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Career Management
Events, 2010

Resources for Career Management for Chemists in a Challenging Market Series

Organized by Younger Chemists Committee–St Louis ACS


A part of the audience at the fourth Resources for Career Management for Chemists in a Challenging Market Series, March 17

The Younger Chemist Committee (YCC) of St Louis saw first-hand the effects of the poor economy in the St. Louis area, and wanted to address the greater needs of the community of chemists. The YCC organized two career management events in 2009 to help chemists learn to better manage their careers throughout all its stages, especially in transition. The series continued in 2010 to provide resources to chemists in this uncertain job market. Washington University graciously provided a lecture hall for the meetings.

Specific topics included networking, addressing what employers are looking for in their employees, preparing for the interview process, and self-marketing. Attendees also heard from speakers about alternative careers for chemists. While these events help younger chemists, they have also been useful for chemists who are just young at heart.

Each event has a similar format: a big opening with pizza and soda, and time for networking. Presentations by a diverse group of career professionals followed. There was always time for attendees to ask the panel questions. Then there was more time for networking among attendees and presenters.

Date Speakers/topics Attendees
Feb 2
Michele Stabinsky
Talent Acquisition—Right People, Right Place, Right Time
Lisa Balbes
Résumé Preparation Tips For Scientists, a primer on résumé preparation that was followed up in the next seminar when attendees were invited to bring their updated résumés
Mar 17
Lisa Rokusek
Think Like a Headhunter! How to maximize your odds and get noticed, with helpful handouts that were also emailed to those in attendance
Lisa Balbes
Résumé Preparation Tips For Scientists and reviews of updated résumés
Nov 10
Kevin Pallardy
Career Management in Challenging Times, engaging the audience with questions and giving handouts that covered the key points from his presentation
Brock Levin
What Chemists Need to Know About Intellectual Property and also talked about what is like for a chemist to work in a law office as well as what it takes to become a Patent Agent.
Dec 8
Betsy Frick
Writing Proposals Better, Faster, Easier
Annette M Kirk and Tann Schafer
Regulatory Affairs As a Career Path

These events were attended by students, working professionals, and those who were currently seeking employment, and generated very positive feedback. Attendees commented on the amount they learned from the speakers and the value of networking with others in the room. Responsibilities for the events were spread across the members of the YCC to help generate involvement and prepare others for organizing future events. The YCC is looking forward to continuing the Career Management events in 2011 in order to help chemists better manage their careers.

Archana Parameswar intros Lisa Balbes

Archana R Parameswar introduced Lisa Balbes at the third Resources for Career Management for Chemists in a Challenging Market Series, Feb 2

Eric Bruton introduced Lisa Rokusek for her presentation on thinking like a headhunter to maximize your odds and get noticed

Bios of speakers

Michele Stabinsky gave the recruiter’s perspective in Talent Acquitition: Right People, Right Place, Right Time

Lisa Balbes, PhD, Balbes Consultants LLC
...has been a freelance scientific communication consultant since 1992, providing writing and editing services to companies such as Bausch and Lomb Surgical, Divergence, Sigma-Aldrich, Stereotaxis, and the FDA. Dr Balbes is the author of Nontraditional Careers for Chemists: New Formulas in Chemistry, published by Oxford University Press in 2006. She has been an ACS volunteer career consultant since 1993, a national career presenter since 2001, and is currently chair of the national ACS subcommittee responsible for developing new career programs. She earned her PhD in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her undergraduate degrees in chemistry and psychology from Washington University in St Louis.
Michele Stabinsky, Corporate Technical Recruiter, Sigma-Aldrich
...leads the talent acquisition activity for leadership and key scientific positions. Michele began her career as a bench chemist, and has over seven years’ experience in the recruiting industry, primarily in the scientific field. She has a personal interest in helping chemists transition from academia to industry, and has given many talks on the subject. Michele holds a BS in Chemistry from Western Illinois University, and a MS in Organic Chemistry from University of Iowa.
Lisa Rokusek, AgentHR
Recruiters have to be responsive to the needs of both candidates and companies. That way, clients get talent, candidates get respect, and everybody wins. Lisa focuses on companies engaged in technology-related product development, often companies where hardware and software play together in exciting ways. Though Lisa works nationally, she is passionate about the St Louis area and likes to help people be successful.
Kevin Pallardy, Managing Partner with BPI Group, North America
...manages the firm’s St Louis office. He is responsible for designing, developing, marketing, and delivering core services to his clients: executive coaching, career management, executive search, retention, succession planning, and career transition. He has coached hundreds of managers and executives to achieve higher levels of performance and career satisfaction.
Prior to joining BPI Group, Kevin held leadership positions with Citicorp, UnitedTechnologies, General Dynamics and Emerson Electric, where he developed solutions to support growth and development. His consultant work with a Fortune 500 company became a model for effectively addressing change management and internal career development needs for “survivors” of corporate downsizing. Kevin holds a Master’s Degree in human relations from Webster University and a Bachelor’s Degree in business administration from the University of Missouri–St Louis.
Brock Levin, PhD, Patent Agent for Global Patent Group LLC
...is a patent agent and in-house chemistry expert with a focus in pharmaceuticals and chemistry, with a particular interest in solid state/formulations chemistry. He undertook a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Missouri–St Louis before joining Global Patent Group in April 2008. Dr Levin has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Biology from Cornell College, and a PhD in Chemistry from Kansas State University.
Tann Schafer speaking

Tann Schafer speaking on Dec 8, citing regulatory affairs as a career path for chemists

Elizabeth A (Betsy) Frick, owner, Plain Language Solutions
Betsy has been in business as an independent consultant since 1990, and now concentrates on coaching individuals in business and technical writing. As an adjunct faculty member, she has been teaching required technical writing classes for engineers since 1999, and twice received the Best Class in Engineering ranking. The first edition of her workbook, Getting the Job Done: Better Business and Technical Writing won the Excellence in Training Award in 2002 from the Association of Professional Communication Consultants.
Betsy holds a Master’s degree in speech and hearing (with honors) from Washington University in St Louis. She is an Associate Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication and a long-time member of the Association for Professional Communication Consultants.
Annette Kirk, Chemistry Regulatory Pipeline & Seed Treatment Lead, Monsanto Company
...leads the Monsanto Chemistry Regulatory Affairs, Pipeline and Seed Treatment team. She and her team are responsible for early regulatory and stewardship reviews for any new pesticide products being considered for addition to the Monsanto portfolio. Annette has been with Monsanto for more than 25 years and in the Regulatory group for more than 10 years.
Annette holds a BS in biology with a minor in chemistry from the University of Missouri–St Louis.
Tann Schafer, Chemistry State Regulatory Affairs Lead, Monsanto Company
...is Monsanto Chemistry State Regulatory Affairs Lead. She is responsible for state registration of pesticide products intended for sale, storage, and/or manufacture in the US. In this role she develops and maintains effective relationships with key state regulators and is active in industry and government pesticide forums. She participates in meetings of the American Association of Pesticide Control Officials and is co-chair of the Western Plant Health Association Regulatory Affairs Committee.


The YCC would like to thank the St Louis Section–ACS for generously providing support and funding, all the speakers, Ed Hiss at Washington University, and the members of the YCC that helped in organizing these excellent events.

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