The BEST Program was pleased to support BESTie Christa Heyward, Postdoctoral Fellow in Cynthia Leifer's Lab, to attend a 5-day training session in San Jose, CA along with the MedTech Conference on September 23-27. Heyward was selected to participate in the Scientist and Diversity Program for Medical Technology (SMDP MedTech). This year-long program aims to bring more diversity to the medical technology workforce by pairing diverse scholars with industry mentors from leading companies. During the training, SMDP Scholars will meet their mentors, learn about career opportunities in industry and receive career development coaching.
"The SMDP-MedTech program is one of two programs sponsored by the International Center for Professional Development. These programs provide mentoring support for graduate students and post docs, primarily from underrepresented backgrounds to transition into research and leadership roles in industry. Participants attend a 5 day training session that includes attending an industry-organization conference, AdvaMed/MedTech. The MedTech program specifically focuses on careers related to the diagnostic and device industry and was of particular interest to me as I'm working on a diagnostic device company and my postdoctoral research is related to a diagnostic device. The major benefits of the program are the chance to network with many individuals from industry, including being introduced to several CEOs of major companies, i.e. Medtronic. Each participant also gets year-long mentorship from an industry insider who will help advise on career options and share their personal network. This is great for anyone who knows they want to transition out of academia but isn't quite sure what route is best or doesn't have established industry contacts. I will keep you posted on the progress of my mentorship experience."-Christa Heyward