Across BlueRock, we strive to hire the best talent. To do that, we take an open-minded approach to career trajectory and experience. Look a little closer and you will see a diverse workforce with employees who have transitioned from academia to industry, across industries, or non-linear career paths, in addition to those who have dedicated their professional lives to life sciences companies.
I have moved around quite a bit, living in Thailand, India, England, where I did my Ph.D., and finally Canada, where I moved for love since my husband is Canadian.
I did my Ph.D. at Oxford where I worked at the intersection of stem cell biology and immunology, focusing on making induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived immune cells. When I moved to Canada, I decided to pursue my post-doc at the Hospital for Sick Children, where I studied adult glioblastoma, taking patient-derived cancer stem cells and trying to get rid of them using small molecules.
I knew that I wanted to work in biotech, particularly to work on iPSCs, which is my passion. When BlueRock was founded, I knew that I wanted to work there.
I left BlueRock for about a year then realized I missed the science we were doing. When I came back, I transitioned from Research to Process Development. If you had told me a couple of years ago that I’d be working in Process Development, I would have said ‘How?!’ But BlueRock wanted a biologist in this role, and I knew BlueRock was where I wanted to be. In this role, I am tasked with working cross-functionally to look at product quality and how we assess it. What does quality look like? What do safety and efficacy look like for a patient? This is a new area for me, and I learn something every day. I always thought I should become an expert in one area but it’s amazing how all my varied past experiences have all come together in my current role.
Science is humbling. I find that the more I learn, the more there is to discover. It’s a constant quest for knowledge.
My advice for those just starting out or who may be looking for career growth or evolution:
- You can never really know all the jobs that exist in various industries, and what you might be a great fit for. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people in the company or landscape and figure out what’s out there.
- Keep lines of communication open within your network. You’d be surprised how many people thought of me for things, and I try to pay that forward now that I’m on this side.
- At the end of the day, it comes down to people. Find your network – your friends, your colleagues – and stay in touch.
While I am a BlueRock ‘boomerang’ and the company grew exponentially in just the one year that I was gone, one thing has remained and that is the feeling of passion, motivation, and amazing science.