Career QnA

Read about the career choices our mentors have made to become established biotech professionals. Each month, a new mentor will share their career journeys and advice for those wishing to follow in their footsteps.

Dr. Jennifer Solomon

Ashraf Amlani - Monday, February 28, 2011

Dr. Jennifer Solomon works at STEMCELL Technologies as a technical service representative, focusing on promoting specialized cell culture media to the northern USA territory. In addition, Jennifer was previously President of the Student Biotechnology Network and now serves as a member on SBN's Board of Directors. She completed her PhD in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Simon Fraser University. When she is not working or travelling, Jennifer finds solace in cooking and running. Continue reading to get a glimpse of Jennifer's life.

SBN: Describe a typical day at work

Jennifer SolomonJS: My days are always different, which is part of the appeal of my job. I spend a lot of time on the road in order to meet with current or new customers, and the remainder of my time in the office is spent preparing and following up from these meetings, and identifying new business opportunities. I also try to spend some time keeping up to date on my scientific and technical knowledge relating to the products I sell and labs/businesses I work closely with.

SBN: What do you enjoy the most about your job?

JS: Strategizing about how to grow the business in my region, the camaraderie between my colleagues, the independence my position allows me to have, and the opportunity to travel to interesting cities.

SBN: Describe some of the biggest challenges that you face as a Technical Service Rep

JS: Most challenges I face are in regards to transitioning from my very isolated role in a research lab, to a collaborative role within a large department. Also, I still struggle with moving from a role where I was very focused and highly knowledgeable in one area of science during my PhD, to having more of a general understanding of a broad range of scientific areas at STEMCELL.

SBN: What attracted you to this occupation?


JS: During the course of my PhD research I realized that bench-top and academic science was not my passion. I gainedan understanding of various careers available to PhDs in industry by continuously networking within the biotech community. After meeting with various STEMCELL Technologies employees, I felt that working at STEMCELL in a non-lab setting would be a great fit for me.

SBN: What challenges did you encounter while establishing your career and how did you overcome them?

JS: I’ve always struggled with ambiguity and having a “plan B”. Becoming involved in a field that is so fast-paced and dynamic has taught me that being open to uncertainty and constant change is necessary.

SBN: Any advice you would like to share with those wishing to continue in your footsteps?

JS: Network, network, network. Network not just to find a job, but to establish yourself and relationships with other professionals in the biotech community. You never know what opportunities may arise.

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