Industry Transition Spotlight: Elena Stavenschi Toth, PhD

An interview with Elena Stavenschi Toth, PhD

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

Elena Stavenschi Toth, Scientific Officer at Axiom Regenerative Therapies.

What is your favorite part about working in industry?

My favorite and most challenging part of the job is the fast dynamic of the working place and realizing where my knowledge gap is. An interesting challenge that I find is leveraging scientific and clinical need with a business mindset where such decisions essentially define the business model.

Since I have the option to work from home, this gives me the flexibility to decide when and how much I can work, allowing me to take care of my family and myself without affecting my work etiquette and dynamic.

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

A typical day for me can vary depending on the stage each project is at: between visiting client’s practice to oversee the flow of a new procedure to researching and strategizing new projects with the stakeholders. Since I work from home, majority of the meetings are taking place during teleconferences or webinars, which takes around 10-15% of my week. The best part is, I decide what to work on each week depending on what projects are ongoing or develop new projects. However, this is currently a novelty to me, and sometimes struggle, since I am used to being told what to do, instead of thinking of what needs to be done to achieve a certain goal on a higher scale.

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

I enjoy being treated like a professional that is trusted to oversee projects where I can exercise authority over the decisions that will shape the success of it. The ability to voice my opinion in a setting where it is not only heard but also considered to its full potential. The team always praising my efforts and the way I think, instead of being criticized the moment I voice my opinion only for later to be acknowledged.

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?

To be more confident in my abilities and instead of wallowing in uncertainties, to plow through all those negative emotions and make a game plan of where I want to see myself career wise in the future. CSA for me was an unconventional method for determining a career direction and job search since from my high school years I was indoctrinated the same dogma of entering the job market and ‘acceptable setbacks’ during the job search. CSA approach taught me that searching for your career path is very similar to speed dating, the match has to fit both ways, or if partially, to know w

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

I was absolutely thrilled to get my first experience on the radioshow. When I joined the CSA, I was wondering, when will I be able to achieve that level of success to be on the radioshow like the other more senior and accomplished CSA members. They represented role models of how accomplished scientists with PhD can develop and progress industries, and not being taken for granted by bureaucratic academic system. So, when my turn came to be on the radioshow, I felt that I overcame that huge personal wall of being perceived just as student who just finished a PhD to a competent professional.

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

Working in a startup, is giving me the overall experience of what it is and how to run a startup. As a part of the executive team, the whole experience is planting a seed of possibly opening or running my own business in the future. For now, I am learning everything I can get my hands on, as it is valuable experience regardless of discipline.

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

I found a lot of inspiration from reading CSA members Facebook posts about their successes and struggles. They gave me perspectives on different situations for networking, salary negotiations etc. and that is a valuable resource. Currently I am looking for a career mentor or buddy (buddies, the more the better :D), with whom I can discuss industry progression on a more personal level. If any Cheekies are interested to swap emails or phone numbers or meet over a beer, let me know!

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?

Personal branding. You are your own business regardless where you work. Tailor your pitch to the level of your audience. Only piece of criticism that I have received so far from my superiors was that I don’t say explicitly ‘I don’t know’ when faced with a question that I do not have the answers to. My own personal philosophy instead of saying ‘I don’t know’ is “What do I know and where can I find the things I don’t know.’  In essence, this is also part of my personal brand that I carry, and it is the cornerstone on how I tackle unknowns and progress.

The limit of your potential is as narrow as your field of vision. Only by expanding your mind to see your inner self, your potential becomes limitless.

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

Join Cheeky Scientist Association
Get Free Job Search Content Weekly
Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Isaiah Hankel, PhD 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.

Similar Articles

Industry Transition Spotlight: Ester Boix Garriga, PhD, Area Sales Manager

Industry Transition Spotlight: Ester Boix Garriga, PhD, Area Sales Manager

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Industry Transition: An interview With Ester Boix Garriga, PhD, Area Sales Manager 1. What is your name, your full job title, and the name of the company you work for? My name is Ester Boix and I am currently an Area Sales Manager at Infinitec, in Barcelona, Spain. 2. What is your favorite part about working in industry? In this specific role, I have the chance of having a very good manager and being part of a very nice team, with a good atmosphere in terms of personal relationships. I feel listened to, valued, and that there is space for…

Industry Transition Spotlight: Asjad Ali, PhD, Agricultural Scientist

Industry Transition Spotlight: Asjad Ali, PhD, Agricultural Scientist

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Industry Transition: An interview With Asjad Ali, PhD, Agricultural Scientist 1. What is your name, your full job title, and the name of the company you work for? Asjad Ali, Plant Breeder/Agricultural Scientist, Department of Agriculture & Fisheries – AustraliaCompany: Sygnature Discovery 2. What is your favorite part about working in industry? It’s a very good work-life balance as well as office-field activities balance with more independence in conducting experiments. My job requires me to go to the field station and work on plants to develop new hybrids and I really enjoy doing that. 3. What does a typical day…

