Offering Perspective on Careers in Industry for Ph.D.s

Dr. Arthee Jahangir, administrative fellow for the Career & Professional Development Program, poses next to a poster showcasing the program’s monthly offerings for graduate students, postdocs and junior faculty.
Dr. Arthee Jahangir, administrative fellow for the Career & Professional Development Program, poses next to a poster showcasing the program’s monthly offerings for graduate students, postdocs and junior faculty.

Einstein's Career and Professional Development (CPD) Program for graduate students and postdocs recently hosted a campus visit from four representatives of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The central purpose of the event was to introduce Regeneron's three-year postdoctoral program, designed to give young scientists the opportunity to pursue a career in academia, industry or government. The foursome also discussed job opportunities at the pharmaceutical company.

Two of the panelists — Drs. Douglas Kamen and Zhe Ling — are Einstein alumni; they introduced the postdoctoral program and discussed their careers in science writing at Regeneron, each sharing how they've successfully transitioned from academia to using their scientific training in industry. They also described details of the postdoctoral curriculum and provided tips for the application process, noting that Regeneron's program will provide positions for eight postdocs during 2015.

Dr. David Hauss, director of preclinical regulatory liaison, then talked about scientific writing opportunities at Regeneron. He noted, "While science writing occurs outside the laboratory, it is closely aligned with the exciting science that is going on inside the company."

He and Regeneron science writer Dr. Katrina Fracchiolla stressed that making a successful transition into scientific writing requires having a strong science education, along with experience with interdisciplinary writing and communicating science to diverse audiences. They also noted that their current scientific writing department employs eight individuals, with openings for new writers anticipated in the coming year.

An overarching theme of the panel session was the value of having a good scientific mind, regardless of one's professional pursuits. All four panelists agreed that an ideal candidate's key characteristics should include a passion for science, a demonstrated potential for success and the ability to learn—all qualities acquired during graduate training.

Dr. Ling noted, "Although research at Regeneron is aimed at developing commercial drugs, there's a good mix of academia and industry based on quality research and the aim to cure diseases."

A Q&A session led by Dr. Arthee Jahangir, administrative fellow of the graduate division's Career and Professional Development program, concluded the visit. Questions from the audience prompted intensive discussions concerning different day-to-day responsibilities that the alumni and other Regeneron writers face, the specific career path from academic science to industry work taken by each, as well as other job opportunities at Regeneron and the company culture. All four panelists acknowledged that their academic training had set the groundwork for their careers in industry.

For more information about the Career & Professional Development Program at Einstein, please e-mail career.development@einstein.yu.edu. For information about how alumni can get involved with student mentoring, please contact the office of alumni relations at 718.430.2922 or alumni@einstein.yu.edu.

 

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