Brett Thurlow, Technical Sales Specialist at NanoTemper, pictured with the NanoTemper’s Monolith system, the instrument he also used as a Ph.D student.
You’ve been through it all with your lab instruments—late nights, joy, tears, celebration. You may even have special names, sacred rituals, or fun accessories for your research tools. With the significant time and emotional investment in using instruments for research, it should come as no surprise that your best friends on the bench may hold the key to your future career.
Brett Thurlow and Mariano Cardenas are two NanoTemper team members who previously used NanoTemper systems when they were a Ph.D student and postdoc respectively. They share how they found an opportunity to join the company whose instruments they spent months working with while in academia.
Here is their advice for people who are looking for a new job or who may not realize that their research instruments could help them land their next career opportunity.
Brett, now a Technical Sales Specialist at NanoTemper, used NanoTemper’s Monolith system as a Ph.D student to monitor and characterize the key factors involved in ribosome assembly. He says, “I was at first skeptical about using Monolith because I was unfamiliar with the technology, but based on the advice of my PI, I took the leap and drove multiple times a week to a nearby university where they had the instrument. It did the trick!” He adds, “During the optimizations, I was in constant communication with my NanoTemper Application Specialist to help with the troubleshooting. They helped me to obtain results faster, graduate quicker, and ultimately publish in a high-impact factor journal.”
NanoTemper was thrilled to learn that Brett published his work with the help of Monolith, and, equally important, Brett demonstrated how adept and thoughtful he was with the technology through his interactions with NanoTemper’s support team. He didn’t need to describe his successes and skillset, he proved it. It was a win-win situation for both.
Mariano Cardenas, Application Specialist at NanoTemper, used Monolith as a postdoc to identify small molecule inhibitors to treat different types of cancers. Like Brett, Mariano had a few compelling research wins with the Monolith, and he was invited to share his work at an event organized by NanoTemper in Boston. Mariano says, “When I was invited by NanoTemper to speak about my work, it was a good opportunity to interact with other employees beyond just the people I was already working with. I got to learn about the company and saw that it was growing.” He reflects, “Looking back, the invitation to talk happened naturally, but I know it made me more visible within NanoTemper and easier to reach out when I was looking for a job.”
Being invited to share your research at an event hosted by the company whose instruments you use is only one way to get your foot in the door. Companies are always looking to highlight their users’ work through video testimonials, educational webinars, and even simple quotes. If you’re giving a talk or presenting a poster at a conference, share that with the company. They may not even be aware of your latest research milestones or willingness to chat publicly about your work, so let them know. For those who are just starting their careers, it could be a great opportunity to hone your speaking and presentation skills.
As an instrument user, the sales and support team you interact with provides a window into the company; they may know of potential openings or work closely with hiring managers. In some cases, they’re able to answer your questions about the role and organization before you interview to set you up for success. Both Brett and Mariano connected with their NanoTemper contacts when they were determining their next step. Brett describes this time, “During the end of my Ph.D, I was only familiar with postdoc opportunities, but I wanted to explore something new and transition from academia to industry. I started emailing my support representative at NanoTemper to explore opportunities. Thankfully, we had already established a positive relationship, so starting the conversation was easier.”
Of course, you have to make sure the company you’re interested in is a place where you can be happy and successful. By working directly with your instrument’s company, you’ll hopefully be able to determine if it’s the right fit. Mariano says, “I was looking at other offers, but because I had worked with NanoTemper, I knew that my expectations, skills and values aligned with what they were looking for.”
Companies are always looking for great talent, whether they have openings today or not. Remember, as a user of that company’s instrument, you’re already a step ahead: you’re familiar with the technology, you can be a natural advocate because of your research, and you’ve hopefully made a few positive connections with employees or have taken advantage of invitations to speak about your research using that company’s instrument.
Looking for your next career? See what career openings NanoTemper has. Good luck!