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A Quick Guide to a Career in Software Product Management

Posted by Guest Blogger on Nov 24, 2020 9:15:00 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger, Rachel Rubinstein, a field-based software product manager at Oxford Nanopore Technologies.

If the first thing you hear when someone says they’re a software product manager is “project manager,” you’re not alone. A few years ago when I started my career transition from bench science to software product management, I confess that I had no idea what software product management was either. Coming from a strong background of undergraduate research straight to a lab career at a biotech company, I always assumed I’d work one or two years at the company and then go to grad school.

However, about a year and a half into my role, I realized that actually, I didn’t want to go to grad school. But, I didn’t know what else to do. Fortunately, the head of software product management at my company was open to meeting with me and explaining more of her role, which eventually led me to transfer to her team and begin my product management (PM) career. Had I known about product management earlier on in my career, I’d have realized it was a great fit for my skillset and interests. As such, I want to be able to share more about this nontraditional career path for others who love science, but realize that the bench isn’t where they will be happiest.

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Topics: Science Careers, Science Career Options

Finding Your Science Policy Path

Posted by Guest Blogger on Sep 22, 2020 9:15:00 AM

This post was contributed by Steph Guerra, a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the Veterans Health Administration.

“But, seriously, what even is science policy?” 

I have been asked this many times throughout my short science policy career and this seemingly simple question is a moving target. There are a multitude of options for achieving success in a science policy career with many opportunities to pivot and grow along the way. That’s what makes it so wonderful.

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Topics: Science Careers, Science Career Options

Academic vs. Industry Postdocs

Posted by Guest Blogger on Nov 13, 2018 8:22:32 AM

This post was contributed by Laura Desrochers, a postdoctoral scientist at AstraZeneca.

Why I chose an industry postdoc

I’m currently doing an industry postdoc in neuroscience at AstraZeneca’s Waltham site after doing a brief academic postdoc. Why did I switch? Well, my long-term goal was to enter industry since I was drawn to the idea of working as a team to develop therapies that could directly impact patients. And, to be honest, I’ve never enjoyed grant-writing. The more I talked to people with industry experience, the more I heard that getting into industry early would only help.

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Topics: Science Careers, Science Career Options, Early Career Researcher

Oh, The Places You Can Go: Careers in Science Communication - Writing for a Research Institute

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Feb 2, 2018 10:20:48 AM

In this post of the Careers in Science Communication blog series, you’ll hear from Susan Keown, a staff writer at the non-profit Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

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Topics: Science Careers, Science Communication, Science Career Options

Career Insights: Technical Support Specialist

Posted by Klaus Wanisch on Nov 9, 2017 9:00:00 AM

A degree in the life sciences prepares one for numerous non-academic careers. Still, many start their scientific careers hoping to follow the traditional academic route (find tips for getting a faculty position here). Possible roadblocks only become obvious at rather late stages (i.e. postdoc level) and can include the pressure to publish in high-impact journals, and the requirement for a high grant success rate. At this point, candidates are highly experienced but often have to start pursuing other options.

While some non-academic career options require additional study for late career scientists to become more appealing on the job market (e.g. a postgraduate degree in law, an MBA, or similar), there are many roles out there that require exactly what life science PhDs can offer: vast practical lab expertise, experience in different scientific fields, and knowledge of how to troubleshoot problems at the bench. Specifically, roles in technical support make excellent use of the skills developed by life science PhDs.

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Topics: Science Careers, Science Career Options

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