Industry Transition Spotlight: Satrajit Chakrabarty

Industry Transition Spotlight: Satrajit Chakrabarty

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Industry Transition: An interview with Satrajit Chakrabarty, PhD, Data Scientist 1. What is your name, your full job title, and the name of the company you work for? My name is Satrajit Chakrabarty. I work as a Data Scientist at a Swiss telecommunication company called UPC. 2. What is your favorite part about working in industry? My favorite part of working in industry at my current company is the team. I am part of the Advanced Analytics team in the company. The team consists of like-minded, motivated people who like taking on challenges that in the end enables the company…

Industry Transition Spotlight: Gad Sabbatier

Industry Transition Spotlight: Gad Sabbatier

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Industry Transition: An interview with Gad Sabbatier, PhD, Project Leader in Innovation and Business Development  1. What is your name, your full job title, and the name of the company you work for? Gad Sabbatier, Project Leader in Innovation and Business Development, SOVAR. It is a mandated technology transfer office. 2. What is your favorite part about working in industry? I really love the team spirit in the company. I have a lot of autonomy and I am learning a lot. I really enjoy the work-life balance as well. 3. What does a typical day at work look like for…

Industry Transition Spotlight: Deep S Bhattacharya, PhD

Industry Transition Spotlight: Deep S Bhattacharya, PhD

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Industry Transition: An interview with Deep S Bhattacharya, PhD, Senior Scientist Formulation and Process Development 1. What is your name, your full job title, and the name of the company you work for? Deep S Bhattacharya, Senior Scientist Formulation and Process Development, Pfizer. 2. What is your favorite part about working in industry? I am intrigued to see my efforts making an impact on patients’ lives. The therapies that I am currently working on, looking at the bigger picture, and understanding how valued scientists are in the industry is incredible. 3. What does a typical day at work look like…

Industry Transition Spotlight: Manish Pareek

Industry Transition Spotlight: Manish Pareek

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Industry Transition: An interview with Manish Pareek, PhD, Senior Scientist 1. What is your name, your full job title, and the name of the company you work for? Name: Manish Pareek Job title: Senior Scientist Company: Sygnature Discovery 2. What is your favorite part about working in industry? My favorite part is being able to learn the steps involved in drug discovery through different drug discovery projects. Life in academia was ok, but in industry, I am able to collaborate more with other teams. I am learning more about biology as well. Work-life balance is much better than my previous…

Industry Transition Spotlight: Julie Dela Cruz-Mulders, PhD

Industry Transition Spotlight: Julie Dela Cruz-Mulders, PhD

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Industry Transition: An interview with Julie Dela Cruz-Mulders, PhD, Medical Science Liaison What is your name, your full job title, and the name of the company you work for?    Julie Dela Cruz-Mulders – Medical Science Liaison, Dermatology – Eli Lilly What is your favorite part about working in industry?  Collaborating with all my teammates and the flexibility of this job. I am responsible for my own schedule, for the most part What does a typical day at work look like for you?    That’s the great thing about this job: It is never boring. I don’t really have a typical day,…

Industry Transition Spotlight: Rachel Reichman, PhD

Industry Transition Spotlight: Rachel Reichman, PhD

By: Isaiah Hankel, 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…

Industry Transition Spotlight: Karineh Petrossian, PhD

Industry Transition Spotlight: Karineh Petrossian, PhD

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Industry Transition: An interview with Karineh Petrossian, PhD, Director of Development in Philanthropy Communications What is your name, your full job title, and the name of the company you work for?    Karineh Petrossian, Director of Development in Philanthropy Communications, City of Hope Medical Center. What is your favorite part about working in industry?  It’s a great feeling to contribute to teams who seek scientific knowledge from an expert. Also, having the extra time to read books, enjoy the weekends, and plan vacations feels great. What does a typical day at work look like for you?    I work in a team…

Top Industry Career eBooks

Complete LinkedIn Guide For PhDs

Complete LinkedIn Guide For PhDs

Isaiah Hankel

The LinkedIn tips & strategies within have helped PhDs from every background get hired into top industry careers.

20 Most Popular Industry Career Tracks For PhDs

20 Most Popular Industry Career Tracks For PhDs

Isaiah Hankel, PhD & Arunodoy Sur, PhD

Learn about the top 20 industry careers for PhDs (regardless of your academic background). In this eBook, you will gain insight into the most popular, highest-paying jobs for PhDs – all of which will allow you to do meaningful work AND get paid well for it.

Industry Resume Guide for PhDs

Industry Resume Guide for PhDs

Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Learn how to craft the perfect industry resume to attract employers. In this eBook for PhDs, you will get access to proven resume templates, learn how to structure your bullet points, and discover which keywords industry employers want to see most on PhD resumes.