About 12 female scientists attended the after dinner round-table discussion on Tuesday, to discuss about topics that are of interest to female graduate students and postdocs. The discussion started with an introduction of each attendee, including questions of interests to learn or to share experience on. The attendees included a mixture of graduate students and postdocs and female professors from the US (Profs. Lan Huang, Lingjun Li, Hui Zhang, and Si Wu) and mainland China (Prof. Hui Ye). The group asked the professors to share their personal experience, educational background, graduate school and postdoctoral training experience, and what it takes to become successful. Other questions included how to build self-confidence? What kind of CV would be needed to land a faculty job? How to balance work and family? Each person shared their own life stories and experience. Despite the very diverse and distinct experiences, there are a few things seem to be common among all the successful PIs attended this group discussion:
· Regardless your career goal is in academia or industry, always strive to do your best and build a strong CV that is competitive. That way, when the opportunity comes you can seize that opportunity. It is interesting to note that most of the professors did not think they can make it or were set on academic career path when they were in graduate school. But they put their best effort in their projects so they each had a competitive profile when they went on the market.
· In order to be successful in your academic career (especially for female), strong family support is very important.
· It is important to make connections and build network to support each other.
· Don’t let other people tell you what you can do and what you cannot. If you have the ambition and dream, follow your heart and keep trying.
Reported by Lingjun Li
Photo by Zezong Gu
(posted on 7/13/2019)
About 40 people attended the after dinner round-table discussion on Tuesday, on industry topics. The discussion started with an introduction of each attendee, including questions of interests to learn or to share experience on. The attendees included ~ a small number of young graduate students (1st or 2nd year), a large number of senior graduate students (4th or 5th year) and postdocs, a fair number of people working in industry with a few years of experience, and a fair number of seasoned professionals working in industry. The industries included instrument vendors, CROs, small biotech, large pharma, and chemical /consumer product companies. The questions people had included - How do I shape my research experience to help me find an industry job in the future? My research is very academic, not industry friendly, what should I do to change? Resume preparation? Interviews? Landing a first job? Career development in industry? Leadership development? Common challenges working in industry? Working in large company vs. small company?
Key learnings from the discussions and experiences people shared:
Talk to people working in industry, understand industry jobs, and accumulate relevant experience. Use intern, postdoc, or start in small company or CROs to learn and accumulate experience needed for the jobs you are passionate about.
Ask people to have a look at your resume and provide feedbacks. Follow up with hiring manager for feedbacks even not getting a job offer. They could provide feedbacks that are very helpful. People care.
Prepare for interview, research on company, group and people on the interview team.
Broaden the job search, especially for the first job, since a lot of pharma companies may not support H1 visa application. CROs and instrument vendors can be a good starting job.
Be flexible, don’t insist on doing things you want and know how. Industry jobs can be a lot of learning, using different techniques to solve problems.
Working in industry, to break the glass ceiling, identify problems, take the lead, and solve bigger problems without formal authority or title.
Not afraid of changing jobs, learning and accumulating experience, learn what you like the most and eventually do what you like.
Post discussion, some people exchanged communication info to connect after the ASMS.
Reported by Karen Wang/Naidong Weng
Photos by Zezong Gu
(Posted at 6/4/2019 by ZG)