Industry Transition Spotlight: Rachel Reichman, PhD
Industry Transition: An interview with Rachel Reichman, PhD, Business Analyst
What is your name, your full job title, and the name of the company you work for?
Rachel Reichman, Business Analyst, Lifescience Dynamics
What is your favorite part about working in industry?
I really like interacting with a wide variety of people and clients and having multiple projects that span completely different disease areas. I like learning and becoming an expert on multiple diseases and therapy areas. I like watching how treatment options for patients change over time.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
I come into the office around 8:30am (or work from home), check emails, start working on project deliverables for clients, have a couple of hours’ worth of meetings throughout the day, and spend the rest working on project-related materials. We also go to 3-5 conferences a year.
How is your current industry position different than your academic postdoc or experience as a graduate student?
I’m no longer working at the bench actually producing data, and my work now focuses on drug development and commercialization from the pharma industry standpoint. This is completely different than my time as a postdoc or grad student, but I really like the change. I work at the computer all day, I write reports, make ppts, interact with colleagues, plan for conferences, etc.
If you could go back in time (to before you received your job offer) and give yourself one piece of industry transition advice, what would it be?
You will find a job, and it won’t be one you have to settle for. Do NOT settle.
During your job search, what was the most important thing you did that made your industry transition a success?
I really worked on changing my resume. I changed it from a scientific skills/education-centered resume to a soft-skill/communications-centered resume. My job has no need for someone who can do a western blot, but they do care if I can talk to people I’ve never met with ease or work well on a team. Depending on the job position you want, you have to completely change how you present your skill sets.
I also really LOVED the transferable skills module from CSA. It helped me come up with three eye-catching bullet points to lead with on my resume. I also really spent a lot of time developing a good cover letter. I had a few variations based on the exact position I was applying for (i.e. med affairs vs consulting vs equity research analyst) which helped focus my message.
What has been the most memorable moment for you (so far) as a Cheeky Scientist Associate?
The community and support are really wonderful in CSA. I like that people always respond to questions and requests for help on resumes/CL/career advice. It’s very inclusive.
What do you see as the next step in your career?
I am hoping to move up within my company and to gain experience working directly with clients as a project manager/consultant. We have a growing company, and I see a lot of opportunities to grow and gain experience in training, recruiting, and business development.
How can the Association and the Association’s members help you continue to achieve your career goals?
The FB group for transitioned members is a great tool and network. I think I will be using that as I move forward in my career to reach out for advice.
Now that you’ve spent some time working in industry, what is the biggest piece of advice you’d like to share with those Associates who are still looking to make their own industry transition?
It really does take months to find a job – it’s not a short-term process. Make sure you like the company and people before you commit, and make sure that you understand the expectations of your job (i.e. amount of travel, perks included, work/life balance, etc).
Really work on your resume and cover letter to communicate your strengths CLEARLY, and if you are interviewing for jobs that aren’t directly science-related, realize that the interview process may be different than what you’re used to. I had a case-study interview for my current job, and I had to complete a financial modeling task for another job interview for an equity analyst position (turns out I really don’t want to work on financial modeling). I didn’t know how to do either of these, and I had to quickly learn the basics. I recommend that you start practicing/learning how to succeed in these tasks if you want to pursue a job in these areas.
Ready to make your own industry transition? The Cheeky Scientist Association is the world’s largest PhD-only industry job search training platform and PhD-only industry job referral network. When you become an Associate, you get access to our proven job search blueprint, which includes 200+ training videos, interviews with industry PhDs working in the most popular 100+ careers for PhDs, lifetime access to a private job referral network of 8,000+ PhDs, and much more.
You get instant feedback from our trainers 24/7 on any job search-related question so you can be 100% confident in your decisions about your job search and your overall career. To learn more about how to make your own industry transition, including instant access to our exclusive training videos, case studies, industry insider documents, transition plan, and private online network, get on the waitlist for the Cheeky Scientist Association.