ascb black 1

ASCB-KGI Biotech Course Teaches Students About Industry

This summer students from all across the U.S. visited KGI for the ASCB-KGI Biotech course. The two week summer intensive program is designed for advanced graduate students and postdocs to learn about what it takes to be successful in industry and how to navigate a successful career outside of academia. This year the course took place July 13-24.

The ASCB-KGI Biotech course is highly competitive and attracts well qualified applicants who are looking to explore their career options post academia. This year almost 600 applications were received for the 40 available spots.

Providing participants with a robust and relevant curriculum, the program consists of MBA-level Biotech Management lectures, focusing on Commercialization Science, Bioscience Business Models, Accounting, Intellectual Property, Market Analysis, Social Networks, Entrepreneurship, Decision Analysis and Business Strategy. Workshops teach about career opportunities in the life sciences industry, as well as resume and interview preparation. A team-based project also allows students to apply the acquired knowledge in project management, presentation skills, team building, collaborative work and competitive analysis.

Networking events help attendees to learn about Management and Consulting, Clinical and Regulatory Affairs, R&D in industry, IP and legal affairs. These panel discussions provide students with key insights on what it is like to work on projects that require interdisciplinary teams, deadlines and project management skills. This year panel guests included professionals from Amgen, Claremont BioSolutions, UVP, Masimo, Abbott Medical Optics, Baxalta, Beckman Coulter, Campbell Alliance and more. On speaking about the transition from school to a career, Tracy Mitchell Blois, PhD, Head of Business Development Operations at Amgen said, “The first job out of academia is the hardest to get.” The course is designed to make this transition easier.

With nearly one-third of 2014 participants having landed jobs after taking the course, this program has proven to be an invaluable and effective addition to student portfolios. Shelina Ramnarine, a 2015 ASCB-KGI Biotech Course student and Ph.D. Candidate explained what the course has done for her. “This course has been a highlight in my graduate career. In addition to the knowledge I gained, the relationships I built with the participants during the course are invaluable.”

This KGI-ASCB partnership is a reflection of KGI’s core values: Entrepreneurial and Reflective, Interdisciplinary and Applied and Collaborative and Independent.

Interested International and U.S. students are encouraged to apply for next year’s program. The program is open to advanced graduate students with at least three years of scientific research experience, postdocs and non-tenure-track junior scientists within seven years of graduating with their PhDs are eligible to apply.

The ASCB-KGI Biotech course is offered by The American Society for Cell Biology and Keck Graduate Institute, with generous funding from EMD Millipore. Learn more about the ASCB-KGI Biotech Course.