What is your name, your full job title, and the full name of the company you work for?

My name is Pooja Dhupkar. I work as a Medical Associate/Writer for Scienomics Group (Healthcare Consultancy Group) in San Francisco.

What did you study?

I did my BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai and Masters (Pharmacology & Toxicology) from University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. I also have a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School

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What is your favorite part about working in industry?

The best part of working in the industry is the fast-paced nature of projects. You can actually be involved in seeing a project goal being accomplished from start to finish. I also like that working in the industry means “working in a team” and that gives you an opportunity to learn how people from different backgrounds think. This also helps to know the big picture of the field!

Can you describe what a typical day at your job looks like?

As a Medical writer, I have been working in the area Medical Communications. I am part of a medical team that is responsible for creating scientific and clinical content and design strategy for pharmaceutical clients. The purpose is education and promotion of their products. On a daily basis, I update myself by reading clinical trial and research literature for varied diseases, creating and editing slide decks primarily involving pharmacology/safety content. We also help clients during the drug pre-launch for regulatory submissions of these educational materials.

How is your current industry position different from your academic postdoc or experience as a graduate student?

My current position as a Medical writer in a communications agency is very different than academia and has been a learning experience. I have previously worked in a start-up as well and feel that industry is very fast-paced, and we have to deliver on time. Deadlines are the most crucial part of the job and affect everyone’s work. I also feel that you need to be able to work in a team environment and communicate on a regular basis with your team to deliver better results. In academia, we worked independently most of the time and had long-term projects with open-ended goals.

If you could go back in time, to before you received your job offer, and give yourself one piece of advice or encouragement, what would it be?

Always be pro-active and positive. It only requires one “hit” to get a job!

What do you see as the next step in your career?

For now, I want to get some experience in the industry and get my feet wet for a few years before thinking of the next steps.

How can the Association and the Association’s members help you continue to achieve your career goals?

I think the cheeky meet-up’s is a good idea as it allows us to meet experienced people in-person. I would like to continue to engage in the meet-ups, so that I can have a forum to discuss the challenges I face and also to perform better in the industry.

Now that you’ve spent some time working in industry, what is the biggest takeaway(s) you’d like to share with those who are still executing their job search?

It is important to start preparing from the beginning. For people transitioning to applied roles, the extra effort to build your resume through internships, volunteering, certificates go a long way and help build your brand!