It’s Easy To Reach Out and Connect


By Shawna Abel. 

Shawna joined MakePossible at the annual SCWIST AGM in 2015 and has really enjoyed the SCWIST networking which she describes as “encouraging, supportive and inclusive”.  She is currently a second year PhD trainee in the Experimental Medicine program at UBC, and her long-term career goal is to obtain an executive level position in the pharmaceutical, health care or biotechnology industry.  

So you’ve joined MakePossible, now what?  It’s time to connect!

I know it can be a little intimidating to approach a potential mentor or reach out to expand your network.  So, I thought I’d share my most recent experience to encourage others to reach out and connect.

As someone who pursued a PhD with the intention of entering an industry career upon degree completion, I like to speak to Scientists who have also chosen “non-academic” career paths.  I’m interested in their career journeys, what has made them successful and what I can learn from them.

Here are 3 things I learned from my coffee meeting with Christin Wiedemann, Co-CEO and Chief Scientist of PQA Testing:

1) A key to career progression is to take initiative (e.g., taking on an extra project or recognizing where something needs improvement and improving it) without expecting a reward.

2) It’s important to be aware of the type of environments you thrive in.  Are you someone who performs better in a structured, regimented environment or someone who prefers unpredictability and a wide variety of challenges?  You’ll feel unfulfilled in an environment that isn’t the right fit.  It’s equally important to recognize and accept that every environment will have its trade-offs.  For example, if you prefer a certain degree of unpredictability, you may also be required to perform in high pressure situations.

3) Vocalize your goals to your boss. She may have several direct reports and may be unaware of your specific ambitions.

Reach out and connect with someone today in MakePossible!