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Changing Careers

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shkennedy@msm.edu
(@shkennedymsm-edu)
Posts: 27
Eminent Member
Topic starter
 

I think all my classmates know that I'm currently a firefighter. I've been a fireman for 7 years. I've entered the master's program for biotechnology because surprisingly my job deals with 80% of medical and cellular level science. As I'm finding my way through the program, my interest is in gene therapy; however, when Dr. Simon explained the job difference between academia side and the industry, and how there's an extreme job need on the industry side such as Regulatory Affairs. I'm excited to learn more about these careers, and if I'm interested in one of them then I'll definitely look more into it before graduation.  

 
Posted : 29/06/2022 9:16 pm
sfiles@msm.edu
(@sfilesmsm-edu)
Posts: 19
Active Member
 

I found the topic of academia vs industry compelling. There are definitely pros and cons to both. For academia I would hate to deal with the politics. Its already hard enough being a black female scientist in a male dominated field without having to compete with others for job security and stability. But academia would provide a stable consistent job even if the pay is lower than industry. In industry it is more fast paced and work heavy. It may be hard to settle down and have a family while working in industry. The pay is better though. In the end, we will each have to take the time to sift through the pros and cons of each to try and decide which is a better fit for us and the lifestyle we want to have. for me, I think currently I'm leaning more towards academia. I have yet to see any aspects of industry more appealing. 

 
Posted : 29/06/2022 10:48 pm
lsmallsfox@msm.edu
(@lsmallsfoxmsm-edu)
Posts: 17
Active Member
 

Over the past fifteen years, I have held the positions of project manager and transportation analyst. Currently, I am a project coordinator for a company called MSI, which I service Home Depot for all locations throughout the U.S. I always had an interest in biology but didn't know precisely how to transition into it after being a part of another unrelated sector for so long in my professional career. Being a part of the Bridges to Biotechnology and Bioentrepreneurship summer program gave me the courage to start my journey into the Biotechnology Master's program. I am nervous but excited. The interesting thing I have noticed is that the fields I have experience in may not directly relate to science but has aided in my understanding in subjects such as project management, marketing, and being familiar with some regulatory guidelines or agencies and vice versa when it comes to my job. At times it can get frustrating. Working full-time and being a wife and mother comes with its challenges, yet it's been a rewarding journey.

 
Posted : 30/06/2022 1:53 am
zandrews
(@zandrews)
Posts: 16
Active Member
 

Considering I've only had a short time where I worked full-time due to being in school, I've still had more thoughts about my career path as it pertains to what I've been learning in this program. I recently quit my medical scribe role in May for various reasons, but one of them was me feeling the clinic I worked for not being adequate in patient care with regards to their speed and communication with us on patient notes. The company itself created a device that live streamed the patient encounters for us to take notes with, and that in addition to seeing how the clinic providers ran things, caused me to think more in-depth about what I'd like to implement in the future should I open my own clinic for my community, as well as if I end up developing a biomedical device. Hopefully this class will allow me to explore the biomedical device route more, as my interest has increased not just from my work experience and the degree program, but also my brief yet fulfilling time working on a student team at Emory for medical device consulting.

 
Posted : 02/07/2022 5:54 pm
zandrews
(@zandrews)
Posts: 16
Active Member
 

Considering I've only had a short time where I worked full-time due to being in school, I've still had more thoughts about my career path as it pertains to what I've been learning in this program. I recently quit my medical scribe role in May for various reasons, but one of them was me feeling the clinic I worked for not being adequate in patient care with regards to their speed and communication with us on patient notes. The company itself created a device that live streamed the patient encounters for us to take notes with, and that in addition to seeing how the clinic providers ran things, caused me to think more in-depth about what I'd like to implement in the future should I open my own clinic for my community, as well as if I end up developing a biomedical device. Hopefully this class will allow me to explore the biomedical device route more, as my interest has increased not just from my work experience and the degree program, but also my brief yet fulfilling time working on a student team at Emory for medical device consulting.

 
Posted : 02/07/2022 5:54 pm
keyahbrown
(@keyahbrown)
Posts: 6
Active Member
 

Since the time I began undergrad in 2010, I have had several career changes. While I was in college I interned for radio stations, an urban magazine, nonprofit organizations, and the Alabama House of Representatives. When I first graduated college, my first job was a health aide at the VA hospital (I graduated in the middle of the pandemic). I quickly realized I did not like that job and switched to another position in healthcare. My point is, I have gained a host of various job skills. I currently am contracted in five different high schools and since it's the summer I decided to take an internship at Columbia University conduct biomedical research. 

I feel nervous because I know I am finally on a path to narrowing my actual career concentration, however, I am confident that I will succeed. I belive too many different experiences may come off as intimidating to hiring managers, however, Millennials like myself and those born after are known for multiple career changes throughout the span of our lives.

 
Posted : 07/07/2022 12:58 am
zhudson98
(@zhudson98)
Posts: 9
Active Member
 

I have also changed my careers as well. I originally wanted to be a pediatrician since I was a little girl. Then I wanted to be an anesthesiologist, then I wanted to be an anesthetist. I changed completely. I wanted to treat and help people, but I think I can do that differently. I recently lost motivation and I gained back in a project. I know my passion is researching and I still plan on researching.

 
Posted : 11/08/2022 12:34 pm
MK
 MK
(@mert)
Posts: 12
Active Member
 

I also changed my career drastically. I used to be a mechanical engineer, a mechanical design engineer, and I used to design electric motors. Now I am a biomedical student. After graduation, I want to combine my two branches and my skills and continue my designs in the biomedical field. Designing biomedical devices that will benefit people or improving the design of existing devices are among my primary plans.

