An interview with Devsmita Das
What is your name, your full job title, and the full name of the company you work for?
Devsmita Das, Associate Clinical Project Manager- Clinical Affairs, Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
What is your favorite part about working in industry?
My role as a project manager is a cross-functional nature. Which means I get to exercise my multitasking abilities to the fullest. I am currently managing one clinical trial currently enrolling at multiple sites and 2 more trials in initial stages. I get to manage each and every aspect of the study including site selection, contract negotiations, personnel management, study start-up, tracking enrollments and handling the finances associated with the study and all the sites. Usually in other companies, one person only handles one of those aspects for multiple studies, but here a single person manages the entire study from start to end.
My favorite part is the gratification of having accomplished several tasks and goals at the end of each day.
Can you describe what a typical day at your job looks like?
A single clinical trial can be conducted across multiple sites, which means as a manager, I need to interact with contact persons at all those sites, in addition to communicating information to multiple divisions within the company itself. This involves a ton of emailing and meetings. In the remainder of time, we have to complete the tasks that I committed to during the meetings. A typical day starts around 9 and ends around 7.
How is your current industry position different from your academic postdoc or experience as a graduate student?
Unlike postdoc or graduate positions where our actions will affect primarily our own career/position/life, the work I do in my current position has a ripple effect across the entire company. Thus, I am answerable to a lot of people.
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?
Stay calm and keep applying and moving forward. Things have a way for eventually working out for the best.
What was the most memorable moment for you (so far) as a Cheeky Scientist Associate?
Going through all the amazing modules and some of the radio chats. I have been in the association for a short time so I am pretty much in awe of everything that happens here.
What do you see as the next step in your career?
I look forward to more responsibilities and career growth, hopefully, towards executive positions.
How can the Association and the Association’s members help you continue to achieve your career goals?
The transition stories from academia to industry are really inspiring and insightful. I would love to know more from people who are already in the industry and have advanced into higher positions or across departments within the industry or company.
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?
In my experience, what helped me most is to identify what sort of role I would like to work in at any company. Or at least figure out what we do Not want at all. I, for example, knew that I do not want to do bench research and that I want a multi-functional role. This helped me tailor my resume precisely to fit such a role and I applied mostly to project management/ program management roles. Being narrow and focused in job search helps in landing the ideal job, albeit it can be time consuming. Because ideal positions open up infrequently. Also, having faith and believing in oneself really helps sail through tough times.
To learn more about how you can transition into an industry career like Devsmita, 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 believes that if you feel stuck somewhere in your life right now, you should 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.