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Success Stories - ScientistMBA
Clinical Product Risk Specialist - Boston Scientific
I had primarily taken the same approach [to the industry job search] that I had with my postdoc applications, so my resume wasn’t getting much attention. So I knew something was missing there. That was the primary thing that was on my mind at the time, because I just wasn’t getting any sort of response from anything. [After joining the Association] one of the greatest “aha moments” was the concept of adding value. That was not something that I was used to. Another big “aha moment” was the concept of transferable skills. That’s what a lot of us coming from academia don’t really realize–if you feel like you’re missing something on your resume, that’s probably it.
Technology Licensing Officer - Nova Southeastern University
First I went to the career development center at my university, and I was very disappointed with the feedback that I got. The main issue with career development centers at various universities is that the advice they give is tailored for undergrads. While going through this process I was trying to find some organization or some person that would be able to give me the proper advice. The whole concept of Cheeky Scientist being by PhDs, for PhDs, and how to transition out of academia, these three things are very unique. I wish that I had got this before graduating, but I’m getting it after graduating and now I’m in a position to help others.
Application Scientist - Benchling
Now that I’ve started working you get inundated with this whole new set of vocabulary, all these different abbreviations that if you’ve heard of them you don’t know what they mean, or you may never have heard of it and it’s totally foreign. So certainly getting exposed to some of those concepts in the SMBA, that was part of it, but also understanding different types of companies, what types of companies I want to go after, and what to look for when I conduct my job search. All that stuff really came into play.
Senior Clinical Scientist - Clinical Testing & Global Claims Group
I decided that the position I wanted was on the clinical side of personal care products, so from the technical side a PhD is enough, but this position required a lot of communication with marketing groups and also consumer insight. So after I joined the SMBA and went through the materials, when a scientific problem comes up I also see it from the consumer side, the marketing side. And I remember during my interview when I talked to a VP-level person, our conversation was more about consumer confidence in the product, and the VP gave me his business card. At that moment I thought, I probably made it this time.
Consultant - Catalyze
I took a lot of things for granted when I finished my PhD. I thought I had a unique set of skills and I would get a lot of offers and I wouldn’t have to study any harder, and it would just flow from now on. But of course it didn’t. I applied to a lot of jobs and I didn’t have any interviews, and the very few times I did, I wouldn’t get the offer in the end. I was clearly doing something wrong. When I first joined the Association I was in the middle of interviewing, so I actually did the modules in reverse order. But it worked really well, I learned lots immediately because I had to dig into it deeply right away.
Submission Writer - Novartis
After my PhD I did apply to one non-academic position and one postdoctoral position, and I got the postdoc position. I started the postdoc and then next Association enrollment period started within a few months, and said I’m going to join and see where it goes. The first thing [about the Association that impressed me] was networking. Earlier when I used to go to conferences I would sit in a lot of talks, but later I realized that you have to spend time in booths. But even if you spend time in booths, you need to know how to approach the people there properly. CSA taught me to be generally interested in the company’s product portfolio, talk to people, then develop that relationship and get the right contacts. So that was really an “aha” moment.
Application Scientist - Nanion Technologies
After joining the Cheeky Scientist Association, I realized what the different possibilities were that were available for a PhD in the industry sector. I was never aware of all the possibilities that are out there. That was my turning point, joining CSA and learning about all the different job avenues. I also loved the private group. The most important part was all the available material in the group. You look for any question, or any issue, and you’ll definitely get an answer–either from the current members, or it has previously been answered. You’re always close to your answer when you’re in Cheeky.
Scientist II - Peptide Development - Plant Health Care, Inc.
Coming right out of academia, I really didn’t have very much business training at all, so I really felt like the academic playing a businessperson on TV, if you will. So I worked for a small startup company and they’re not going to be able to provide training, so SMBA was just a really wonderful way for me to get that business training, to turn me into a real business professional. The first four or five modules are great at giving you this grounding in basic business concepts. Once you’ve completed those modules, now you can “talk the talk” of business. You can talk to a businessperson, you can talk to an executive with confidence, using the proper vocabulary that is really going to speak to them and impress upon them your business acumen.
Senior Scientist, Bioprocess Development - Seagen
My biggest challenge was to get to the point where my resume was being selected, to get through that screening step and actually get through to the hiring manager. Joining the Association made me realize that I had to work on all these different aspects of how I present myself professionally in a way that people can see the value I bring to the table. [After joining the Association] I got started on networking right away, and it paid off immediately. And in terms of working through the modules, I got a very good picture of every step of the process. I thought that was very helpful, because I would spend hours trying to find this information, and having it all together in such a comprehensive manner was very valuable.
