Ricardo Rivera-Acevedo

The principal way to land a job like this is to show initiative and approach individuals directly if possible.
Ecovita Health Corp, Evitrade Health Systems
Chief Scientific Officer. Cannabinologist
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
Vancouver, Canada
Studies Into The Mechanistic Basis Of Local Anesthetic Action On Transient Receptor Potential Cation Channel Subfamily V Member 1 In Vitro
Dr. Stephan K.W. Schwarz, Dr. Christopher Ahern

What are your main responsibilities or activities in your current position?

I lead an international team developing novel therapeutic drugs and medical devices. I coordinate work activity, technical guidance on pharmacological methods, manage research projects and lead the development of effective new products. I also help guide the creation of new facilities required to manufacture these products.

How does your current work relate to your graduate degree?

The work I now perform is directly related to the knowledge and skills that I gained during graduate school. Apart from the excellent training provided by UBC's Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology, and Therapeutics, the most valuable skill I learned in grad school was how to expose myself to as many experiences and people in my field as possible. You never know when one person or event may be the springboard to achieve your dreams.

What do you like and what do you find challenging about your current position?

The thing I enjoy the most about what I currently do is being on the vanguard of drug research. This also means that I am always being challenged with some technical obstacle. It is very similar to the process of acquiring a PhD, except now there are direct commercial implications.

Is your current career path as you originally intended?

No, it is way better!

What motivated you to pursue graduate work at UBC?

It offered a mix of being a fantastic program in an equally fantastic city.

What did you enjoy the most about your time as a graduate student at UBC?

Getting to meet people from across the world and exploring the beautiful BC countryside.

What key things did you do, or what attitudes or approaches did you have, that contributed to your success?

Persistence. Not being scared to talk with anyone who would listen. Having a goal (even if a bit fuzzy) for my future dream job.

What is your best piece of advice for current graduate students preparing for their future careers?

Network, network, network with the people in your desired field or industry. They will be instrumental in helping you achieve your career goals.

Did you have any breaks in your education?

No breaks, I just plowed on through to finish as quickly as possible.

What challenges did you face in your graduate degree, or in launching your career?

Grad school is just a string of continuous obstacles and challenges that must be overcome in order to obtain a degree. This taught me that even when things seem overwhelming, I should not lose hope. For every problem, there is always a solution. I learned so much from my mistakes that I would not change anything.


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