After receiving my PhD in 2011, I decided to join industry and be involved in the commercialization of science. I chose 3M Health Care Business as a product developer where my job was to identify the need for new products through customer interactions and clinical observations, to collaborate and serve as an interface with corporate R&D, marketing, manufacturing, and regulatory functions to develop new wound care products.
In thinking back on my experience in grad school, what I really valued was the close-knit culture of the PSE department. It felt like a community where I knew almost everybody in the department. Interaction with industry representatives during CUMIRP week and the strong alumni network of PSE was extremely valuable.
In general, it is hard to get your resume into the right hands. Being able to meet industry representatives on campus and have on-campus interviews are excellent ways to figure out the right channel for you. This allows students to get their foot in the door to industry. Companies come to PSE for recruiting due to the credibility of both professors and alumni. In my experience, contacting PSE alumni for guidance also proved to be very helpful.
When I think about why I enjoy coming back to PSE for 3M in a recruiting capacity it comes down to a couple things. a) Having reaped the benefits of being a PSE student, I recognize the importance of campus recruiting and I like to pay it forward. b) It is a good opportunity to connect with professors and students, to learn about their research and to keep pace with the current trends.