Archives for posts with tag: career planning

Each Friday we post a new v i s t a profile, a career beyond the academy story (use the tags at the bottom of the post to find the entire list). These posts accompany our curated events to support post-PhD career transitions, v i s t a mentoring, and also #sheffvista on Twitter.

Job title and company: Scientific Content Manager and Global Campaign Manager, , Merck KgAa, Darmstadt, Germany

Approximate salary range for your type of role: Variable €40-55K

HEC2015-2.jpgWhen you come across someone in a role where you think “ooh, I’d like to do that job” it seems that the answer to the question of how they got there is always “well, I just fell into it really” or “I got lucky”. I feel the same, but obviously, there is more to it than that. There always is.

I have a degree in Medicinal Chemistry, and a PhD in Protein Crystallography, where I specifically studied the structural basis of DNA repair.

So how did I end up in marketing?

Like many PhD graduates, I stumbled out into the real world lacking in confidence, so I decided to remain in what I thought was my comfort zone, by taking a postdoc position close by. Midway through, my PI relocated to Atlanta, which although not on my bucket list, provided a great experience career-wise particularly in terms of new experiences and managing my projects.

The benefit of a postdoc job is you know when they are going to end, so you have time to prepare and figure out what the next step is. I looked into doing other postdocs, and various other jobs, but I got lucky and found a scientific R&D position in France with a genome engineering company. Having thought I’d struck gold, during my third year there, after settling in and learning the language, I was suddenly made redundant due to financial difficulties in the company.

I remained unemployed for 6 months, during which I translated my CV and learnt to write cover letters and conduct interviews in a second language, and started networking like crazy. In the end, I accepted a demanding, but relatively low-paid position in a small CRO (contract research organisation) for 6 months, which got me back into the market.

My own personal network led me to the next job, where I chanced upon a role in marketing for a company that sells screens and consumables for protein crystallography. The owner understood that a knowledge of the subject was more important than a background in marketing. In a small company, you have the benefit of seeing all aspects of the business and I learnt the marketing on the job.

20170425_113003.jpgSo where am I now? I am now part of one of many Global Marketing & Communication teams in the Life Science business of Merck KgAa, Darmstadt, Germany (now known as MilliporeSigma in North America). Previously Merck Millipore and Sigma Aldrich. Although not essential for my position, my manager felt that she needed someone with a PhD in this role to ensure the stakeholders respect my decisions and work.

I operate as a service for 6 Global Marcom (= Marketing Communications) campaign managers by providing scientific content for global brochures, emails, newsletters, webinar abstracts, web content for both the Merck and Sigma-Aldrich websites amongst many other things. Subjects I cover range from e.g. microbiological testing in the food and beverage industry, to column chromatography and Karl Fischer titration.

The campaign managers are not scientists, but they do work closely with the product managers who are. I have to check that the content is scientifically, and grammatically correct, whilst also ensuring that we convey the best message to the customer (yes, I sex-up agar!). Due to the size of the business, it is also extremely important to communicate new campaigns and product launches internally, so I also manage our internal web pages and newsletters.

The team I work in is based in France and Germany, and due to the global aspect of the job, I often also work with people in the USA – some of whom I have not met in person. A typical week involves many teleconferences with product managers, campaign managers etc. and I clear my schedule in blocks for writing so people don’t sneak in a meeting when I need to be thinking. I have a 1:1 with my boss weekly, and usually travel (often to the HQ in Germany) approximately once a month.

My tip is ‘always negotiate’. Academic salaries are fixed, but industry will always make you an offer as low as they think you’ll accept, so there is nearly always some wiggle room, and you will need to speak up to get it. Your negotiation may not be monetary, it could be hours of work, option to work from home, a company car, it’s for you to decide what is important. If they want you, they won’t rescind an offer because you ask, so you have nothing to lose.

Where can researchers look for jobs like yours? LinkedIn. Also, use your personal network. Merck Group here.

 

Each Friday we post a new v i s t a profile, a career beyond the academy story (use the tags at the bottom of the post to find the entire list). These posts accompany our curated events to support post-PhD career transitions, v i s t a mentoring, and also #sheffvista on Twitter.

Job title and company: Mentoring & Coaching Manager, University of Sheffield

Approximate salary range for your type of role: £35,000-£55,000 across the UK

I did science A-levels, a science degree and a PhD in molecular biology because it seemed at the time that’s what clever people did. When I (finally) finished my PhD I knew it was time to move on to a job where I would feel less idiotic all the time. I thought I’d better make a more informed decision about what to do next and so I trotted down to a careers service appointment. it turned out that a PhD with precisely ZERO extra curricular activities wasn’t massively attractive to employers, even when supplemented with my time pushing Sarah Lee gateaux in Iceland. Read the rest of this entry »

Each Friday we post a new v i s t a profile, a career beyond the academy story (use the tags at the bottom of the post to find the entire list). These posts accompany our curated events to support post-PhD career transitions, v i s t a mentoring, and also #sheffvista on Twitter.

Job title and company: Admissions, Outreach and Engagement Manager, Imperial College London

Approximate salary range for your type of role: £45,000-£60,000

Bioengineering Dept pages | Twitter: @J_DoubleS

pwpimage.html;jsessionid=1vtSYr0CJBMpkWPvHfYbJfJFCb3cCh9fHqk9psy3vxZ8LQSj3Jpd!-2068266046.jpegI have always been passionate about making science and engineering accessible to others, whether that was through research talks or posters during my PhD, or to members of the public, school children, MPs, community groups and patients through my career.

