Local experts on “alternative” life science careers

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In the past few weeks, I’ve come across two amazing women – both based in the Bay Area!

Toby Freedman has written a book titled Career Opportunities in Biotechnology and Drug Development. According to the website, it “provides a comprehensive and systematic overview of careers in the life science industry, with all their ups and downs.” Sounds like a great resource – wonder if any local libraries carry this book? It is available for purchase from CSHL Press or Amazon. Toby received her Ph.D. in molecular biology from UNC Chapel Hill and has since become a writer, recruiter, and entrepreneur. In 2006, she started a life-science recruiting firm called Synapsis Search.

Coincidentally, I just heard from a friend that Toby gave a talk at Stanford last week. Given the preparation she must have done in writing her book, I’m sure it was a great overview of “alternative” science careers!

She’s put together a great website for the book, including a summary (with a nice chart overview of careers in the life sciences), resources for finding jobs (including a list of Bay Area professional orgs), and even a list of career books.

In other words, she’s already gathered a bunch of really helpful “alternative” science career resources. Maybe I should just revise my resources page to redirect to her site…

One of the resources she mentions is one that I was just recently introduced to: Audrey’s Network. Audrey Erbes holds a Ph.D. in political science (!) from the University of Florida and has held management positions in a variety of roles in the biopharma industry, including strategic marketing and business development. She currently works as a life science business consultant and teaches bioscience business courses through UCSC Extension. Wow. Every week, she posts job listings and upcoming meetings on her blog. Audrey also has a great informational page about Bay Area orgs and other resources.

I sometimes hear from current or former grad students that they don’t know anything about “alternative” science careers or don’t know how to learn more about them. Makes me want to yell from the rooftops about all the great books and websites I’ve learned from! (Hence, my resource page.) There really is a wealth of information out there, and, as exemplified by Toby and Audrey, the experts are eager to share what they know.

[Note 08/11/2010: I really need to work on my post titles. The original title of this post was especially awful: “Two amazing women who want to share their expertise with you”. Have shortened the title to something slightly less clunky.]


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