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Where should I start as a freelancer

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Old   January 14, 2020, 18:05
Default Where should I start as a freelancer
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Charlie Tan
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Dear all,
First of all, I'm not sure if this is the correct place this question. If not, please forgive me. I've searched several places but this sub-forum seemed like the best option. Anyways, here is my question:

I'm a PhD student in Multiphase flows and have fair amount of knowledge on CFD. Hopefully this year, I'll finish my PhD. The thing is, I've had almost no chance to apply my knowledge onto the industry so far, and I'm quite curious about the application perspectivie of my general knowledge. Therefore I though that would be a good idea to start with small freelance projects. My main concern is not money although for sure I don't want to work for free. So how did you people start? Which software should I use? I have some experience with OpenFoam, so that perhaps I can start with that. Or is it a better idea to invest into an Ansys licence.

I'm open to your suggestions and thanks in advance!
Have a good day and hope to hear from you soon,
Charlie
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Old   January 15, 2020, 04:16
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Gert-Jan
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Customers want cheap, fast and good. As a freelancer you won't be cheap. Therefore you should really bring something extra. For this you need to be specialised (good) and experienced (fast) to overcome your extra costs (expensive). So, you need to gain experience first.

Therefore I would not start as a freelancer. I would start working at a consultancy firm first, get to know industry, customers, their questions, time schedules, software, licensing, etc, etc. After building up your own network, after 5-10 years think it over again. Then start as a freelancer.
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Old   June 2, 2020, 10:32
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Originally Posted by CharlieTan84 View Post
Dear all,
First of all, I'm not sure if this is the correct place this question. If not, please forgive me. I've searched several places but this sub-forum seemed like the best option. Anyways, here is my question:

I'm a PhD student in Multiphase flows and have fair amount of knowledge on CFD. Hopefully this year, I'll finish my PhD. The thing is, I've had almost no chance to apply my knowledge onto the industry so far, and I'm quite curious about the application perspectivie of my general knowledge. Therefore I though that would be a good idea to start with small freelance projects. My main concern is not money although for sure I don't want to work for free. So how did you people start? Which software should I use? I have some experience with OpenFoam, so that perhaps I can start with that. Or is it a better idea to invest into an Ansys licence.

I'm open to your suggestions and thanks in advance!
Have a good day and hope to hear from you soon,
Charlie
i'm really wondering what you did decide to do.
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Old   June 3, 2020, 05:47
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Charlie Tan
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Originally Posted by Gert-Jan View Post
Customers want cheap, fast and good. As a freelancer you won't be cheap. Therefore you should really bring something extra. For this you need to be specialised (good) and experienced (fast) to overcome your extra costs (expensive). So, you need to gain experience first.

Therefore I would not start as a freelancer. I would start working at a consultancy firm first, get to know industry, customers, their questions, time schedules, software, licensing, etc, etc. After building up your own network, after 5-10 years think it over again. Then start as a freelancer.
Dear Gert-Jan,
Sorry for replying late. Thank you very much for your answer. Well, I'll follow your advice. Right now I'll focus on finishing my PhD, and then will look for a job in the industry and gain experience. And in the upcoming 5-10 years I'll reconsider this freelance idea. The problem is, I don't know if the market will be crashed due to the unfortunate Covid situation...
Have a nice day.

Kind Regards,
Charlie
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Old   June 3, 2020, 05:49
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Originally Posted by geth03 View Post
i'm really wondering what you did decide to do.
Hello geth03,
I decided to focus on my PhD for now, finish it asap, and look for a job in the industry. I'm convinced that I need experience first. I'm kind of sceptical of the market due to the upcoming Covid crisis, however I hope the recovery will be faster than I expect.
Which part of Germany are you in by the way?
Regards,
Charlie
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Old   June 22, 2020, 07:39
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Originally Posted by CharlieTan84 View Post
Hello geth03,
I decided to focus on my PhD for now, finish it asap, and look for a job in the industry. I'm convinced that I need experience first. I'm kind of sceptical of the market due to the upcoming Covid crisis, however I hope the recovery will be faster than I expect.
Which part of Germany are you in by the way?
Regards,
Charlie
i'm from cologne, i work for a chemical machine producer, simulating multiphaseflow.

i'm also interested in freelancing or becoming self employed, but i guess there are different types of problems involved regarding this.
i mean, for example, i'm developing models and then do simulations. we check the model with the experiments, which are really expensive.
i won't be able to do that when self-employed, but i could work for other firms and implement models and develop algorithms, but i don't know how to land that kind of jobs.
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Old   June 22, 2020, 08:02
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For a free lancer this is almost undoable. If you want to keep on doing experiments, you need two pilars of your own company. Then soon you won't be a free lancer anymore since I expect you'll need personel to setup and perform the experiments. These need to run a lot to justify the investment.

At the moment, I cooperate with my customers who have the facilities and funding to setup and do the experiments. Therefore you need to do the work in close cooperation.

Alternatively you have to sell yourself as a low profile entrance into universities or institutes with whom you can cooperate as well. And then bring the funding of your customers. That might open doors.
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