What are your main responsibilities or activities in your current position?
I am currently a research scientist who is responsible for project design and execution and reporting on developing therapeutics against HBV infection.
How does your current work relate to your graduate degree?
My training in the virology and small RNA field during my graduate study formed the knowledge foundation of my work today. It allows me build quickly on my expertise in the HBV RNAi filed. The skill sets on project planning, experiment performing, data analysis, trouble-shooting and report preparation gained during my PhD training greatly helped my current work. My soft skills on communication, collaboration, and time management also improved during my training, which is a valuable asset for supporting my current work.
What do you like and what do you find challenging about your current position?
The main challenge is shifting from an academic to an industrial environment. Even though the sciences are similar between the two sectors, the way people communicate is very different. It took some time to adapt to this.
Is your current career path as you originally intended?
Yes, it is what I planned.
What motivated you to pursue graduate work at UBC?
The good reputation of UBC and its location.
What did you enjoy the most about your time as a graduate student at UBC?
The science research, some very pleasant staff and professors, and the beautiful campus
What key things did you do, or what attitudes or approaches did you have, that contributed to your success?
Working hard during my PhD to get good publications and an attractive CV, reaching out to people to seek suggestions and job opportunities, and being really enthusiastic to work in my current position.
What is your best piece of advice for current graduate students preparing for their future careers?
Plan ahead. Research around to find out what you really want to do for a career. Reach out to people and also provide help to others. Attend career development events and don't be shy to ask questions. Build up your soft skills and really spend time refining your CV every year (not just before job search).
Did you have any breaks in your education?
No, I did not have any breaks.
How did you find out about/obtain your current position?
One of my poster judges in a conference was a previous employee at this company. She found my research quite interesting, and when I expressed interest in working in a industrial company, she kindly provided me some info on this company. I reached out to her when I started job hunting, and she helped me a lot.
What challenges did you face in your graduate degree, or in launching your career?
As an international student, it was a bit difficult to get involved in social activities for the first 1-2 years at UBC. If I got a chance to do this training again, I would be more brave and get involved earlier.
How are jobs normally posted and filled in your organization or industry?
When there is need for a new recruitment, a job post will be posted on some websites such as LifeSciences BC. Current employees sometimes also send out the job post to their connections. Hiring managers and human resources select a handful of candidates based on their CV, and a group of people interviews the candidates before a decision is made.