- Student type: Domestic
- Degree type: PhD
- Degree(s): Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy
Dr Jack Lambshead completed his PhD in 2016 with CSIRO and the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) and now works as a Senior Associate at Biointelect, a strategic planning and market research firm for the biopharmaceutical and medical device sector.
How has your Monash degree helped you succeed in your career? How have you been able to apply your skills in your current position?
My PhD was a requirement for my first Medical Affairs role in London, and the knowledge and connections from my time at Monash led to my involvement with CCRM Australia after I returned home. Both of those experiences led to my current position, in which I use skills from my PhD to collaborate with others, do desktop research and prepare slide decks.
What do you most enjoy about your current job?
The variety. I regularly work with health economists, project managers, and commercialisation experts to produce anything from investor pitch decks for start-up companies, to market analyses for biotech companies, and policy documents for government groups.
What has been your biggest challenge, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge has been gradually progressing through a series of entry-level jobs. I did not have a clear view of what I wanted to do after my PhD except for living overseas (some of the best experiences of my life) and doing something outside of the lab in Biotech with regenerative medicine.
PhD graduates have a wide range of career options, but most non-academic roles want specific work experience, so despite having strong transferable skills you often need to start at the bottom. I had three different entry level roles over 4.5 years after graduating, and my current role is the first that pays a postdoctoral salary. This was disheartening at times. I overcame that challenge by living for the experiences along the way and by reminding myself that I wasn’t seeking a linear career path: I was building my knowledge and connections within the industry and one day it would pay off.
What advice would you give current PhD graduates?
The advice I would give is to put yourself out there, because you never know where the next opportunity might come from.
I have secured jobs by:
1. Approaching one of my lecturers (who didn’t know me) while he was having lunch at Campus Centre
2. Running into an old connection at a public seminar
3. Speaking to a friend of a friend who was asking me for career advice, and
4. Moving to London, attending a workshop run by recruiters, then at their suggestion going to an interview 1.5 hours away with a one-man company that I knew very little about and was mostly using for interview practice.
Ultimately I got my job at Biointelect due to the breadth of experience gained in those jobs.