An interview with Jason Nadell, PhD
What is your name, your full job title, and the full name of the company you work for?
Jason Nadell, Medical Writer – Flywheel Partners
What is your favorite part about working in industry?
My favorite part about working in industry is seeing tangible results and rewards for the effort that I put into my work. As card carrying PhDs, we are all used to working hard and giving 110%, often without thanks or due recognition. Working with a private company that values and counts on your skillset on a daily basis becomes apparent quickly in a number of ways, from praise, new responsibility and monetary incentives.
Can you describe what a typical day at your job looks like?
Agency work can be very fast paced and each day brings something new. I may go into work with an idea of a project I need to work on but that could change entirely before lunch if someone needs help or a new task comes in. Typically, work consists of updating or creating new medical content, like sales training materials for representatives or medical science liaisons (e.g., study guides, virtual learning modules, clinical studies primers, podcast scripts). These tasks can take anywhere from hours to months to complete depending on their size and depth.
If I’m not writing/editing at my desk, I may be in a meeting with colleagues or my bosses discussing the work I’ve done or how to tackle upcoming projects. Additionally, I may participate in phone calls with clients to get a better understanding of what they are asking us to create for them. I also work directly with graphic designers to transform what I write into an aesthetically pleasing document that will ultimately land in the hands of clients or patients. Because medical communications is vast and varies a great deal based on company culture and size though, results may vary!
How is your current industry position different from your academic postdoc or experience as a graduate student?
One of the primary differences is the schedule rigidity. As PhD candidates or postdocs, we often had greater flexibility in dictating our work schedules either by making up time late at night or over the weekend in exchange for a late start during the day, for instance. Those same late nights and weekends are still required from time to time in my industry, but it is important to adapt to a tight schedule during the week. Punctuality and consistency go a long way.
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?
I think the best advice I could have received would be to keep my head high and to keep faith in the CSA system. Being rejected from anything is an awful feeling and when it comes to job applications, it happens more often than not. As long you remember your value and make an honest effort in following the guidelines, the search becomes infinitely easier. If you survived earning a PhD, there isn’t much you can’t do if you’re truly dedicated to your goal.
What was the most memorable moment for you (so far) as a Cheeky Scientist Associate?
Probably the size and activity of the community. It was extremely encouraging to have a hand-up from so many people previously in my position and now it is rewarding being on the other side and able to pay it back.
What do you see as the next step in your career?
I am just outside of a year as a medical writer and have developed a solid foundational understanding of the med-comms industry so far. There is still a lot more to learn though, so I may continue to climb the ladder into more managerial/directorship roles in the industry. Equally, with the experience I’ve gained and with CSA having my back, I feel more confident than ever to transition into a completely new career if the urge arises.
How can the Association and the Association’s members help you continue to achieve your career goals?
Once you become a member, you will always feel like one. Emails from Isaiah and the team on a daily basis are a good reminder that you’re always a few clicks away should you need support, strategy or any questions answered.
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?
Use all of the skills and stories you’ve developed over the years in academia, they will come in extremely handy from the application process to the daily grind. And don’t give up, you’ve got this!
To learn more about how you can transition into an industry career like Jason, 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.
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