The latest in a seemingly endless conga line of winter storms barreled through the Boston area last night, but it didn't put a damper on the kickoff meeting for the Futures in Life Science program. Propel Careers is partnering with MassBio and the MassBioEd Foundation on the year-long seminar series, which is focused on providing graduate students and post-docs with expert insights from industry professionals working in a range of disciplines and functions within the life science industry. Last night's event was hosted by MassBio and the audience filled their large meeting room. We thought there might be a drop off in attendance because of the storm, but about 120 students, post-docs, and medical residents braved the weather to network, listen to the panel discussion, and then meet and mingle with the speakers.
The panelists included Alex Szidon, Ph.D. from Novartis, Arthur Hiller, M.S. from Hiller Life Sciences Strategies, Kevin Sprott, Ph.D., from Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Slava Akmaev, PhD, from GNS Healthcare, and Dennis Meletiche, PharmD, from EMD Serono. Each panelist provided a brief overview of and highlights from their careers, as well as insights into their specific roles and how they ended up where they are now. They all have different backgrounds and work in different areas, but there were common themes that ran through their discussion and comments. Each speaker had anecdotes about serendipity or luck playing a part in their career paths, and all of them stated that they if they hadn't recognized and seized those opportunities, they might have passed them by. They prescribed increasing one's knowledge and understanding of different roles through networking, as well as reflecting on careers where one could picture him/her self being happy and having fun. These were welcome comments, since it is the stated goal of the Futures in Life Science program to provide a platform for graduate students and post docs to do just that: network, make new connections, and become more informed about the life science industry and the many rewarding careers that can be pursued. Propel Careers is a firm believer that career decisions and career development are greatly enhanced by increasing your knowledge, perspectives, and contacts. One comment from a panelist that resonated with me was that there are careers in the life science industry for people from every background. We are striving to shed some light on those careers and to make new and valuable connections for the participants in this program.
We hope to see you at one of the six seminars scheduled for the remainder of this year! Stay tuned for details including the dates, locations, and panelists for those events. We will be broadcasting updates via email, LinkedIn and Twitter.