Industry Transition Spotlight: Karin Weigelt, PhD
An interview with Karin Weigelt, Ph.D.
What is your name, your full job title, and the full name of the company you work for?
Karin Weigelt, Account Manager, Life Sciences Division, Bio-Rad Laboratories, 2 years and 1 month.
What is your biggest or most satisfying career goal you’ve reached since transitioning into industry?
I was very proud to receive the award for “Best Sales Performance 2015 in Northern Europe within the Bio-Rad Life Science Division”.
What’s been your biggest learning experience or Ah-Ha moment since transitioning into your new role?
The importance of soft skills and good communication in industry has really surprised me. Good communication is something that is missing in academia, and I have enjoyed that it is such an integral part of my industry job. Learning that there is this whole world where people value good communication was a really nice Ah-Ha moment.
How is your current industry position different from your academic postdoc or experience as a graduate student?
While my projects in academia were usually very narrow, the work I do in my current job is extremely broad. It involves all kinds of different technologies (from cell sorting to chromatography), all kinds of different projects (from a small student project to high throughput projects for diagnostics) and talking to all kinds of different people that could be working anywhere from a lab controlling the quality of your tap water to a big pharmaceutical company. The diversity of my position is wonderful.
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?
Try to stay open to new strategies and seek advice from more experienced people who are willing to support you.
What was the most memorable moment for you (so far) as a Cheeky Scientist Associate?
While I was searching for information on how to improve my LinkedIn profile, so I could leave academia and transition into industry, one of Isaiah’s first articles popped up: “What To Do When Your Academic Supervisor Mistreats You”. I think I immediately read the article 5 times and it helped me stay motivated. I realized that I wasn’t alone, that this situation is common in academia, and that there is light at the end of the tunnel!
What do you see as the next step in your career?
Right now, I have a great manager that I am learning a lot from and as a next step, it would be great to lead a small team. I want to pass on what I’ve learned so far, and hopefully help other people grow.
How can the Association and the Association’s members help you continue to achieve your career goals?
The information and discussions about current STEM topics, like trends in biotech or pharma, are very helpful for me. Also, since there is a very diverse range of people in the Association, the feedback from different points of view could be very helpful to evaluate one’s position when aiming for a new goal.
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?
Curiosity can get you very far. It is definitely worth your effort to find a position in industry that suits you and your desired lifestyle. You may even want to start your own business! Industry provides a great experience where you can work in a team with other friendly motivated people. And, of course, it’s a great day when you land your first industry job, but the real fun is just beginning. I was lucky that I’ve had the chance to learn a lot of new things in the last two years I’ve spent in industry, and most of the time, it was a fun process.
To learn more about how you can transition into an industry career like Kristy, 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.