Wendy YingXin Zhang, PhD
"4RS provided me great opportunities to learn about consulting, grow personal skills and meet talented people. I initially interacted with the organization through participation of PHICC, a reputable case competition designed specifically for PhD students with little business background. Later after I joined, I was deeply impressed by how much effort 4RS spent in training rookie consultants through instructive boot camps. Once I started working on a project, I grew very fond of the collaborative work ethic and supportive team members. Moreover, I also got the chance to contribute by helping with professional development events, where members learn about career outlook and network with experts. What I love about 4RS is that it is the whole package. It welcomes variety, trains members with valuable skills, and encourages innovation."
Working as an Associate Consultant at McKinsey & Co.
Danielle Minteer, PhD
"4RS was instrumental in my career growth and development. At 4RS, over two years, I served as Student Consultant and Project Manager, then as Engagement Manager and Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO). Student consultancy immediately opened me to the world of client-facing roles and taught me the different level of expectation and standards in this realm compared to my work at the lab bench. This role primed me for my client-facing role immediately out of graduate school at a large biotechnology executive search firm in New York City. As Project Manager, I was able to apply and refine my leadership and teamwork skill sets, learning key skills and insight that I still use today as a Scientific Project Manager. Experience as an Engagement Manager provided me with a higher-level perspective and required me to think bigger and consider new elements of projects I didn't get as a PM or Consultant. This gave me key skills for any leadership role. CHRO was one of the most fun roles I've ever had. I enjoyed meeting dozens of new 4RS candidates, getting to know them individually, learning their strengths and interests, and working with them one-on-one throughout their 4RS experiences. As CHRO, I worked with the 4RS leadership board to develop specific protocols to enhance and strategically develop the longevity of the organization."
Currently working as a Project Manager for the Dept. of Plastic Surgery and Wound Research Alliance at the University of Pittsburgh and as a Translation Architect at SciVelo
Joe Shawky, PhD
"My experiences as a Consultant and Project Manager with 4RS were instrumental for my professional development. I gainedcommunication, project management, and leadership skills through consulting engagements that have helped me secure my current position. Not only does 4RS provide a unique opportunity to develop a translatable set of skills but also to be part of a great community of people within and outside the university."
Matt Sundermann, PhD
"My experiences at 4RS prepared me for an industry research career outside of academia. The projects I worked on as a student consultant provided me with invaluable knowledge covering the medical device field. Learning about the commercialization process and the relationships between academic labs, investors, and biotechnology companies proved to be a great tool in both the job hunt and industry based research."
Currently working as a Clinical Research Scientist
Celestino Velásquez, PhD
"Working as a consultant at 4RS helped me to improve my professional communication skills and broaden the utility of the research skills that I have acquired through my PhD training. The experiences that I had with my amazing team members prepared me tremendously well for several job interviews in industry and undergraduate teaching. Right after receiving my PhD, I was able to obtain a position as a tenure-track teaching assistant professor in Oklahoma. I am very glad that I became involved in 4RS, and I highly encourage anyone seeking alternative careers to get involved as well."
Currently working as an Assistant Professor
Joyeeta Dutta-Moscato, PhD
"4RS provided me with a community of self-motivated and dynamic individuals, dedicated to connecting our analytical and research skills to business development and product-focused thinking. Through 4RS consulting engagements, I was able to expand my experience from academia-oriented innovation to rapid cycles of knowledge discovery and collaboration that is highly valued in the healthcare and technology industry. I also learned volumes on networking, leadership, project management, and entrepreneurship. Being part of 4RS during my graduate school years gave me the exposure and confidence to design the career path that was best for me, and to secure the next steps in that career."
Currently working as Senior Health Economics Analyst at UPMC Health Plan
Karen Carney, PhD
"My experiences in Fourth River Solutions as a consultant, project manager, and Executive Board member significantly contributed to my successful transition to industry. In my job interviews I was able to give concrete examples of how working on consulting engagements trained me to quickly master topics outside my own research specialty. The knowledge I gained about business operations and market landscapes allowed me to ask insightful questions about the company to distinguish myself from other candidates. The leadership opportunities at 4RS gave me great stories about working with teams against deadlines and how I have dealt with unplanned set-backs. Most importantly, I met so many wonderful people!"
