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Cornell University


Tuesday, September 20, 2016
The most important things I learned today

in Navigating Your Future: BEST Careers in...Governance, Risk and Compliance

"I learned about contacts right here on campus that can help me with the next phase of my career exploration."

"I learned the real importance of finding the buzzwords to make your resumé fit - and how to think about my transferrable skills in those words."

"I learned the importance of how you market yourself. We are constantly surrounded by super-smart people. Sometimes it is nice to think about how PhDs are valued outside of the profession I'm most familiar with - academia, and how having a PhD lends credibility to a technical conversation with a company."

"I learned how in Cornell's system of job evaluation only one of nine parameters is actually concerned with how I technically do my job - all the rest are soft skills (Skills for Success). I guess they really are important to master."

What prompted the switch in your career as an assistant professor to becoming a patent agent and then to return to the university setting to become a licensing manager?

Which skills are the most important in your role as biosafety officer?

What does a PhD bring to your work as a licensing manager?

What does your day-to-day work entail?

Attendees had many take-aways and even more questions of today's speakers in an engaging back-and-forth discussion. Additional messages for trainees?

Alexis BrubakerMihaela Bojin

"It's equally important to be talked out of a career as it is to be talked into it."

"Teach yourself to be curious. About everything. With anybody. Become more relevant."

"Sometimes PhDs get lost in the details. Force yourself to step back periodically and take a global view."

"You don't have to go to law school to learn the basics about negotiation, agreement drafting, intellectual property or license agreements. Plenty of online offerings and thin books cover it adequately to help you learn contract language and gain a broad understanding of the field. Even if you just want to become an engineer, you should know the basics: what is a patent, intellectual property assets, etc."

"In any new job interview, always ask whether there is a professional development budget to help you grow in your position."

Looking for a next step to learn more?

Attend the regional Northeast Biological Safety Association (NBSA) conference hosted this year by Cornell on October 19. The cost is $65 to register, and the BEST Program will sponsor select BESTies to attend! Student speakers will also be selected, so please contact Susi Varvayanis if interested.

Consider attending Cornell Technology Licensing (CTL) signature events such as IP & Pizza, Seminar & Social Hour Series, or the New Business and Emerging Technology Showcase.

About the speakers:

Mihaela Bojin is currently Licensing Manager; previously patent agent, assistant professor, research scientist; PhD in Chemistry with Roald Hoffman here at Cornell

Alexis Brubaker is Cornell's Biosafety Officer; previously BSL-4 training manager, NBBTP (National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program) fellow