Industry Transition Spotlight: Ju Lin Tan, Ph.D.

An interview with Ju Lin Tan, Ph.D.

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

Ju Lin Tan, Next Generation Sequencing Scientist, GeneSEQ Sdn Bhd.

2. What is your favorite part about working in industry?

The opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone and learn things outside my expertise, e.g marketing and business development. I enjoy the fact that we are given the opportunity to learn as we go.

3. What does a typical day at work look like for you?

I am in charge of overseeing the lab operations and processing samples for analysis. This includes DNA extraction, PCR, and the downstream sequencing steps. Other than being in charge of overseeing the lab operations, I am also involved in marketing and business development. This includes writing articles, content creation for our webpage, meeting clients, and giving presentations to organisation. As GeneSEQ is a sister company that was established only in January this year, the samples that we receive are not large in number. So I also assist in sample analysis for the parent company. 

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

It’s definitely different in terms of the work environment and scope of work! At my current position, other than doing lab work, I am given the opportunity to do what I enjoy: writing articles to increase awareness, meeting clients and learning what they want, and content creation/managing social media platforms. All these were not possible during my graduate studies, as I was too busy getting stressed out over some nonspecific protein bands on my Western Blot.

5. If you could go back in time to before you received your job offer and give yourself one piece of advice/encouragement, what would it be? 

“Do not be afraid of embracing change.” After completing my PhD, I was so sure that I was going to continue on in academia (i.e., becoming a postdoc). I had tunnel vision, thinking that a postdoc was my only choice. I was afraid of moving beyond this, thinking that I might “lose” my skills if I didn’t stay in research. But when I joined CSA, I realised that I had so much more to offer besides technical skills/knowledge.

6. What was the most important thing you did during your job search that enabled your success? 

Being active on LinkedIn, and really, to just put yourself out there and to seek advice from others – showcase your skills and keep engaging people. And to jump on an opportunity when it arises. My current work encompasses the use of next-generation sequencing (NGS: a DNA sequencing technology), a technique with which I have no graduate-study experience. However, I managed to leverage the molecular biology skills that I do have, which are relevant to this technique. 

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

Transitioning into industry using the materials provided by the association and being part of a supportive group. This is something memorable for me because I was in a situation where I did not have a clear view of my future. But I managed to pull myself out of this black hole when I joined CSA. All the members have been really supportive and this environment is charged with a positive vibe.

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

I believe that we go through a continuous learning process when it comes to our careers. The next step in my career would be using this opportunity to build my competency in NGS, and to develop my marketing skills. 

9. How can the association–and the association’s members–help you continue to achieve your career goals?

Through continuous discussion and the sharing of experience. Meetups are also great, as we would be able to connect better in person.

10. Now that you’ve spent some time working in industry, what is the biggest piece of advice you’d like to share with those associates who are still executing their job search?

It is important to learn from each failure and to take advice from others. It might sound difficult, but keep pushing until you make it. You are not alone in this journey – with some guidance and willingness to embrace change, you will see the light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t limit yourself. For some Cheekies, it will help to keep a very open mind, even if they are working in very specific fields.

To learn more about how you can transition into an industry career like Ju Lin Tan, including instant access to our exclusive training videos, case studies, industry insider documents, transition plan, and private online network, get on the waitlist 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.