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BCLA's 7th Annual Bioscience Talent Connection

On Friday, February 25, 2022, Biotech Connection Los Angeles (BCLA) hosted its 7th annual Bioscience Talent Connection (BTC), back in-person at the USC Michelson Center. This year’s BTC consisted of two professional workshops, 16 booths, and over 100 attendees looking for new opportunities.

The first workshop was on “Personal Branding” by Dr. Gertrude Nonterah, a scientific content specialist at CG Life and creator of The Bold PhD YouTube channel. Your personal brand, as defined by Dr. Nonterah, is a widely recognized, largely uniform perception and impression of you based on your experiences and expertise. Establishing a personal brand is especially useful for networking, because most open jobs are not advertised. To establish your personal brand and build your network online, use LinkedIn, Twitter, and your own website to share your knowledge using simple language, get to know other people by chatting and responding to their posts, and learn from them via informational interviews. Subscribe to Dr. Nonterah’s YouTube channel above and follow her on Twitter @theboldphd to learn more personal branding tips.

The second workshop was on “Effective Networking” featuring a panel consisting of Shawn Carbonell from Brazen Bio, Raychel Espiritu from the Alliance for SoCal Innovation, Todd Terrazas from AI LA, Sree Batchu from BioscienceLA, and moderated by Justin Brezhnev from Hacker Fund. The panelists are all industry leaders in the Los Angeles biotech ecosystem and gave great networking tips to the audience of students and young professionals. The consensus on networking was to focus on establishing genuine connections, be memorable, and show up as your authentic self. Also, instead of asking for help, ask to help, such as by volunteering to help the organizers with their events. Follow up your in-person networking with messages on LinkedIn and Zoom video meetings. The lively and informative discussion ended with a reminder to not be afraid to approach people and to not be afraid to make mistakes when you are early in your career.

After refueling with lunch and coffee, we began our afternoon career fair session, where participants had the opportunity to put some of the skills they learned from the previous workshops into practice. We had representatives from BCLA’s consulting team that offers life science consulting services to various companies and organizations, and one of our core sponsors, the Keck Graduate Institute, which advertised summer biotech internships for students. Hiring companies included Amberstone Biosciences, Amgen, Appia Bio, Capsida Biotherapeutics, ChromoLogic, Karma Biotechnologies, Nuanced Health, PathoGene, Q2 Solutions, Takeda, Terray Therapeutics, and Xencor. We also had a representative from life science education company Genedu and representatives from the Pasadena Bio Collaborative Incubator. We were proud to see some of our BCLA members who successfully made the transition from academia to industry and appeared as representatives for their new companies at BTC.

Thank you to all workshop speakers, company representatives, BCLA team members, and all attendees for making this year’s BTC another success. With everyone’s support, we were able to bring our mission of growing and diversifying biotech in Los Angeles to life. See you at our next events!

Contributed by Rudra Persaud

Photography by Harry Yang

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