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Life After Grad School: Dr. Andrea Globa
In this mini-series, we will be checking in with GPN Alumni who have gone on to have successful careers outside of academia.
Our first profile is Dr. Andrea Globa.
Job Title: Director, Business Development at Mitacs
Graduating Year: 2017
Lab: Bamji Lab, PhD
Where do you currently work?
I am a Director of Business Development with Mitacs. In this role, I work with graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty members to develop their research collaborations with non-academic partners. There are many ways these partnerships can develop, but my role usually includes a degree of ‘matchmaking.’
I work with companies and non-profit community organizations to help them define their research questions and identify research collaborators at the university. I help faculty, graduate students, and postdocs who are interested in applied research when they approach potential partners. When they find the right match, I guide everyone through the application process so they can take advantage of Mitacs funding opportunities.
What do you love about your job?
I really enjoy finding the right collaborators for a successful partnership. Making these connections is beneficial to both academics and the companies. Through these new collaborations, companies and community partner organizations gain access to new methods, insights, and talent from the university. And the academics ensure that the work their doing has real-world applications. Students and postdoctoral fellows gain a unique research experience, where they can apply their skills to a real-world problem.
I’ve worked with new professors to help them gain connections in industry, and with small start-ups who aren’t sure how to frame their projects when speaking with academics. I’ve been working more with new university spin-offs that are in the entrepreneurship@UBC program, as Mitacs has several programs to support student entrepreneurs.
I also get to learn about all the incredible research that’s happening at UBC! I meet with professors across many disciplines (specifically in Medicine, Science, Arts, Land & Food Systems, Education and Engineering). Learning a bit about their research interests gives me insight into what applied research problems they might be interested in, and helps me to match them with suitable partners. I really enjoy the opportunity to learn more about the work that UBC research groups are doing.
What are the major differences between your current role and academia?
There are many major differences from my role as a graduate student. I help to set up many new collaborations, but I’m not involved in the day-to-day benchwork side of research anymore. In this role, I manage relationships and help ensure both sides are communicating well. I use my scientific training to ensure the research proposal is well-written, and structured in a way that makes sense for our programs, but I’m not performing the research or writing the grants myself anymore. And I’m managing these aspects of many projects at once, that are all at different phases of development!
What advice do you have for graduates?
Do things you enjoy, other than research! Join a student group, volunteer for things you’re excited about. Participate in other activities and hobbies outside of the lab. I know it’s so hard to make time when you’re in the middle of experiments, but I think it’s critical for your mental health and your development as a person. Furthermore, it’s often your work outside of the lab that will set you apart in job interviews. During my graduate training, I planned several professional development events for my student group and organized an academic conference. When I applied for my position at Mitacs, it was the volunteer work that I did to plan these events that helped to set me apart.