Industry Transition Spotlight: Yuri Klyachkin, PhD
Excerpt from an interview with Yuri Klyachkin, Ph.D.
Isaiah: Rewind all the way back to when you were in academia. You did a couple of postdocs and you were unemployed for a period. Maybe you could talk a little bit about that time in your life and share a little bit about how you came out of it?
Yuri: Sure. Isaiah, you bring up a good point, that I was in the same shoes as a lot of PhDs, where I felt like I was not qualified. I didn’t have the confidence to even apply for some of these jobs. And, even after my first postdoc and my second postdoc and everything, I didn’t know if I was good enough to do these types of industry jobs.
I didn’t think I had any transferable science research expertise to even pursue the medical science liaison type post and honestly, I wasn’t really sure that’s what I wanted to do. I still didn’t know what I wanted to do, so when that postdoc ended, I ended up unemployed for about six to eight months.
It was tough. And ended up just getting another postdoc, essentially.
But, at the same time, I joined Cheeky Scientist.
The Association helped me identify what I really wanted to do, because if you’re not focused, if you don’t know what your passion is in the industry, then there’s really no point.
So, I decided I wanted to be an MSL, I went all in with networking and with Cheeky Scientist. All the modules propelled me to my current role, as an MSL, which is actually my second role in the industry.
Isaiah: How did joining the Association change your strategy or your mindset to help you get a job?
Yuri: First, you have to have that mind shift in your head, that “Okay, this is what I want to do.” I decided I want to be an MSL. Then I asked myself, “What tools do I need to succeed and find this role?”
I felt like Cheeky Scientist was a great opportunity for me to get the tools I needed. I knew what I wanted to do, I just didn’t have the blueprint to do it and ultimately, that’s what helped me.
So, it’s all about focus. If you’re kind of just chasing after any industry job, you’re not going to get it, because it’s going to be very transparent that you lack passion on your phone interviews and on your onsite interviews, if you even get that far.
But, if you’re all in, in a particular role, if you know what you want, Cheeky Scientist provides that blueprint for you.
So, I think it was the shift in my head, to figure out what role I wanted and to just go all in and acquiring all the tools I needed to get that role.
Isaiah: What were some of the kind of ah-ha moments you had after you joined CSA?
Yuri: The big ah-ha moment for me was networking.
PhDs often overlook networking at conferences. I used to just grind my way through all these talks, listening to everything and not even realizing that all this data would be published in a month or two anyway, so essentially I was wasting my time.
Once I joined Cheeky Scientist, at my next big, international conference, instead of going to talks, I started going to exhibit booths, to the commercial area, talking to sales reps, and talking to MSLs.
That networking from the ground up, and making those contacts in the industry, ultimately helped me land my first job.
Also, I think we spend too much energy on resumes and cover letters, and not enough energy on networking.
If you spend that amount of time making contacts in industry and conducting informational interviews with professionals in the roles that you want to be in, that’s going to get you in industry.
Perfectly crafted resumes are a dime a dozen, cover letters are dime a dozen, but those contacts you make, those relationships you build with professionals in industry, that’s going to be your biggest impact on getting a job.
To learn more about how you can transition into an industry career like Yuri, 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.