The catalyst for me was a course created by Professor Noel Sharkey at University of Sheffield, where amongst other sessions we had a talk from Fiona Fox, Director and now CEO of the Science Media Centre. After meeting Fiona, I interned at the Science Media Centre during my PhD and it really opened my eyes to a world outside of academia, and the impact of good and bad communication of science. Read the rest of this entry »

Each Friday we post a new v i s t a profile, a career beyond the academy story (use the tags at the bottom of the post to find the entire list). These posts accompany our curated events to support post-PhD career transitions, v i s t a mentoring, and also #sheffvista on Twitter.

Job title and company: Digital Publications Officer at Birkbeck, University of London

Approximate salary range for your type of role: £30k-£40k.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAjrAAAAJDEyZWZkOTBlLWQ1NTAtNGQzMC1hYmQ4LWVlMjBjYjk2YTdlYg.jpgMy career has felt too haphazard and bumbling to be described as a path, per se, but looking back, I can see that my choices were instinctively oriented around writing, editing and publishing. After my undergraduate degree (in History), I worked for three years in a bookshop, before securing a sales and marketing job in publishing. I then moved into selling international publishing rights, before returning to study an MA Victorian Studies at Birkbeck, University of London. Read the rest of this entry »

Each Friday we post a new v i s t a profile, a career beyond the academy story (use the tags at the bottom of the post to find the entire list). These posts accompany our curated events to support post-PhD career transitions, v i s t a mentoring, and also #sheffvista on Twitter.

Job title and company: IT project manager, Birmingham City University.

Approximate salary range for your type of role: In public sector contexts, project managers can expect to earn £32-45k (depending on type of project, seniority level/skills etc.). In private sector, it can be anything from £35-£70 (for very specialised skills and/or complex projects). Read the rest of this entry »

Each Friday we post a new v i s t a profile, a career beyond the academy story (use the tags at the bottom of the post to find the entire list). These posts accompany our curated events to support post-PhD career transitions, v i s t a mentoring, and also #sheffvista on Twitter.

Job title and company: Senior Editor, BioMed Central (part of SpringerNature)

Approximate salary range for your type of role: Editorial roles start ~£22k, increasing with promotions

image.jpg Read the rest of this entry »

Career planning is often presented as applying a logical, step by step approach following a linear pattern to develop your career but the reality is that life in general and our career thinking more specifically often don’t work that way. We have a huge number of options open to us and deciding what is the right career is no easy task. What happens for many people is that chance encounters, opportunities and life situations lead us to follow certain paths at different points in our life.

zigzag

What is important is the approach we take to what life throws at us and how we deal with it in a way that can benefit us. Although people may feel that they fell into what they are doing ‘by accident’, it is likely that their attitude played a part. So what should you do to make the most of life’s everyday events? Read the rest of this entry »

Each Friday we post a new v i s t a profile, a career beyond the academy story (use the tags at the bottom of the post to find the entire list). These posts accompany our curated events to support post-PhD career transitions, v i s t a mentoring, and also #sheffvista on Twitter.

Job titles and companies: 

  1. Product Innovation Scientist, Mars
  2. Senior Product Design Scientist, Mars
  3. Programme Leader, Mars
  4. Development Manager, Britvic
  5. ‘Head of Science & Public Engagement’ at Oxford University’s Botanic Garden

Approximate salary range for your type of role: Ca. 55k on leaving Britvic

new _28100.jpgI completed my PhD in Plant Molecular Biology in 2009 at the University of Bristol. I absolutely loved working in research and I wanted to pursue it as a career. So much so, I devoted my heart and soul to my work and I won both a faculty and a national prize. However this commitment to my PhD was followed by two unsuccessful attempts to secure funding. At that time, I started to question whether this was in fact the career for me. So despite my passion for plants and biology, I started to look at opportunities in Academia and also in Industry. Read the rest of this entry »

Each Friday we post a new v i s t a profile, a career beyond the academy story (use the tags at the bottom of the post to find the entire list). These posts accompany our curated events to support post-PhD career transitions, v i s t a mentoring, and also #sheffvista on Twitter.

Job title and company: Policy and Projects Manager, BioIndustry Association @DrMartinTurner

Approximate salary range for your type of role: £35,000-45,000

Martin.jpgWhy do politicians make the decisions they do? Why did the previous Chancellor, George Osborne, freeze science spending between 2010 and 2015, and why has the current Chancellor, Philip Hammond, promised to increase it by 20% over the next four years, albeit with an emphasis on innovation over basic research?

I started my career in policy because I wanted to understand how decisions like these get made, and to potentially influence them myself. Read the rest of this entry »

Each Friday we post a new v i s t a profile, a career beyond the academy story (use the tags at the bottom of the post to find the entire list). These posts accompany our curated events to support post-PhD career transitions, v i s t a mentoring, and also #sheffvista on Twitter.

Job title and company: Patent Attorney, Teva Pharmaceuticals

Detailed salary information for the UK market can be found here.

Moodie.jpgI enjoyed my time at Sheffield University whilst studying for my Biochemistry undergraduate degree and planning and performing experiments as part of my PhD. Towards the end of my PhD project I decided that I wanted to find a career that allowed me not only to keep up with the cutting edge of science, but also to broaden my business horizons. I found such a career as a patent attorney. Read the rest of this entry »