 
Posted : 07/09/2022 9:50 am
ms2768
(@ms2768)
Posts: 13
Active Member
 

I graduated with a masters in BME in 2018 and have been working in the industry since. Since I do not have experience working in the academia side, I wouldn't be able to list the pros and cons as in depth as I would like to. However, I have worked alongside many post graduates in the medical device industry that I feel would be fantastic had they decided to work in the academia side. I have mentors in the industry that I believe would be great at educating others in their respective expertise of any specific subject. 

That being said, I feel like there will always be pros and cons to each side of the industry and that's when it comes down to what you are most passionate about. If your true passion lies within educating others on your subject matter expertise, then you would of course be a great fit in the academia side. On the contrary, if you enjoy working corporate to further develop devices, designs or processes that would be utilized in the medical field, then being in the corporate industry side would be a good fit. 

Although I cant speak on the education/academia side as much, I can say from personal experience that the corporate side does indeed have a plethora of options in terms of departments or teams that you can be a part of. That is my opinion on the difference between the two sides, I would love to hear others' thoughts on this matter! 

 
Posted : 07/09/2022 8:47 pm
tgt6
 tgt6
(@tgt6)
Posts: 52
Trusted Member
 

While I agree with what has been said in this forum, my experience has been a little different than what has been stated so far. I pursued my undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering and always had the idea of working at a lab or plant once I got out of school. I figured I would start with that and then later pursue a higher level of education after obtaining some experience. My first job out of college is in a chemical company but it is much more on the commercial side rather than technical. This was very intimidating at first since I have been in school for so long earning a very technical degree that I was not sure I would like it. 

After working there for over 4 months so far, it has been a very interesting experience and I am genuinely enjoying it much more than I thought I would have. But the question about changing my career path has always been in the back of my mind so I found this question and all the responses very helpful for my own thoughts. I am pursuing my MS to not limit myself if I do want to make a career change but also if I do decide to stay in this field, it can only help me with understanding a lot of the technical background and science behind the products we sell. 

I hope this topic resurfaces in the future of this class as it will be very interesting to hear about other people's experiences. 

 
Posted : 11/09/2022 11:25 am
ac825
(@ac825)
Posts: 37
Eminent Member
 

Im taking a smaller change in my career compared to the original poster but it still feels like a big step towards what I would enjoy. I have been working for a year and a half now as a field service engineer for RWJ Barnabas health fixing ultrasounds and X-rays in hospitals. My new position that I am starting in 2 weeks is as a Software Engineer for a small company working on applications for their EKG systems. It will be interesting for me to change from healthcare to industry but I am excited to grow from both this class as well as this new experience where I will get an exposure to working in a regulated environment.

 
Posted : 11/09/2022 3:21 pm
jbdoddo1
(@jbdoddo1)
Posts: 9
Active Member
 

It's honestly great to see so many people here making a shift and using their graduate coursework to facilitate it. I had an experience similar to tgt6, but on the manufacturing side making commodity polymers. While it was frustrating to not use much from my undergraduate education, the job allowed me to blunder my way into Chemical Process Engineering which I really enjoy. I'm currently in a PhD to change my career from making Polymer to making proteins. Dr. Simon's observations on academia vs. industry are pretty consistent with what I have observed, except for the pace of it. I find myself working the same hours as I did in industry, just with a little more location flexibility. After school is done, I currently want to return to industry. A job in the regulatory or QA/QC side might be my first move post graduation, as I have found so many more postings here than a pure manufacturing engineer position.

 
Posted : 11/09/2022 8:12 pm
jt63
 jt63
(@jt63njit-edu)
Posts: 12
Active Member
 

Though I didn't change my career fully, I changed subject which will lead to a bit different career as well. In undergrad, I was in materials science department, where we learn about different materials and I wanted to work with biomaterials for my research in future and I also started reading biology related articles though in undergrad I had no biology course. I found out that I feel more engaged towards those than current courses, and then I decided to apply to biomedical engineering for my Ph.D., and yes, now I am doing my Ph.D. in biomedical engineering. 

 
Posted : 12/09/2022 11:45 am
ameen
(@ameen)
Posts: 12
Active Member
 

My story is similar to MK's, aka @mert's, story. After completing my Undergrad in Mechanical Engineering, with a keen emphasis on design and development of automobiles, graduating during a very unfortunate time, mid-pandemic, was something I did not expect. It was inspiring to see how manufacturing companies, regardless of industry, took the initiative to produce oxygenators, masks, sanitizer dispensers, and anything else that could keep COVID at bay. 

After doing a little research, the doors of biomedical engineering opened to me a completely different world where I feel I can utilize my knowledge of mechanics, materials, and manufacturing to come up with something that could benefit the common man and better maintain his health. 

I heard Dr Simon talking about regulatory affairs and clinical research. This was something I did not know existed. Thinking between academia and industry-oriented professions, I felt that this decision is reliant on every person's personality; if they want a high or low-stress job, if they are extroverted or introverted, if they are looking forward to retiring early, and many other reasons.

 
Posted : 15/09/2022 6:27 pm
mj386
(@mj386)
Posts: 12
Active Member
 

Like many others who have posted here, I have also made changes in my career. As I grew up, I always gravitated toward helping others in any aspect of their life. Initially, I obtained my bachelor’s in psychology a couple of years ago. After working in the psychiatric ward for a while, I noticed that admitted patients had trouble moving about due to their limited access to mobility assistance, mainly those without prosthetics. At that point, I wanted to take a different approach to helping others and, as I always found prosthetic devices interesting, decided that I wanted to go back to school and chose Biomedical Engineering. With the hope that everything goes well, I would be happy knowing that I was helping others navigate their way in life better.

 
Posted : 16/09/2022 6:21 pm
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