Industry Transition Spotlight: Aparna Lakshmanan, PhD
Transcript excerpt from an interview with Aparna Lakshmanan, Ph.D.
Isaiah: Maybe you could start by introducing yourself and the company and position that you’re working at now.
Aparna: My name is Aparna Lakshmanan and I work as a regulatory submission writer at Novartis, India, in global drug development, oncology regulatory submission and writing.
Isaiah: What were some of the challenges you were facing in your job search?
Aparna: Due to my PhD, just like most people, I did have some of the low points in my life and I found I was becoming one-dimensional. I used to be a very well-studied person before. I was very one-dimensional by the end of my PhD.
I knew that I did not want to stay in academia.
And, at that time, I was applying for some positions online but was not getting the job offers. I knew that I needed some help to be able to transition into industry. I was looking online for different resources and attending different seminars at the University.
And then, I found Cheeky. I started reading some of the articles and started looking over some of your webinars and the details of information within them were unprecedented. I thought, okay this will be useful.
Soon after I started my postdoc, the next enrollment period started within a few months. And, I was like, “Okay, I’m going to join”. It’s been very good. So that was my journey.
Isaiah: What were some initial ah-hah moments that you had, some things that helped you right away or that really impressed you?
Aparna: Right, so the first one was networking. And of course, even in other resources, they do talk about networking and they emphasize it, but the level of detail about how to network was more in-depth in CSA.
For example, earlier when I used to go to conferences, I would sit in on a lot of talks, but later I realized that, okay, you have to spend time in booths. But even then, even if you spend time in booths, you need to know how to approach the people there properly.
CSA taught me that you need to be genuinely interested in the company’s product portfolio, and talk to people, and then develop that relationship and get the right contacts. So, that was really an ah-hah moment.
Isaiah: How did the private group help you?
Aparna: That was one of the best parts of joining CSA. The lifetime access to such a set of associates and the camaraderie is amazing.
You don’t have to feel like you might be judged on any question. You could ask them any small, silly question.
So, there was that level of comfort of being in a group of sharing and asking, and there would be a lot of people who would genuinely support you, encourage you, and give valuable feedback on anything throughout the process.
Isaiah: Congratulations again on the job at Novartis. We really, really are looking forward to watching your continued career success, Aparna. Thank you.
Aparna: Thank you, thank you very much, Isaiah, and to all the admins and associates of CSA. I am very grateful, thank you very much.
Watch the video to hear Aparna’s complete transition story.
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