Account Manager - Workplace Safety and Prevention Services
Before joining the Association, I was looking to transition into industry. I was attending seminars and workshops at my school, but there was nothing very specific, or tools to help me transition. Definitely the first “aha moment” for me was the “Top 20 Jobs for PhDs and Postdocs”. That opened my eyes, I saw all the possibilities that were accessible for me. And from that I was able to narrow it down to the top four positions that were interesting to me and aligned with my values. The other “aha moment” was in Module 1, where you ask us to picture the type of lifestyle we want. That really helped me to figure out my vision that I had for myself, and it helped me narrow down to what I really wanted to do.
Scientist I - MedImmune
The biggest challenge for me to start with, was just to get people to notice me, basically. You look on LinkedIn and see all these job advertisements and don’t know how to get your resume in front of the right people. That was really the first thing I needed help with, and once I joined the Cheeky Scientist Association and began learning the networking techniques, it really changed my whole job search.
Technical Support Consultant - Bio-Rad Laboratories
I joined the Association because after receiving my PhD and doing a postdoc I realized that the academic path I was preparing for was full of insecurity and some peril. There were very few faculty jobs, the funding is scarce, there’s perpetual instability, and “publish or perish” culture makes it very difficult to succeed in that system while maintaining your sanity. So unfortunately I found myself completely unprepared for a job search outside academia. I had been following the Association for something like six months before I finally took the plunge and joined. Immediately after joining I was part of a supportive network of PhDs in the exact same situation. On top of that, the materials on resume building, LinkedIn, networking, and other subjects are extremely useful and practical.
Environmental Scientist - HDR
Being able to work, having skills, and still not getting any job is kind of frustrating. But the Cheeky Scientist Association platform not only gives you confidence, but also a supportive environment where you can talk about your problems to other people who might be in the same situation. CSA gives all of us PhDs a platform that helps us move forward.
Application Engineering - Ingevity
Before I joined the Association I wasn’t looking for a job because it was a year before I graduated, but I was looking for an internship, and I had zero success doing that. A lot of the difficulty was that I didn’t know people in the industry, I wasn’t networking correctly. After I found out about the Cheeky Scientist Association and I joined, then I learned a lot.
Lab Head - iDNA Genomics
A major thing I learned is that I was not so aware how important networking is. I was doing searches for jobs that fit my profile, then filling out the applications online, uploading my CVs, then waiting and usually not getting answers back. How I found this job now was through targeted networking. I met the CEO a year ago and I nurtured the relationship, and when the time was ripe I was invited for an interview with the CEO and the managing director, already having worked on the relationship in my networking.
Associate Regulatory Consultant - Yordas Group
It was hard to think of leaving 15 years of hard work and getting into something new. I was browsing and applying online and trying to figure out how to do the job search and I found the Cheeky Scientist Association. I was looking for a community that could provide some guidance, because it’s very hard. I had never looked for a job before, I was recruited immediately after graduation, everything was going smoothly, so it was the first time in my life that I actually had to write a CV or do a cover letter.
Clinical Trial Coordinator -
Before coming to this field I didn’t really know what an MSL was. The MSLA program was excellent because it’s not just like any other program on the internet. It’s a group of like-minded, positive-minded people, MSLs in big companies. The MSLA group is so supportive. If you have a question, just type it in and a hundred MSLA members will jump in.
Research Scientist - Takeda Pharmaceuticals
My goal was, right after my PhD, to transition into industry. I came across Cheeky Scientist, but at that time I was not sure if you were real. But I was needing that guidance and supportive group, and I found this perfect group. I went through all the modules, which are wonderfully organized. The group is really like-minded, supportive people, similar PhDs with similar goals in mind, transitioning into industry.
Project Manager - Alien Technology Transfer
For me, the biggest challenge was to overcome the thinking that if you don’t do academic work, you’re worthless. Once I realized that that wasn’t true, then actually taking action was much easier. At that point, the biggest challenge became networking. At first I was skeptical about joining the Association because it is an American company and I didn’t know how helpful the networking would be across the ocean, but because the Association was expanding so much I ended up actually networking in person with other Italians. Once I started networking, that was really a pivotal moment.
Analytical Consultant - Cambrex Charles City, Inc.
After six years of research, I wanted to transition into industry. Academics are always underpaid, so I always felt undervalued for my skills. That’s why I wanted to transition into industry. I personally recommended to more than 20 different graduate students to join the CSA, because I see their problems in academia.
