American Society for Cell Biology Mini Course- Katharina Sewart

Name: Katharina Sewart

Role: Doctoral Student

Program: Biological Sciences

Meeting: American Society for Cell Biology Mini Course


The course took place the day before the Annual Meeting of the ASCB in San Diego in December 2015. The aim of the course was to inform advanced graduate students as well as postdocs how to basically plan a transition into industry. The first half of the day was used to discuss two case studies of bioscience start-up companies and how and why they made their decisions the way they did it. This helped to get an idea of the bioscience business, industry dynamics and commercialization processes.

For me, the maybe most informative part of the course was the networking lunch. They invited several scientists from regional biotech companies (small and large) and we had time to connect with them and ask them questions. They told us about their own career paths, how one should approach job applications and what to expect from working in an industry setting.

The last part was about the “Business of Science”, where we learned how to evaluate ourselves and match our skills to the requirements stated in job descriptions. We generally got many tools in hand how to prepare and present ourselves during the application process.

All in all, this course is very valuable for everyone coming out of the academic setting to get a better understanding of how the biotech industry works, what the companies expect from the applicants and how to present yourself to be competitive.