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Q&A with Carmen Schweicker: from academia to innovation

EIT Health caught up with Carmen Schweicker for a Q&A about her transition from academia to the fast-paced MedTech industry through the SCIFI programme. Carmen shows how young scientists can gain the skills necessary to thrive as innovators in the healthcare sector.

Hi Carmen, what was your role before you took part in the SCIFI programme?

Prior to the SCIFI programme, I held a position as a young scientist in the hematology department of an academic institution.

Why did you want to get into the MedTech industry?

In my opinion, the greatest benefits of working in the MedTech industry include contributing to the improvement of healthcare, intellectual challenges, career opportunities, competitive compensation, and a collaborative work environment.

How did you learn about the SCIFI programme and why did you choose it?

I discovered the programme through LinkedIn and decided to enroll because it offered an opportunity for me to acquire new skills and knowledge that I believed would be valuable in my professional growth and development. With that in mind, I felt that the programme would be an ideal platform to help me enhance my abilities and achieve my long-term career aspirations.

How did the SCIFI programme help you make the transition?

The SCIFI programme helped me strengthen the skills I needed and get an insight into currently relevant topics by working on real-life industry cases. It also provided an opportunity to expand my professional network and connect with individuals from diverse research areas, including those working in the pharmaceutical industry.

What is your role now?

Following the SCIFI programme, I opted for a transition into the industry and currently hold a position as a Customer Care Specialist with a prominent medical technology company.

What is a typical day like in your new role?

My work days hardly repeat themselves, providing a wide variety of tasks and exposure to new business areas. I am encouraged to participate in and contribute to many different aspects while still enjoying the benefits of flexible and independent time management.

What are the biggest differences between your role in MedTech and your previous role in academia?

As a scientist in academia you mostly focus on research and advancing knowledge, while the MedTech industry is driven by developing medical devices and technologies for commercial use. The work pace, goals, and priorities can differ between the two and the choice depends on an individual’s career goals and interests.

What is your advice for others looking to move from academia to MedTech or pharma?

My advice for transitioning into the MedTech or pharma industry would be to build your network, consider further education, gain relevant experience to tailor your resume, be persistent, and be adaptable to new skills and technologies.

Thank you for sharing your success story with us, Carmen!

Transition from academia to innovation: learn more about the SCIFI programme and apply before 23 June.

Enrol here