1. Please describe your current position.
I work in research & development at Genzyme studying rare diseases in skeletal biology.
2. How far in advance of your planned starting date did you begin looking for jobs?
3. How did you learn about your current position?
Through a former employer.
4. Were any resources (inside or outside your university) particularly helpful in your job search?
5. What was your work or educational background before you were hired?
I had just finished my Ph.D. and before graduate school had worked in the same field as a research technician for 3.5 years.
6. Which aspects of your background (postdoctoral training, internships, etc.) were required for your position?
My overall experience in my research area.
7. How long after your interview did you start your position?
8. How would you describe the interview process and how did you prepare for it?
The interview process was pretty standard. I spent 1 day interviewing with various people and presented a 1hr seminar on my research. I practiced with my lab for the seminar and researched background information on the company.
Were there any skills or experiences in your CV that seemed to stand out? Having some experience in industry previously as well as my background in the field.
9. Had you seriously pursued other positions or career paths prior to being hired? If so, what factors led to your ultimate job choice?
Yes, my goal has been to work in industry so this was an ideal opportunity for me.
10. Has your career trajectory followed the path you’d expected when you started graduate school?
11. How do you spend an average workday?
I still spend a lot of my time in the lab. I also have meetings and computer work (reading papers, preparing reports and presentations, data analysis, etc.).
12. What do you most like about your work?
I love my project and the overall work environment.
13. What do you find the most challenging about your work?
Balancing my time spent in the lab with time spent in meetings and at my computer.
14. What skills do you think are absolutely essential for your position?
Communication, I interact with many different people in order to coordinate work on my project.
15. Do you think it helps to have a certain personality to do the work you do?
Yes, it is a must to be able to interact with others comfortably.
16. Are there any traits that would make it difficult to succeed in your position?
Being a loner or unable to relinquish control. In a company it is inefficient to do everything on a project yourself so it is important to be able to trust the expertise of other people.
17. What advice would you give to someone looking for a position like yours?
Networking is critical as it always helps when people can put a face with the name on a CV. There are not many postdocs available in industry so it helps to get referrals for positions that match your skill set.