What are your key roles and responsibilities in your current positions? What do you like most about your job and what do you find most challenging? 

As a Global Product Leader at CSL Behring, I lead teams working to develop new drugs or expand the uses of approved drugs. I am accountable for developing and executing product strategy for a portfolio of compounds, including new uses for marketed plasma products (proteins that are extracted from human plasma donations) as well as developing monoclonal antibody therapies for hematologic diseases. As a team leader, I motivate my colleagues to meet aggressive timelines, identify and resolve issues, and plan for future success.

My favorite parts of the job are creating and executing the strategic development plans and having the opportunity to provide oversight of all development activities for my projects, including non-clinical work, clinical trials, global regulatory interactions, manufacturing, commercial and payer insights, budget, and timelines. I also have the opportunity to constantly learn.

Across my career, my biggest challenges have been learning to effectively lead people and have them work together productively. I wanted a career in science because I’m passionate about biology and developing drugs to improve people’s health. But strong people skills are essential to getting work done in all industries and something that can set you apart and help you succeed just as much as being a strong scientist.


List or describe the top 5+ professional skills that are crucial to your role. 

  1. Leadership
  2. Communication
  3. Critical thinking
  4. Scientific acumen
  5. Drug development experience
  6. Disease area expertise
  7. Networking

How did your time at Yale shape your career trajectory? For example, what skills and/or experiences did you acquire that have contributed to your career success? 

I came to Yale after 2 years working at a contract research organization (CRO) which helped conduct clinical trials, so I was fairly certain that I wanted to go back to a non-academic job when I finished my PhD. However, after 2 years of grad school, I had switched to thinking an academic career might be for me. But a year later, 3 years into my PhD, my advisor left Yale and I had to decide whether to follow him to another university or stay at Yale and start over in a new lab. I chose to stay and start over which had an impact on my ultimate decision to forgo a post-doc and start a non-academic career.

Some of the skills that have contributed to my career success are:

  • Learning how to search for, interpret and judge the quality of primary data and publications
  • An ability to defend my positions and data
  • Self-confidence in my potential to quickly learn and contribute in new scientific areas
  • Grit and perseverance


What were the biggest challenges that you faced when transitioning to different workplaces and cultures? What advice and suggestions can you offer to current students to help them prepare for those challenges?

The move from academia to a non-academic position was initially a challenge. I was used to running my own project, deciding which experiments to run, troubleshooting, and consulting with my advisor and committee as needed. Moving to a more structured work environment, having projects assigned to me, often working in teams with people who thought differently than I did, and attending several hours of meeting a day was an adjustment.

My advice for anyone wanting to move into a non-academic career is to try and pick a company that focuses on a scientific area or opportunity that you are passionate about so that you can use that overarching goal as an anchor when everything else feels different. Also, work on developing people skills while you are still in school – leadership, good communication and interpersonal skills, time management, teamwork to help you adapt and excel in different workplaces and cultures.

Work Experience
  • Executive Director, Global Product Leader, Hematology
  • CSL Behring
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