Currently working as a Clinical Content Analyst at Via Oncology
Marissa Kuzirian, PhD
"My experience with 4RS inspired me to pursue my current career. Not only did I gain invaluable experience working with local entrepreneurs assisting them on their path to commercialization, I was given leadership experience and expanded my network in the Pittsburgh region. Every day, I use many of the technical, commercialization skills that I learned at 4RS. However, even if I were not where I am now, the leadership, problem solving, and business development skills that I acquired during my time at 4RS would be relevant to any career."
Currently working as an Investment Manager at Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse
Subhara Ravi, PhD
"Working with 4RS as a consultant for 2 years and Chief Marketing Officer for 1 year helped add the hands-on consulting and marketing experience hiring manager was looking for to help me land my current position. I was also able to recommend members from 4RS for internship positions at the current company as I knew I would get members who have had the training and have worked on healthcare related projects through 4RS related projects."
Currently working as a Consultant at Newristics
Rebecca Watters, PhD
"4RS was a fantastic opportunity for me during my fellowship to gain some experiential learning in both business and consulting. Working on cases for local start-ups gave me the ability to exercise both my leadership and critical thinking skills outside of academia. These interactions gave me the necessary confidence to network with other individuals from different industries and at all professional levels. Most importantly, this whole experience has given me the necessary knowledge and connections to both promote and commercialize my own research in the future. I would highly recommend this experience to all interested graduate students and postdoctoral fellows."
Currently working as a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh
Nicole Ostrowski, PhD
"Working with Fourth River Solutions exposed me to the exciting atmosphere of start-up business case development. I very much enjoyed the project work and enthusiastic environment that 4RS fosters for its members. I'm excited to be working in consulting now, with an internal consulting team at an engineering company. However, even if I hadn't found a job in consulting, the skills developed while volunteering with 4RS can be beneficial across a wide variety of jobs in industry and academia alike."
Currently working as an Analyst with the Management Consulting & Strategy Group at Arconic
Amy Chaya, PhD
"Through 4RS, I gained hands-on experience working with translational researchers and experienced entrepreneurs to assess the market and commercial potential of numerous technologies. These experiences provided me with an improved understanding of the commercialization process from the perspectives of various stakeholders, including the researcher/inventor, investor, and business development team. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunities provided by 4RS to broaden my grad school experiences beyond the lab bench. These experiences introduced me to the world of biotech business development and entrepreneurship, both of which I continue to pursue today."
Currently working as a Systems Engineer at Bayer HealthCare and the President & CEO of healthStratica
Da-Tren Chou, PhD
"4RS was instrumental in my development by providing opportunities to learn consulting skills in a team setting, problem-solve and bring impact for an emerging technology, and engage in a network of peers interested in consulting that was critical in preparing for interviews. The experiences and training gained through 4RS are truly unique from other programs, with plenty of ways to take leadership and entrepreneurial roles. In addition to the personal development, 4RS is a dynamic and fun organization to be a part of, and I was able to forge lasting bonds with others in the group. I highly recommend graduate students and post-docs to get involved at 4RS - even if you don't end up becoming a consultant, you will build skills that can be applied to any number of careers."
Currently works at McKinsey & Company
Yujuan Zhao, PhD
"It was a great experience! You have taught me more than I could ever ask for. I have been fortunate enough to work with fabulous project manager/ team members and on an eye-opening project."
Current role: Senior RF Design Engineer at Starkey Laboratories, a medical devices company in Minnesota.
Robert A. Allen, PhD
"4RS gave me the business vocabulary I needed to communicate effectively with industry and government professionals. Learning this language took my professional networking to the next level and helped me land my current position as a policy fellow."
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