Industry Transition Spotlight: Desyree Jesus, PhD
What is your name, your full job title, and the full name of the company you work for?
My name is Desyree Jesus and I am a scientist at Audentes Therapeutics.
What is your biggest or most satisfying career goal you’ve reached since transitioning into industry?
My biggest career goal so far was when I was chosen as one of the top performers in the company during the yearly review (I didn’t even know there was such a thing, so it was a pleasant surprise). But, this meant I was doing a good job in my first year, which is always my ultimate goal, no matter my position.
What’s been your biggest learning experience or Ah-Ha moment since transitioning into your new role?
There are a couple of experiences actually. The first one is getting to know all the different positions I can get in research (scientific affairs, process development, tech transfer, and pre-clinical just to name a few). The second one is how some things in industry need to be done in a VERY precise way. Being part of the analytics group and working closely with quality control, I can see why many experiments in academia cannot be repeated in another lab!
How is your current industry position different from your academic postdoc or experience as a graduate student?
The main difference is how you think about the experiments you need to do. In academia, you do experiments because they are interesting. In industry, you do experiments because they will help the company to accomplish its goals. Doing an experiment just because you want to know how something behaves is not the priority unless it gets you closer to the final results. The other difference is how collaborative industry is. You have your project, but sometimes, someone else is helping you with the project and this person is not necessarily someone at a lower level than you or someone you are managing. You really work together.
If you could go back in time, to before you received your job offer, and give yourself one piece of advice or encouragement, what would it be?
Even though things seem hard now, hang in there and work hard on your transition because it will be so worth it at the end. You just need to get your foot in the door and this is the hardest part.
What was the most memorable moment for you (so far) as a Cheeky Scientist Associate?
The most memorable moment is when I finally got into the mindset of how to write a resume. It was not very easy for me to forget the academia way of showing my accomplishments (papers, learning new things) and to learn the terminology that is important for industry. After all the help from Laura, it finally clicked at some point. And another important moment was when I realized how many skills I acquired during my PhD and postdocs (besides being good at the bench).
What do you see as the next step in your career?
I want my next step to be a management position, with a small group, where I can have a more direct role in the strategy to reach the company goals. I also want to get more experience with pre-clinical studies.
How has the Association and the Association’s members helped you continue to achieve your career goals?
First, I like being part of a group of accomplished, responsible, smart, and hardworking people. There is a lot to learn from the different perspectives each member brings into the association. The network is also remarkable, since all these people are going to get jobs in industry at some point. Being part of CSA also helps me not to forget to always be thinking about the next step and be strategic about it.
Now that you’ve spent some time working in industry, what is the biggest takeaway(s) you’d like to share with those who are still executing their job search?
Be persistent. All you need is a foot in the door. This is the hardest part. Once you are in, you will be able to show all you can do and will be rewarded for that. By showing how good you are, it will be much easier to build a network of people that trust your work since this field is very small and everyone knows everyone else. Do not wait for the perfect job at first. It might happen, it might not. Just try to get in. Once you are in, another world opens to you and your dream job might even change completely.
To learn more about how you can transition into an industry career like Desyree, including instant access to our exclusive training videos, case studies, industry insider documents, transition plan, and private online network, get on the wait list for the Cheeky Scientist Association.