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Industry Transition Spotlight: Antonio Martins, PhD

An interview with Antonio Martins, Ph.D.

What is your name, your full job title, and the full name of the company you work for?

Antonio Hüfner de Mello Martins, Inhouse Consultant – GOGlobal Program, Merck KGaA (worldwide)/EMD Serono (USA and Canada), 6 months (September 2017).

Can you describe what a typical day at your job looks like?

As part of Inhouse Consulting, we provide management consulting jobs to all sectors of our company. This includes things all the way from Company Global Strategy through to BioPharma, Supply Chain, and Chemicals and Information Technology. My main tasks include Project Management, Business Development, Market Analysis/Access, and my favorite, Global Strategy. Mostly, our daily work involves meeting with clients of different sectors, external research and bench-marking when needed, internal alignment meetings, and business case studies for new markets and products.

What is your biggest or most satisfying career goal you’ve reached since transitioning into industry?

Being able to interact with our senior leadership in shaping the future of our company. Project overview from beginning to end in a relatively short amount of time. Exposure to corporate life, given the high profile of our clients.

What’s been your biggest learning experience or Ah-Ha moment since transitioning into your new role?

Our (hard) work is well appreciated. Our superiors have our career development as one of their most important goals. We are able to collect low hanging fruits along the way, which boost moral and a sense of accomplishment, while our long-term strategy gives us a sense of purpose in understanding how our job will ultimately benefit the lives of patients worldwide. Which we have seen with recent product launches.

How is your current industry position different from your academic postdoc or experience as a graduate student?

Similarly to the answer above, corporate life changes the way we are treated as employees. The fact that our work is appreciated by the project team and the clients means the world to me. It drives us to always try harder and push our own performance limits. In addition, regular career development meetings make sure that we stay on track of our career aspirations and an active stirring of our projects in order to achieve them. The flatter hierarchy is also appreciated and I feel I can more openly discuss career aspirations and current issues without difficulty.

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?

Own yourself. Own your skills and capabilities. They invited you because they saw potential and are willing to invest in you. As opposed to what I was used in the academic world, your boss is also your colleague. Self-confidence is key for a successful application and performance once hired.

What was the most memorable moment for you (so far) as a Cheeky Scientist Associate?

Learning the importance of networking. Network, network, network. Especially in Europe, where networking is not as widespread as in the US for someone trying to transition, do reach out for informational interviews, coffee meetings, and an exchange of ideas. You have nothing to lose and everything to win. Particularly, during a Cheeky Meetup, I was told about the opportunity that eventually led me to where I am today. The honest collaboration between associates is remarkable.

What do you see as the next step in your career?

Traditionally, transitions from Inhouse Consulting into the Business units occur at a senior manager level and less often as a functional director. Career tracks include Expert, Project Managers, and Managers. The latter two are the ones I am interested in. Personally, I’m aiming for Strategy and Portfolio Management in either one of those levels. From the feedback I get from my superiors, I believe I am on the right track.

How can the Association and the Association’s members help you continue to achieve your career goals?

I think the association still provides extremely helpful materials not only for the first step in transitioning to industry, but many webinars and materials are also applicable to further career moves. Building on the current principle the Association is partially founded on, I believe regular meetings and webinars with CSA members that have already transitioned (and progressed) would continue to multiply the benefits beyond our first goals. Additionally, the increasingly professional support and management of the Association already provides helpful insights and tips in highly relevant matters to those who have already transitioned. Perhaps a second stage CSA (tab/page/domain) for those who have transitioned with tailored materials and discussions with a different focus and dedicated attention in the long-term.

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?

Persevere! It is a difficult and often frustrating process to apply for jobs. But each rejection, when handled properly (as extensively discussed and demonstrated in the CSA group) and every value adding interaction, takes you a step closer to mastering it. And in my experience, it is worth every step. I sincerely thank the CSA for that, and I hope other members will/do too.

To learn more about how you can transition into an industry career like Antonio, 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.

Isaiah Hankel

Chief Executive Officer at Cheeky Scientist
Isaiah Hankel holds a PhD in Anatomy and Cell Biology. An expert in the biotechnology industry, he specializes in helping other PhDs transition into cutting-edge industry career tracks.

Isaiah believes--from personal experience--that if you feel stuck somewhere in your life, it’s a clear sign that you need to make a change. Don’t sit still and wait for the world to tell you what to do. Start a new project. Build your own business. Take action. Experimentation is the best teacher.

Isaiah is an internationally recognized Fortune 500 consultant, CEO of Cheeky Scientist, and author of the straight-talk bestsellers Black Hole Focus and The Science of Intelligent Achievement.
Isaiah Hankel


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