Lauren is a Medical Writer
with Ashfield Healthcare Communications where she employs her scientific
knowledge, critical thinking, and communication skills to create a variety
of educational materials for patients, clinicians, and MSLs and guide pharmaceutical companies in developing
the strategy underpinning their communications and initiatives.
Without the ACA, I would not have the job that I have (and love!) today. I mean this quite literally: I met my employer at an ACA event. But the ACA went far beyond providing me with the venue and opportunity to engage with the company that would ultimately employ me within weeks of my defense. Because of my experiences with the ACA, I had an elevator pitch prepared, a well-crafted resume in hand, and networking skills, all of which impressed my future employer.
From the time I entered graduate school, I was pretty sure I would not pursue a career in academia. But I was not sure of what career path I would pursue or, just as importantly, how I would gain exposure to the opportunities and connections within these careers. As the years progressed (before the founding of the ACA), I became more distressed over how I would find a challenging and fulfilling career. Even if I knew what opportunities I wanted to pursue (and I didn’t), I had no idea how to find those opportunities, let alone get one. With the founding of the ACA, School of Graduate Studies, Health Science Campus - Newark gained a huge asset. Suddenly, I had access to science professionals who embarked on a myriad of career paths, each with his or her individual journey. By attending events such as panel sessions and seminars, I learned more about the variety of opportunities for one with a PhD in the biomedical sciences, what they entailed, and which of those may or may not cater to my strengths and interests. And by attending events such a workshops and networking sessions, I learned how to market myself, my experiences and my skills, as a strong, qualified candidate for these opportunities.
My advice to every student: Take advantage of the events offered by the ACA - go early and go often. Finding your career path, how best to employ your passion for science, is a journey. It is a process best done over years of contemplation and networking. These events will help you identify your goals and provide you with opportunities to achieve those goals.