Random Ramblings about stuff I see going on in biotech, internet and the stuff I read.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Random questions I remember being asked...

People have asked a couple of other questions, and I tried to save them, but they are all buried in comments on old posts. SO - some random answers that I think are linked to comments that are posted that I can't immediately find... AND - some commentary on some other things going on.

I went to the BIO trade show in San Diego. It is unlike any other show I have ever been to. For example - lunches were served and the speakers were governors of states (Mass. and CA. for example). For the night time parties, they rented out several city blocks (the gas lamp distict) or an aircraft carrier (state of Georgia did that...) UNREAL. The freebies were absurd. In between all of that party stuff was serious business. I met with approximately 12 billion people. All of your major countries and universities and companies were there with business development people. An unbelievable business environment. There was a good talk track as well - but I have to say the reason to be there was for the meetings and not for the talks.

Salary questions
I have realized I can't really answer these. I have given some guidance in the past, but it is such a location dependent, year dependent thing that I don't really think it is helpful. Industry pays better than academia in the US - not sure what else can be said about that. Look for more on salaries in my next post.

"Can I do this...."
Yes. Don't remember the exact questions being asked, but it is likely you can do it. IF you can make a convincing story about why you will be able to do it and how you are qualified. The question really is how long you want to wait and how hard you will push and where you can move to. Someone is, if it is a good idea, likely to let you do it. Answering these questions is really hard, as there are so many other factors that come in to play. The post previous to this one answers one of them, and you see that it is very detail specific.


Maybe impatient? said...

Hi Dr. Yes. Thanks for your blog. It is very informative and entertaining. I recently was offered a job as a FAS for an instrument company. I accepted the offer 4 weeks ago and still don't have my start date from HR. There was a problem with the drug screening company and I had to redo the test, so there is a week. But four weeks is starting to sound excessive. I'm in contact with the hiring manager who says they're working on it. Is this length of time between offer and hire typical? What types of things can one expect from HR?

yes said...

This is odd. The drug screening screw up does set things back. We have had that (once they lost it and another time they confused it - both a pain in the rear) and it does set you back. I was in a hurry and brought one of the people on as a temp while we sorted out the drug thing.

Was the offer in writing? If not, then there could be other issues as to how they have done things. There is the "interview and when we find someone we will open the official requisition" which could be happening. If HR wasn't kept in the loop properly when they did that, there could be push back.

Another thing is that it is August. Many many many people are on vacation. This is, I think, the slowest time of year. Europe is fundamentally shut. The US is about to go back to school so is freaking out and Asia is really watching the Olympics in a serious way (How is that for broad sweeping generalizations to tar people with????)

SO - with no one around, you could just be getting hit the paperwork/start sitting on someones desk but they aren't there to do anything about it.

Certainly worth following up on though...

App Scientist said...

Perhaps you can post this in a separate thread.

My department is getting changed about and there is an opportunity for someone to run all of Europe as Product Manager or stay in the US at the headquarters for the same role. Which lends itself to more advanced career advancement? Autonomy at HQ, close to the Big Cheeses or responsibility separate but isolated in Europe?

maybe impatient? said...

Thanks for the response. Actually the whole process has been unusual. But I was a bit simplistic in my first post. First of all the job location changed after I had verbally accepted the job. This is fine with me to be honest. I did receive the offer in writing and accepted. One thing I didn't mention in my first post was that I require a TN visa to work in the USA. So a week and a half after I accepted the offer, the immigration lawyers contacted me and sent me the visa letter. Then a week went by and I wasn't able to get through to the HR representative to see if I was in the clear to get a start date. I contacted the hiring manager and he "looked into it" and I was contacted the next day by HR and was told that my drug screen was a lost. I retook the drug test and then haven't heard back from HR (or can get a return phone call) for over a week and again my hiring manager is "looking into it." I've been told that there was a large internal HR deadline recently and has kept people busy over the last month or so. Also my HR person was on holidays for a week or so, which she told me all about. They also apologized for the delays. Anyway, I don't think the HR people were kept in the loop over the course of the hire but the process has been quite frustrating on my side. And I've had to come up with some very colorful emails trying to delay offers from other companies. I guess I'm surprised since this is a major company (3000+ employees, 2B market cap). And I think you are right and I just have to be patient this time or year.

British PhD student said...

Another random question...

I'd like to first of all thank you for writing this blog and giving (from what I can tell) frank advice to everyone. I find it very informative. I have another random question for you, if you have the time to answer...

I am less than a month away from submitting my PhD, and am frustrated with bench work. I am very interested in begining a career in industry, and specifically looking at applicaiton scientist roles.

As you yourself have said, you always hire through recruiters, however, all the ones I've spoken to keep telling me that I'll have real trouble getting a position straight out of my PhD. One of them has refused to put me forward to any of the companies she has as clients. Another one has done so, as my experience matches exactly what the client needs, but told me in effect not to hold my breath. Apparently I have to go through sales first. I don't beleive that is so, but perhaps I am misguided.

I should point out that I am in the UK, so the market here is probably different from the US, but what are your thoughts about this?