Day 3: Networking Case Studies
As part of our SciPhD Networking online training program, we provide a “VIP Networking Reception” in which our academic scientists meet former SciPhD students who have gone on to productive careers at professional organizations in a virtual setting. These events are an opportunity for our students to put into practice the communications skills and networking philosophy that is part of our program. The event is typically about 1.5 to 2 hours via Zoom breakout rooms and provides an opportunity for each of our students to interact and exchange contact information with multiple representatives from area biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, most of whom are former SciPhD students who have successfully moved on to successful careers in professional organizations.
During these events, we receive reports from excited students who have established a connection that led to an interview. In one particular example, one of our students was invited to a 2 hour interview the following week as a result of her performance during the networking session with one company representative. She was contacted by HR just a few hours later and informed that they felt her interviews went very well and would be sending an offer. After some productive negotiations, she accepted the offer and is now a very satisfied employee putting her science to work. Obviously, this is an unusually rapid progression to landing a job, but having acknowledged that, we can also report that this is not the only case like this.
In another example, one of our students used informational interviews as a first step in building connections in a company that provided introductions to other industry professionals, which in turn led to interviews. At the same time, she used her new networking skills and reached out to former scientists from her institution who had already entered the workforce, and through those connections, was able to secure additional interviews, and multiple job offers.
In all these cases, the common thread is that our students are emphatic that their newfound confidence in their ability to initiate conversations, build their network and represent themselves in terms of what the hiring manager is really looking for, gave them a competitive advantage. Part of that confidence comes from their realization that their value to the organization goes well beyond their scientific expertise. Through our programs, they recognize and can demonstrate that in addition to that critical technical/scientific identity, they also have a well-developed business identity and social identity that together make them formidable candidates. In many cases, additional intelligence gained through networking aided interview preparation, and job offer negotiations resulting in higher base salaries and additional compensation. Our students consistently identify their increased self-confidence gained through our programs and subsequent guidance, along with the analytical tools provided by our web-application Flamingo as the major factors that lead to their success.