The San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering in partnership with Young Women in Bio on International Women's Day was indeed an exciting opportunity for high-school and college age females to explore the myriad of exciting careers available at local biotech companies and media organizations. The event was held in the magisterial Illumina Theatre at the Alexandria and after the talk, a special dessert reception took place.
The event was beautifully moderated by Kristen Cusato, communications manager for the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute
Panelists were Amy Cullinan, Social Media Manager at Illumina; Dorothy Tran, Co-Host on the AJ Show on Energy 103.7; Karen Sparks, Account Director at the Chempetitive Group; and Anne State, Broadcast Journalist for ABC10.
The main question for the panelist to share their stories and wisdom was:
"Your career advice in 3 words?"
First up Kristen: "Never Stop Learning"
(Very in line with our February event and the precious advice from Celgene’s Chemistry director, Katerina Leftheris, right?)
After a 24 year long career in Journalism, Kristen now ‘tell stories’ as she describes with a smile, for the Science community, without any science background! Another piece of advice she shares later on is “Listen to others, they can pick up on what you are good at."
Second, Amy: "Get Out There"
Trained as a scientist in microbiology, Amy realized early on that she likes to write, so she pursued a career in technical writing that has led her to work for the most innovative company in the world. She later continues, “Your career may not even exist yet so keep your eyes wide open. If you don’t know where to progress, go back to your childhood loves & trust your guts”…
Then, Dorothy shares hers: "Never Give Up"
Dorothy knew she wanted to be on air and kept on persisting towards her goal, accepting along the way tasks and jobs that were not necessarily on top of her wish list. Persistence paid off as she now co-hosts on the AJ Show on 103.7. She later gave this piece of advice: “When you are in school take internships, and establish personal connections, which will be very important in the future”.
Karen confidently suggested: "Willing To Try"
“Variety is the spice of life!” A theater major in college, Karen strolls through life embracing change from working in Los Angeles for the entertainment industry, or for a High Tech Public Relations firm, or for a magazine for the coatings industry- and now for the Chempetitive Group, an integrated marketing communications agency focused exclusively on the life sciences. No two days are the same and it is a great way to touch science without being a scientist. Her last advice: “Any job has a learning curve; it’s important to balance it out and know to leave when it is not for you. Be careful to never burn any bridges and also not to be fake nice!”
Lastly, Ann concluded on the high note: "Always Be Nice"
In all jobs, in her case at a TV station, so much team work is involved, you are always bugging people for help to realize what needs to be done. You need to be nice and approachable, it will serve you well. Another 3 word advice she added on a more personal note is the well known saying "Smell The Roses." After recently losing her mom, she understands now more than ever the need to savor every moment as you never know when it will stop…
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