From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

November 2021
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Position Searching. Networking. Career Discussion
Filed under: Position Searching, Mentoring
Posted by: site admin @ 5:00 pm

On Tuesday afternoon at the ACS meeting, F. signed up to engage in a mock interview with me. F. is a director of computational chemistry at a pharma company. He seeks to have his career move in another direction we learned in a preliminary discussion. This is not an easy discussion to have and many times one finds it hard to figure out with whom it can safely and productively be done. What F. revealed in our discussion was that he desired a business development position and one in which he would negotiate and be the technology development liaison between partners. What can he do to successfully put his name in for such positions? What preliminary work should he do, what people should he meet to make progress in this direction? We agreed these were things to ask.

One Response to “Position Searching. Networking. Career Discussion”

  1. site admin Says:
    What F. did was a wise attempt to explore things he needed
    to pursue for himself. This ‘mock interview’ was a no-risk
    approach to “go outside the box” and explore new directions.

    F. revealed in our discussion that he had some experience in
    the roles he was seeking to move into but did not formally
    have that assigned responsibility and the formal business

    F. is an accomplished organic/medicinal chemist with a good
    industrial pedigree of projects and successful outcomes. F. is
    in the position of needing to
    (1) identify what formal skills are listed for his desired position.
    He then needs to confidently express how his experience
    demonstrates the mastery that formal training might give. These
    areas are more in the business realm. So, what we did was
    outline the formal MBA kinds of program and how his experience
    provides that background for him.

    (2) We spoke about how he miight do information interviews
    with both people (a)in those roles and (b)with MBA professors
    (keeping the name of the universities unspecified here to maintain

    (3) Then, once he confimed that the could satisfy the requirements,
    he should create a targeted resume and public relationship
    documents. By these we mean he should indicate his expertise
    in the field by pointing out what key indicators and key attributes
    of program roles make projects succeed. This could be done in
    a Industry Position Paper that would be sent to ‘decision makers’
    with his resume.

    (4) In addition, F. could list in a separate document successful
    projects in which he was involved.

    (5) Then, or in parallel with the above activities, he should identify
    target companies that he might apply. He could do good
    background studies on each company to see where he might find
    the best fit.
    One approach is to look for people who have made the transition
    like himself and become successful.

    F. seemed very pleased and positively taken with the direction
    we took in our mock interview.

    People should understand that these society sponsored activities
    can often move like this in the direction that most helps the member.
    F. attended a workshop that I led on the next day. He was both
    a very strong contributor in the workshop and most
    complementary about his “mock interview/career counseling”


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