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Give Yourself Permission To Believe That You Can Accomplish Whatever You Put Your Mind To

Give Yourself Permission To Believe That You Can Accomplish Whatever You Put Your Mind To

Career Story Blog Post By Elaine Hill, PhD, Assistant Professor of Public Health Sciences and Health Economist at University of Rochester

I am not particularly inclined to follow “the rules”. What do I mean by that? Well, for one, I don’t think that conventional wisdom about what I can and can’t do applies to me. And, I believe that goes for you, too. I also believe that only I can define myself as a scientist. In order for any career that you choose to be your own and to be intrinsically self-satisfying, you must define your identity. This means taking a step back and having a vision to guide your path as a scientist.

Road to Technology Transfer

Road to Technology Transfer

Career Story Blog Post By Weimin Kaufman, PhD, Licensing Manager at UR Ventures

When we were little kids, we seemed to know exactly what we wanted to do or to become when we grew up. Now that we have grown up, it turns out that it is so much easier to figure out what we don’t want to do or to be. As a graduate student or a postdoc in the life science space, the professional prospect now is not as straightforward as it had seemed. Professorship has become a rather rare event when compared to all the other career choices out there. Because of various reasons I will talk about later in this blog post, I decided to leave the bench in the lab after two short postdoc trainings. I hope the story of my career choice thus far can be an inspiration to you in exploring careers away from the bench. Every venture needs a plan, whether to guide its business operation or to present it to investors for raising capital. So do we as individuals! Our career is our own venture. I believe that every one of us needs a guiding plan -- not one engraved in stone -- but rather, a plan that evolves as we advance professionally. 

Life is Hard: Keep Your Eyes Fixed on the Prize

Life is Hard: Keep Your Eyes Fixed on the Prize

Career Story Blog Post By Andrew Tomaras, PhD, Vice President and Director of Microbiology at BacterioScan Inc.

I was 3.5 years old when my sister was born with Down Syndrome, and one of the earliest childhood memories I can recall was being at the hospital with all of my extended family members awaiting her arrival.  Needless to say, it was not the typical glee-filled event.  During her early life, my sister struggled with multiple medical issues common in Down’s – she had open heart surgery at 6 weeks old, got pneumonia constantly (which always seemed to happen while on family vacations), and had to undergo speech therapy starting at a very young age.  The constant exposure I had to emergency rooms, doctors’ offices, etc. really impacted me in a way that I wouldn’t fully comprehend until later in life.  My interest in science, particularly in medicine and human disease, was undoubtedly fueled by these early childhood experiences.

Naturally I entered college as a pre-med major, and college was…..well……college.  I did alright, but definitely had my fun.  One of the core requirements for my microbiology major was to do a semester of laboratory research, which I did in the department’s ecology lab.  It gave me an awesome research experience, even though it wasn’t directly related to human medicine.  Now up until this point, I had been gung-ho for medical school, then suddenly this fantastic research experience completely threw my world into a tailspin.

Communications 101

Communications 101

Career Story Blog Post By Amy Donner, PhD, Director of Communications at RA Capital Management, LLC

A brilliant idea that cannot be communicated is no more useful than no idea at all.

Whether you aim to specialize in communications, manage projects, develop strategic alliances or run your own company, strong communications skills are an essential component of a successful career. If you are a good listener and writer, you already possess two important skills that set you apart from most scientists. Put your self-assessment to the test by considering the following question: Can you take the information you gather from multiple sources, turn it into a plan of action, and communicate that plan to others in a simple and comprehensible fashion? If so, congratulations, you are well on your way to a successful career. If not, what do you need to learn to get you to a ‘yes’?

Three Data Points: Two Cold Calls and One Connection, Plus a Hat Trick

Three Data Points: Two Cold Calls and One Connection, Plus a Hat Trick

Career Story Blog Post By Tracey Baas, PhD, URBEST Executive Director

I wanted to be included in the Career Story Q&A Seminar lineup to let URBEST trainees know that I accomplished getting one research job and one research-related job without having any personal connections. I wanted to represent one of the outliers. I used science-focused job boards and sent my resumes as online applications. While I do agree this method isn’t ideal, and I’m strong believer in networking, it is not impossible to make it work.