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How to Make Friends and Meet People at a Scientific Conference

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Aug 7, 2014 9:58:00 AM

There is essentially no better place for a scientist to make new relationships than at scientific conferences. Conferences provide the opportunity to meet people who are interested in the same things you are on a deep level. Right away you have something in common. Namely, the scientific question you are interested in and this is a great ice breaker. Of course, real relationships go further and grow over time, but being interested in the same phosphate of your favorite kinase is a good start.

Check out Joanne's Reddit AMA

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Topics: Career, Networking

Advice for Starting a Biotech Company from a Grad Student turned Entrepreneur

Posted by Margo R. Monroe on Jul 10, 2014 3:17:00 PM

As a biomedical engineer and scientist, I like to envision that my research will have a direct impact on healthcare and the community. As a result, I have occasionally pondered translating my research into a startup company. However, like many like-minded people, I quickly realize that a company requires more than just good data to become a product.

I spoke with Dr. Mike Koeris, co-founder and current VP of Business Development & Operations of Sample6, for advice on how to take an idea developed during graduate school and turn it into a biotech company.

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Topics: Career, Synthetic Biology, Career Readiness

Scientist Networking: What is an Informational Interview?

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Jul 1, 2014 11:42:00 AM

Training as a scientist in the academic system has many pluses. I delighted in my graduate school years for allowing me to focus wholly on the science I love. This immersive nature of academia often means that scientists-in-training rarely get the opportunity to learn about the myriad of diverse, nonacademic careers that will be available once they have a graduate degree in science. I find it ironic that we do all of our training as scientists (5-12 years worth!) with academic scientists who can’t help us learn about the nonacademic sphere where most of us will be working

Check out Joanne's Reddit AMA

It should be no secret that one of the best things you can do during your training is meet interesting people doing interesting things. I call this building relationships because networking has gotten a bad reputation (as in…”I just hate networking”). Scientists enjoy learning new things. Building new relationships is all about learning new things from other scientists doing interesting work. Consider this to be like any other research project. You’ve met someone whose career interests you or you want to pursue someone doing a job you wish you knew more about – how do you make a connection? An Informational Interview is a great next step in your research.

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Topics: Career, Networking

Story of a SynBio Startup: RevBio's Epiphany (or Lack Thereof)

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jun 5, 2014 11:32:00 AM

This post was contributed by Nikolai Braun and Keira Havens, co-founders of Revolution Bioengineering. 

Last year we started a company. Revolution Bioengineering is two responsible adults in their 30s who have quit their academic science careers in order to head to Ireland and take a chance as entrepreneurs. To make things more interesting, we are working in a new technical discipline that nobody understands (synthetic biology), building a product no one has ever seen before (flowers that change color throughout the day) and doing this with very little money. So when did inspiration strike us so hard that we upended our lives and took this daring risk? What moment changed our whole outlook on the possibilities in life for employment? 

It never happened – there was never a “moment”. But there were a lot of very small steps.

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Topics: Career, Synthetic Biology, Career Readiness

Developing Transferable Skills During Science Training

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Jun 3, 2014 10:14:00 AM

You are finishing your PhD or perhaps you have almost completed a postdoctoral position… or two. You have learned a lot. Whether you are pursuing an academic career path or moving in a nonacademic direction, there are many “transferable” skills you have developed in addition to learning how to be a scientist. Why not stack the deck in your favor? Look for opportunities to practice transferable skills in ways that will also enhance your science training and that will put you in position to pursue a diverse set of career paths.

Check out Joanne's Reddit AMA

Here are some concrete things you can do to develop those transferable skills while you are also learning to be an excellent scientist.

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Topics: Career, Career Readiness

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