Industry Transition Spotlight: Samantha Shelton, PhD

An interview with Samantha Shelton, PhD

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

My name is Samantha Shelton, and I work as a Support Scientist at 10x Genomics.

What is your favorite part about working in industry?

I enjoy working with so many highly intelligent, interesting people. I get to work in many different cross-functional groups at 10x, which allows me to get to know people from every area of the company.

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

I work on a lot of different things, so it really depends. I’ll usually answer customer emails and help them with troubleshooting their experiments for about 2 hours in the morning. I’ll usually have at least 1 group meeting a day, where I’ll work with my colleagues to figure out how we can best support the products we’re working on launching. I’m given a reasonable amount of flexibility to take on new projects when I feel ready, so I try to devote an hour or two in the afternoon to developing new content for the company that I hope will be helpful for our customers!

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

Well, I’m no longer work at the bench, which is probably the biggest change. I get to interact with people so much more, which I find very rewarding. I really missed that face-to-face interaction and collaboration when I was in graduate school.

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 wish I had worked harder at negotiating my salary! Ultimately, I was happy with the offer, but I feel I could have gotten more. If I knew then what I know now, I would’ve pushed a bit harder for more.

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

I really had several a-ha moments while watching the CSA modules. Learning how to re-format my LinkedIn and CV so that they really put my best foot forward was so important. Once that was done, networking became a lot easier, and ultimately I think a strong network made me more visible on LinkedIn and greatly improved my chances of landing this position. 

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

I’m not sure yet! This role gives me a lot of opportunities to interact with other groups at 10x, so I’m learning a lot. I may be interested in going into marketing communications or product management in the future.

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

I think the Facebook group is still super great. People are still so responsive and helpful. I really appreciate how thoughtful and encouraging the advice given there is. 

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?

Take your time with your job application and do your homework. On the other side of the interview table, it’s pretty clear when someone hasn’t put in the time to make something polished and relevant for the posting. Taking the time to do something right can make a world of difference.

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

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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.

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