The third and final coaching workshop for the Spring was held on April 14, once again with 20+ attendees and engaging discussions. We started with a presentation from Samina Azad on interviewing and how to convince the hiring team that you are the right fit for their role and organization. We also talked about salary negotiation.
Then our three invited presenters, chemists in traditional and non-traditional roles, talked about their career paths:
- Laura Lloyd, Senior Associate Scientist, Analytical R&D at Pfizer
- Susan Hartmann, Elemental Strengths coaching and consulting
- Eric Bruton, Chemist at Boeing
Laura, a recent graduate from SIUE, initially took on contract positions to build work experience until she landed a permanent scientist role with Pfizer. She talked about the importance of persistence in the job search process. One other key advice nugget: “Do the homework to know who the employer is and their vision/mission and product portfolio, before going to the interview. Be prepared to talk about what they do, why it is interesting to you and how you can contribute. It shows the employer that you are really interested and serious about working with them.”
Suzy described her career path, starting as a R&D chemist, then moving into a non-traditional role in Procurement and Supply Chain a few years down the road. She explained one particular transferable skill from her R&D days that helped her excel in the Supply Chain role: she was very good at analyzing data to understand trends in R&D, and found that same skill is key to success in supply chain and procurement planning.
Eric recapped his journey and talked about the various roles he held in industry, giving examples of projects that he worked on so the students could get see the breadth of projects they may work on as chemists in industry.
This wraps up our workshops for the Spring. Stay tuned for information on the Fall workshops, and best of luck to the new graduates in finding excellent opportunities!