At a recent Job Forum event to help young students consider opportunities to pursue for their future professions, The Job Forum talked in depth with a biotech executive, a finance company partner and a staffing and HR search professional, two managers from the education field, and a marketing manager who has her own company, working with large healthcare enterprises.
Tips for education opportunities:
Paths to take to get into teaching: There are two different main paths to teaching: One is a teacher, where get your credential directly, including a series of classes and some testing that you take. The second path is a full Masters in Education. (You can get a teaching credential without getting your Masters). To get into the education field, you need a four year degree plus credentials, preferably the credentials plus a Master’s. And then you will go to “practice teaching”, and you take it from there.
Careers in education, please note, it’s not exclusive to teaching:
There are many kinds of paths; working with adults, working with students, coaching teachers as well as working with external company people like The Job Forum who want to reach young people and support the school system.
There are many different ways you can connect with your desire to be in education and so if you want to help others, be clear about that as your why to join the education field.
Tips for Accounting and Financial Advising opportunities:
If you are going to select accounting, you will always have a job no matter what size the company is; small to Fortune, 1 million. Everybody needs an accounting department. Consider accounting, a job security career. To be in accounting you need to be a critical thinker and be a problem solver to analyze the data and numbers and solve a problem.
Accounting clerk: You can start off as an accounting clerk and work your way up to being a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Accounting clerks, do not need a degree, and one suggestion is start off as an a contractor or an internship, learn accounts receivable and accounts payable, bank reconciliation, a little bit of payroll and calculator 10 Key and data entry. These are the basics for you to begin to move up the accounting ladder.
Bookkeeper: An assistant bookkeeper is a step above an accounting clerk. They post accounts receivable/ accounts payable. In the accounts payable arena, they might be responsible for collection. They prepare an “aging report” to let the company know how much money is outstanding, and what money that they need to call in, so that they can pay bills and staff. The” full charge bookkeeping” role, along with the accounts receivable, accounts payable, bank reconciliation, includes preparation of the financial statements. The financial statement tells where your company is in their financing.
Accounting assistant The next career step is an Accounting Assistant. The accounting assistant definitely needs a bachelor’s degree and as well as a certification.
Budget analysis: A budget person handles the analysis of all the financial records, all of the payroll, reviews the state and federal taxes, so that the company will not get an IRS claim.
Certified public accountant: CPA has to have a bachelor’s degree and pass the CPA exam. And it is not an easy exam. You can start off as an accountant, and learn all of the components of a certified accountant and be trained by the company’s existing certified accountant, while you are studying for your CPA exam Critical thinking part is crucial as a CPA, is the one who prepares the tax returns, working very closely with the Chief Financial Officer for the company’s wellness in the financial area.
Finance and financial advising: Financial services is a field that needs people. Only 600,000 financial advisors are left in the United States, yet the need for financial advice is greater than ever. Every company that advises folks about finances, from a small boutique firm to the big ones, the Morgan Stanley’s the UBS, are hiring financial advisors. They’ll provide the training, pay for training, pay for your licensing. Here is the tip; the one skill set you have to have as a financial advisor, it’s the relationship first. You have to be an active listener, be authentic, be compassionate. Everyone’s got money concerns, you have to take that all in, listen and build out a financial plan for them. It is a rewarding and satisfying field.
Tips for Biotech opportunities:
There are so many jobs within biotech. Go into LinkedIn, or go directly to the career sites at Biotech companies, and look at job descriptions. This is the best way to figure out what matches your interest, (Genentech, Gilead, Merck) see what they’re hiring for.
Tip: Here are the buckets for jobs in Biotech:
G and A jobs which stands for general and admin tasks. If you’re passionate about health care, passionate about creating medicines, but you’re not on the scientific side, Biotech still needs IT support, HR functions, Finance and Accounting people, so you get to be part of that science and that mission. Biotech’s also hire a lot of general IT support desk individuals, and you can do IT systems for different lab equipment and get an IT lab based job.
Drug development process Jobs:
Research to develop what the molecules and drugs is key. Biotech’s have Research Associates, and Research Technicians, (Research Technicians, don’t necessarily have to have a four year degree- associates will do). If you are interested in bio research, you can start working in an academic research lab, volunteer your time, start with a summer internships, any type of actual “hands on lab experience’ outside of college courses, is going to go a long way to distinguish you. There are lab managers that need lab coordinators, there are people who do the shipping of the molecule or drug.
Biotech has research program managers, and becoming a program management is a positive since that is a skill that that is in high demand.
