Networking in Nature

with Frederic Buono from Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceutical

With the autumn leaves turning colorful, CNSPY held a Networking-in-Nature event at East Rock Park on Saturday, Nov 12th with Dr. Frederic Buono, Senior Principal Scientist in the department of Chemical Development at Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceutical. Dr. Buono has 12 years of experience in Pharmaceutical Industry and he has been working for the past 4 years in Boehringer Ingelheim, developing and implementing continuous flow technology for several projects from gram to multi-kilogram scale processes, by using in-situ monitoring techniques, kinetic studies, and modeling for process optimization.

The small number of people who attended the hike had a very interactive conversation and got a lot of useful insights while Frederic introduced his work. In the pharma industry, Frederic said, most of the work is about teamwork. It is very important to be a good team player and to contribute.

Our members asked about the interview process and landing the final job offer. They asked if it is helpful to present one’s expertise in one specific field or to talk about several research projects to illustrate the richness of their skill sets. That depends on the position, Frederic said. For the first job, sometimes it will be good to present several different projects, because recruiters may evaluate on diverse skill sets. Also, your audience may come from multiple teams and may be interested in your different research backgrounds. Overall, it is great to show that you are a person willing to learn and be trained in new techniques. Then, Frederic discussed the interaction with recruiters during one-to-one conversations following the interview presentation. First, an active interaction shows your interests in the company and the position. Most companies like to recruit people who are enthusiastic about their on-going projects. Second, the recruiting team expects you to give opinions. Your interaction with others will reflect whether you are willing to share insights with them or not. These interactions are a balance between showcasing yourself and asking questions to learn more about the company. Also, Frederic offered the advice that networking is very important. It is very common in industry that a referral from your previous PI or previous colleagues helps you get the next position. Lastly, Frederic shared a tip on how to get the final offer. After receiving positive feedback from the final interview, you need to give a reasonable answer about the time to start. Sometimes, companies consider it fine if you start working in 2 weeks to 3 months. Longer than this, you will take some risks, because the position may not be secured very long and may be cut.

We appreciate Frederic’s time and kindly sharing his insights with us.




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