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Bio Careers Blog | Stanford School of Medicine

Bio Careers Blog


Welcome to the Bio Careers Blog. Opinions expressed on this blog are those of the bloggers, and not necessarily those of Bio Careers. Any registered member of our community is free to post comments on the blog. Postings and comments must conform with the  RULES.
Ian Street

05.24.2017 |    853 |   reply |
No votes yet

There are many paths out of academia, and finding one can be surprisingly difficult. There are a few things I might suggest can do to speed the process, things I wish I’d done earlier.   Academia has a way of keeping people in a holding pattern, especially at the postdoc level. By that time in a career, there’s a sunk cost fallacy at work saying “Tenure Track or Nothing” and the culture of academia is sticky. Experiments work out just enough to keep you going and motivated. It can also be hard to know where to go as access to professional development...


Judy Lytle

01.18.2017 |    3,884 |   reply |
No votes yet

“Business Development” can mean different things, depending on the position you find yourself in, the company or agency that hires you, the size and mission of the organization, and any number of other factors. As the Director of Business Development for a small non-profit research institute, I can tell you...


Michael Salgaller

08.15.2016 |    5,268 |   reply |
No votes yet

Recently, Genetic Engineering News published a list of what they believe will be the top 10 biotech jobs most in demand over the next decade. For those looking for moving beyond the bench, starting their science career, or just looking for a change, the list proposes where the likeliest landing...


Hamilton Lenox

04.13.2016 |    3,344 |   reply |
No votes yet

While my background is as a chemist, and my first role in industry was as a bench chemist, for the past 13 years, I’ve been handling business development, sales and marketing for a number of different organizations.   I am often asked what I think the most difficult part of the...


Tom Ruginis

03.16.2016 |    3,216 |   reply |
No votes yet

Three months after leaving the lab and ditching my PhD program, I found a job as a sales rep. I became that person who knocks on your lab door, interrupts your day, and asks you to buy lab supplies.  The first year was great. My income doubled from that of a...


Hamilton Lenox

03.01.2016 |    3,040 |   reply |
No votes yet

My name is Hamilton Lenox, and welcome to my first blog on Bio Careers.   When I was first approached and asked to contribute to the site, I readily agreed, in the hopes that I could potentially offer some insights that will help others who are just starting their careers, or...


Tom Ruginis

02.22.2016 |    3,534 |   reply |
No votes yet

It was summer of 2005, the beginning of a PhD program at the University of IL-Chicago.  I was grateful for my Student Mentor, Aaron Place, as he taught me the ropes. I was comfortable. Then classes started and I couldn’t stay awake. A dark auditorium and 8am classes?! Doubts began. Will...


Tom Ruginis

12.21.2015 |    4,083 |   reply |
No votes yet

As a CEO at HappiLabs, I have to manage the growth of the company, which includes hiring.  We are only a 5-person company, but we’re growing and, currently, I receive about one resume or inquiry per day. Each resume is guaranteed about 5 seconds of my time, as I do a...


Tom Ruginis

11.30.2015 |    4,267 |   reply |
No votes yet

A continuing blog series of life as an entrepreneur after leaving academia. 5 years ago I dropped out of a PhD program in Pharmacology. It was a difficult decision but a smart one. Once the decision was made, outgoing messages began:  “Hey, just thought I’d let you know, I’m dropping out of...


Tom Ruginis

10.05.2015 |    4,795 |   reply |
No votes yet

Life changing decisions do not happen often. They are difficult and will require you to dig deeper into your brain, gut, and soul to find the best path towards your happiness.  I was 28 years old in 2008 when I decided that a PhD and a life as a scientist, wasn’t...
Tags: academia to entrepreneurship, from bench to entrepreneurship


Renda Hawwa

07.31.2015 |    5,905 |   reply |
No votes yet

Two words that can evoke either feelings of pure excitement or pure fear: Startup Company.  Startups are common in the biotechnology world, as there are many brilliant scientists and business savvy people with innovative ideas and plans of how to implement them. After finishing my PhD in medicinal chemistry/structural biology, I was...
Tags: is start up a good option, working for startup companies


Naresh Sunkara

11.19.2014 |    8,066 |   reply |
No votes yet

My street credentials: I’ve been a graduate student, a PhD in Organic chemistry from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, a postdoc from the University of California, Berkeley, and transitioned into a fulltime entrepreneur for over a year now.  I have also founded the Berkeley Postdoc Entrepreneurship Program, to help PhD’s...
Tags: takeaways from being a scientist


Amber O’Connor

09.29.2014 |    8,367 |   reply |
No votes yet

This month, I thought I’d share with you some of the administrative things I’ve had to learn and complete when it comes to starting my freelance science writing business.   Having your own business means that you charge for services to earn income, and that you are responsible for assuring the...
Tags: how to start a freelance writing business, things needed to start up a business


Shu Chin Ma

09.12.2014 |    11,532 |   reply |
No votes yet

Thinking of where to start?  If you think joining a start-up company is your Willy Wonka’s golden ticket to lucrative stock options, mega cash-ins later, and early retirement before you hit the legal drinking age, then you might be interested in the Brooklyn Bridge, which I can sell to you at...
Tags: is joining a startup company good, startup company


Andrea Habura

09.05.2014 |    15,750 |   reply |
No votes yet

“…the world is, indeed, filled with a number of things… not only the wondrous creatures of the sea, but the marvelous hand and machine tools, and the stupendous assortment of plastic materials (both natural and manmade) available, as our own rich heritage from nature and from man’s creativity...” – Dr. Zach...
Tags: bioinstrumentation, toolbuilding for scientists, World Maker Faire


Andrea Habura

08.15.2014 |    12,361 |   reply |
No votes yet

There are two kinds of people in the world: people who think the world can be divided into two kinds of people, and those who don't. However, I rather like the metaphor of "foxes" versus "hedgehogs." It was coined by the ancient Greek playwright Archilochus, but it's famous thanks to...
Tags: hobbies for scientists, programming for scientists, side gigs for PhDs


Lauren Celano

03.21.2014 |    8,768 |   reply |
No votes yet

At the recent “How do you know if you are a CEO” Google Plus webinar on January 7th as part of The Capital Network and Founders Workbench series, a question was raised regarding whether a technical founder is a good candidate for the CEO role. Specifically, the audience member asked...
Tags: how to be a CEO, how to know if you are made to be a CEO


Scott Jeffers

03.18.2014 |    17,064 |   reply |
No votes yet

In my last post, I told you to buy the experience you need by hiring experts. In this post, I’m going to tell you, even if you have the experts, you still need to know the basics.  What does this mean? As scientists, we are not trained in business. We don’t...
Tags: how to build entrepreneurial skills, skills of an entrepreneur


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