How to find a job in the bio chemical industry

1. Your first chapter title is intriguing.'How I Went from the Bench to the Boardroom'. Can you tell us a little bit about this?

The chapter tells the story of my evolution from typical bench scientist to creating a biotech consulting and publishing business. I am assuming you have access to the full book- let me know if you need the chapter emailed to you.

2. Being a technical writer is one of the alternative careers in science you talk about. How do one know he/she has the 'right stuff.'

Clayton Randall does a great job in chapter 2 of telling the reader the pros/cons of technical writing and his thoughts on the personality traits that make a good tech writer- a focus on life-long learning, ability and love of writing, working with people, being tenacious in tracking down the info you need, detail-oriented, able to multi-task.

In the end, it's like many of the alternative careers mentioned- you need to give it a try and see how you like it.

3. How does a person help to create their own opportunities?

Bottom line- you can;t sit back and expect someone else to notice you and offer you a chance. Be proactive, apply your research skills to identifying people in your desired career path, do your homework on their company, and talk to them.

4. Is there much of a demand for science journalists?

Good question- the growth of internet-based news is adversely affecting most traditional newspapers and magazines. but it does offer the opportunity for science blogs online. you need to think creatively about how to use the new technologies to get your writing to people.

5. Some people wouldn't have thought that investments, venture capitalists, and banking employees were in science. Tell us about that.

All of these fields have been packed with former scientists for over a decade, as biotech grew in financial importance- hard to do the analytical work required for these jobs without the scientific understanding of their basic businesses. This actually is starting to change as biotech becomes less of an innovative science-based biz and more like big pharma- simply a place to park investment dollars.

The new technologies- Clean tech, alternative fuels, etc. will draw folks from those fields into the financial side.

6. You use the words, 'Telling Their Story' to explain how public relations employees function. Can you give us more information about this area?

The job of PR is to tell the story of their clients to different audiences, to get them interested and excited about the client- so that they will: invest, want to partner, write newspaper/magazine articles about them, etc. PR is how companies communicate with the outside world.

7. Is there anything else you would want to add?

Lose your fear of trying new things, take advantage of serendipity, and don't think that you need an academic credential to try something new. it's a big universe out there, full of exciting opportunities. Scientists come to science because they love learning how things work, they learn how to research the unknown and how to look for facts to back up their beliefs- all of this can be applied to almost any job out there.