Clinical trial technical operations group: After research people identify or create a molecule, it goes into a group called CMC (Chemical, Manufacturing and Controls), think of it as technical operations, it is where the drug is well characterized, is safe, and can be manufactured, packaged, labeled, and delivered to sites for clinical trials. There are quality control jobs where one defines the manufacturing process and makes sure the drug process is stringently consistently done. There are Quality Assurance people to make sure that the filing of documents is done correctly, all the necessary regulatory requirements are met. There are people who work with FDA partners and with the other government agencies that look to have the drugs approved.
Manufacturing and supply chain jobs: There are a lot of “entry level” jobs in manufacturing and supply chain. People interested in those are always in demand. Getting a drug produced and then out of manufacturing to the different areas is critical. Supply chain is really logistical and requires top organizing skills.
Clinical jobs: Once a drug molecule is designed, and is believed to have potential and makes it through manufacturing, biotech companies start running the clinical trials. Entry level jobs for this require a four year degree, The jobs path are Clinical Trial Associate, which then leads to a Clinical Research Associate, and Clinical Trial Manager who oversees getting that drug into the clinic, making the different protocols, talking to the clinical sites and managing the clinical study.
Medical doctor and Pharma jobs: MD’s work at biotech companies and do the medical monitoring. They contribute to the company’s decisions from a doctor’s point of view. There are Pharma PhDs who may have a role in medical affairs or help with clinical research as well.
Tips for marketing job opportunities:
There are different paths to choose if you’re interested in the product marketing side at a company versus marketing and advertising as done at an advertising agency.
Creative jobs: if you’re really looking for a job on the creative side, where you create the actual marketing and advertising, then you’d best follow an ad agency route, doing creative development, that would be writing, designing, graphic arts, production.
Media and Direct Marketing: using media to generate demand is a science as well as marketing. Digital Advertising has the opportunity to use a lot of analytics to fine-tune the marketing messages and target.
Research: Marketing research is the field where market researchers’ study what people want and what people think about products and services.
Product marketing: The Product Marketing Manager is the business marketing strategist at the company, rather than at the ad agency, in charge of the key decisions for marketing the product.
Recommend trying to get a marketing internship in any of the product or service areas that you’re interested in because there is marketing (and advertising) of everything in order to get it to the people who will use the product or service.
Here is who we met and from whom heard some good advice:
Amanda Santana works for Vir Biotechnology, that develops therapeutics for infectious disease (immunology, manipulation of our human body to create therapeutics). Amanda oversees a talent acquisition team for technical recruiting (anything for the scientific roles, manufacturing development, as well as the clinical such as MDs, and the people running clinical trials). Amanda says she came to the HR/Talent space via a nontraditional route. “I was a scientist for 10 years, then four years ago, I joined the HR team for recruiting, so you see I have been an entry level job seeker in biotech, wanting to get in and have made career changes to get here so I can share my tips”
Jonathan Nicholas is a partner at Pettinelli Financial Partners and has been in financial services for 20 years. He is one of the hiring managers. Jonathon says, “I’m happy to be part of this panel advising young people because our industry is losing finance advisors. There is a great opportunity in finance. On a regular basis, more and more advisors have used COVID to retire early. And we’re not getting enough smart young people to consider our industry. I am excited to share the potential for what financial services can offer a young person’s life.”
Cindy Fassler says “I have been an executive recruiter for over 20 years. I pivoted from being a full time executive recruiter to a career coach, which I absolutely love. It’s just in my DNA to always help people anyway and doing things such as these panel discussions and enlightening people in a new career is what I love to do. I will be sharing about accounting as one profession in the broad finances sector that young people can consider.”
Robin Raff, founder and CEO of Pulse Healthcare Marketing, is my small marketing agency. She has rather large clients: Providence, Health and Services, Banner Health, and a couple of startups. Robin says: “I came out of advertising, I worked for most of the big ad agencies, and I had a stint at a large healthcare enterprise. At my marketing company we crank out a lot of marketing to help our clients so I can share about what is involved in marketing.”
Jenny Gibson, Workplace Learning Supervisor in SF Unified School District and the Office of College and Career Readiness. Jenny says,” I have been in the school system for 15 years, as a substitute and now as a supervisor. We do a lot of relationship work so that folks from companies can connect and engage with our youth and we facilitate partnerships so that industry partners can host our high school youth as interns.”
Karen Bioski-Simon is a supervisor in college and career readiness, and she has been in education field starting as a science teacher, mostly in high schools and worked in charter schools and in high schools and with adult incarcerated. Karen says, “I am excited to talk to folks who might be interested in joining education as it is a great career.”