application packets
  • Specialized knowledge, resources, tools and strategies for the academic, tech and biomedical sectors
  • Training, workshops and presentations

I help STEM and business professionals and academics:

  • Clarify their goals and values
    • Translate notions of what would make them happy into a concrete plan
    • Get unstuck emotionally and take action
  • Conduct a more effective and efficient job search
    • Employ proven strategies customized to their goals and niches
    • Avail themselves of the best and most relevant resources
  • Be stronger, more competitive candidates
    • Target the RIGHT jobs
    • Polish their resumes, practice interviews and build confidence
    • Refresh rusty job search skills
  • Build confidence and reduce stress
    • Overcome fear and doubts

My clients benefit from my rare combination of:

  • Technical background
  • First-hand knowledge of industry and academia
  • Deep empathy resulting from my own transformative career change
  • Extensive expertise as a career professional.

After earning my B.S. in Applied Physics at Cornell and my graduate engineering degrees at Stanford, I gained first-hand experience as an engineer, scientist and manager at early start-up, pre-IPO, post-merger and multi-national companies in the laser, telecom and manufacturing sectors in Silicon Valley. At that point, I made a significant mid-career change, returning to school to earn an M.A. in Career Development. I have since counseled and trained clients from diverse backgrounds and disciplines at Stanford, UC Berkeley, University of San Francisco, Santa Clara University and in my private counseling practice. I have also taught Stanford’s Future Faculty Seminar, which helped hundreds of aspiring academics identify, pursue and land their dream faculty positions. 

Former clients have described me as:

“. . .  dedicated, non-judgmental, insightful, caring, and very astute. [He] truly cares [and] ask[s] probing questions that challenge me to self-reflect. By the time I had my interview I felt ready and empowered. He is monumentally effective and supportive. . .  He is outstanding.”  – PhD Life Scientist

“I came in super stressed out about my job search. I really appreciated Chris’ thoughtfulness and left [with] a plan not just for the job hunt but for dealing with my anxiety about it.”  – Researcher in Biosciences

“Excellent listener [and] an enormous help . . .  [He] went beyond the call of duty [and] was also very positive and enthusiastic [which] made the job search process less stressful overall.”  – Business Development Manager at tech start-up

Professional Affiliations and Credentials

  • Master Career Counselor
  • Master Practitioner – Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
  • National Career Development Association

Prospective clients receive a FREE 20 minute initial phone consultation.

Contact Information

Chris Pohalski – Business, Tech and Academic Career Strategist
chris_pohalski [at] cpdicareercounseling [dot] com
(415) 982-2636, ext. 1