Below are a few takeaways from the March 8th Futures in Life Science Panel Event to provide individuals guidance in thinking about their career paths. About 100 individuals joined us for a very enjoyable evening at the MassBio offices in Kendall Sq, Cambridge MA. Speakers for the event included: Arthur Hiller, M.S., President, Hiller Life Sciences Strategies, LLC; Kevin Bitterman, Ph.D., Principal, Polaris Ventures; Maureen Nugent Franco, Vice President and Global Brand Leader in the rare genetic division, Genzyme; and Steven Bernitz, General Partner, Extera Partners. John Hession, a Partner in the Venture Capital Financings and Emerging Companies practice at Cooley LLP, moderated the evening and provided lively context for the panel discussion.
Each of the panelists shared perspective on their respective career paths and current roles, lessons learned as they transitioned from academia to industry, insights into emerging trends which will impact the life sciences industry going forward, and highlights of the importance of networking, mentorship, preparedness, and serendipity to their careers. Below are a few takeaways that all of us can use as we develop in our careers.
Everyone should develop their skills of communication, presentation, listening, teamwork, project management, etc. If you make yourself "a go to person" who knows how to solve problems, then you will standout and be seen as a valuable resource to your current or potential employer.
Get on LinkedIn and use it. It is the new "phone book". Build your profile, add in details of your experiences, use it to network. Many jobs are being filled using LinkedIn. To increase probability of finding a match, make sure you have this base covered.
Do not ONLY rely on technology such as Facebook, LinkedIn or email. In an increasingly high tech world, there is an increasing need for high touch. Actually write a thank you note. A hand written note goes a long way in being differentiated. Attend networking events. Ultimately, there is no replacement for in person meeting. This goes a long way.
It is important that individuals remember points outside of a person's resume - make yourself memorable through your experiences or personality.
Networking is two sided. As you meet people and ask for assistance, also think about how you can help them. This is extremely important to build real lasting relationships that are meaningful and fruitful for both parties.
The stability of one's career is not the company they work for but the company they keep and what they do with the right people.
We hope you will join us for Future events in the Futures in Life Science Series.