Industry Transition Spotlight: Sarah Yunes, PhD, Medical Writer

Industry Transition: An interview With Sarah Yunes, PhD, Medical Writer

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

I’m Sarah Yunes, and I am a Medical Writer for Argenx.

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

It’s a very supportive work environment. My manager is supportive, helpful, and honest. The team I work with is friendly and we’re able to collaborate really well together.

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

Many of my colleagues work in Belgium, so most of my mornings are spent in meetings, to work on resolving open issues with the current project. In the afternoon, I do most of the writing. I have a standard 8 hour day most of the time and I spend about half of most days writing documents for submission to the FDA.

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

It’s a night and day difference from my time in grad school. In my PhD, I felt I had no support moving my career forward. My advisor was only interested in what work I had put in towards my research and, even though I had to teach pretty much the entire time I was there to get funding, I was expected to not prioritize my teaching. I was expected to figure it out on my own. In my current role, my manager is incredibly supportive. While my initiative to solve problems is still very much appreciated, my manager and team have been helpful in getting me up to speed with my new role and solving problems that I have. I meet with my manager every week and we talk about how to move forward in my work. She advises me on how to move forward in my career and how my company is different from other companies in terms of the role. For the first time in a very, very long time, I feel like I know what I’m doing, that I can achieve my goals, and have a plan to progress further in my career.

5. 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?

Believe that you are actually worth it. I spent too much of my time being hard on myself for not doing more job searching.

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

Practicing for interviews! I always thought it was awkward and time consuming, so I figured if I understood how I was supposed to answer interview questions that would be enough. I was very wrong. Practicing for interviews was critical for me to be confident and to answer the questions well. I was able to be myself during the interviews and not feel like I was faking it.

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

It’s all been so wonderful, but I think my most memorable moment was getting my LI profile reviewed during one of the CSA members only webinars. I got feedback from Isaiah directly and it definitely made me feel like I was heading in the right direction. It was probably the earliest moment that I felt really confident leaving academia.

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

Right now I’m focusing on getting well-established as a medical writer, but my hope is to be promoted to the senior medical writer within a year. 

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

I’m struggling to stay on top of my networking without the urgency of needing a job, so that’s something I need to work on. I also want to learn more about medical writing and regulatory affairs to prepare for a potential promotion in the future.

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?

I think it’s easy to be afraid of changing lanes and trying something you’ve never done before. If you’re not happy doing research, you can move away from it. It took me a long time to get comfortable with choosing to pursue medical writing. You are absolutely not restricted to working in the lab or in the field going forward. A PhD is so much more than a pair of hands at the bench and you can do so many things with it. I’m so happy I never have to sit at a tissue culture hood ever again. Let yourself explore options outside of the lab and you may find that’s what will make you happy.

Ready to make your own industry transition? The Cheeky Scientist Association is the world’s largest PhD-only industry job search training platform and PhD-only industry job referral network. When you become an Associate, you get access to our proven job search blueprint, which includes 200+ training videos, interviews with industry PhDs working in the most popular 100+ careers for PhDs, lifetime access to a private job referral network of 8,000+ PhDs, and much more.

You get instant feedback from our trainers 24/7 on any job search-related question so you can be 100% confident in your decisions about your job search and your overall career. To learn more about how to make your own industry transition, 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.