Patent Agent - US Patent & Trademark Office
The Association really helped me in figuring out who I am. The material just really clicked for me and made sense. Being able to just talk to somebody was great. The Cheeky Scientist Association is really interactive, the people really do care about you.
Medical Writer, Clinical Affairs - Agilent
I learned, in networking, not to expect anything back right away, but to focus on adding value. I also learned how to initiate informational interviews with other Cheeky Scientist members and also outside of the group. I’m still learning from the group.
Technical Writer - CBTS
CSA helped me realize all the transferable skills I had, like writing, mentoring, leadership, and administration. Until it was presented to me in the Association, I didn’t realize what skillsets I had that maybe other people didn’t have. That was huge.
Senior Research Scientist - Sterling Pharma Solutions
I wanted to change my current job and I had been trying for at least the last six to seven months. I had applied, applied, applied, gone through all the people I know, contacted them, forwarded my resume. I had done every possible thing, applied for 90 or 100 jobs and had not heard back from a single position. I really learned a lot from Cheeky Scientist–how to prevent yourself in an interview situation, what to answer and what not to answer. The most helpful part for me was the salary negotiation guidance, which was phenomenal.
R&D Engineering - B9Creations, LLC
Having a strategy that helps motivate you and takes you through these steps and also helps you realize how much help you can get, it’s really overwhelming at first. There’s so much positive help. Just the private group by itself is worth the investment and worth the time.
Analytical Scientist - The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson
The private group was the biggest plus that Cheeky Scientist offered. It was so supportive, so dynamic, and willing to help at a moment’s notice. You can get 24/7 feedback on any material that you want feedback on, you can contribute and help other people, so it’s such an amazing network.
Business Development Manager - CRO
Before joining Cheeky Scientist I didn’t know how I was going to do this. Where do I even begin? So I saw Cheeky Scientist on Facebook and on LinkedIn and I thought, maybe I should give it a shot. It was a leap of faith but I did it anyway, and I’m so grateful I did.
Regulatory Affairs Specialist - Farmhispania Group. S.L.
For me the Association was helpful because I was able to see all the different paths available, other than just working in the lab. The private group was great because of all the information there, as well as the support from all the other people facing the same challenges you are.
Associate Consultant - ProPharma Group
All the advice from Cheeky Scientist was very very useful. I would get advice that I would never get from anyone else. Nobody was answering my emails and calls and only after joining Cheeky Scientist programs, it was almost like a miracle, something changed all that. I followed all the Cheeky Scientist advice and it worked out.
Scientist - Meso Scale Diagnostics
I’ve gone to so many great meetups where I’ve gotten great pieces of advice that I’ve been able to implement, they’ve introduced me to people who have been crucial in keeping me motivated and focused during my job search. It’s really encouraging, when it’s a difficult time in your career and you’re not sure how to move forward, to have all these people cheering you on.
Medical Writer - Own Company
There were a lot of layers I need it to really work through, the structure of the program addresses those things. You’re really not alone, there was a lot of support in the network.
There was a ridiculously amount of content that’s just so rich, it’s been an enriching experienced honestly. I learned a lot and I know I still have a lot to learn but I’m doing well.
Data Scientist - Itron
I really liked that I was able to connect with a lot of other CSA members via Linkedin and get some information to reuse. Another thing that I did liked was not just the resume review but also people who would post their transition stories. That to me was really inspiring, almost like a blueprint.
Health Science Policy Analyst - NIH
I saw Cheeky Scientist on Facebook, Linkedin and I decided to give it a shot and that’s what I did. It’s like a leap of faith, you really don’t know but I just did it anyways
and I am so grateful I did, I met a lot of people.
Research Scientist - IHRC
First, what I really liked about Cheeky Scientist was how supportive everybody is. All the materials were great, but I think the one thing that really stuck with me was the transition plan. It really lets you look at yourself where you are now, and look at where you want to go, and then develop a strategic plan to get to that point.
Medical Science Liaison - Celegene
I got an offer about two weeks ago and I’m transitioning to a Medical Science Liaison role. It was a good break for me, but I couldn’t have done it without Cheeky Science Association and all the guidance and the blueprint they provided for me.
Research Scientist - Estée Lauder
I’m very, very happy with my overall experience with the Cheeky Scientist Association. For me, joining the Association was the perfect timing when I was trying to get into industry. It was the perfect place at the perfect time to start learning how to effectively transition into the private sector.