With a degree in molecular biology from Turkey, she traveled to continue her research at a pharmaceutical company in Germany. Engaged in her research, she sent an email to Nobel Laureate Paul Greengard at Rockefeller University in New York and asked if she could become part of his team. He was known as a strong supporter of women in science and research, and yes, Yildiz Kelahmetoglu got a place on the research team. She stayed in New York for two years.
- Now I do not understand that I actually sent that email. That's one such thing I will tell my grandchildren!
The time with Professor Greengard's opened doors. When she applied for doctoral positions, she wanted to return to Europe and got a position at Karolinska Institutet where she also defended her dissertation.
- During my time at KI, I was active in the student union, editor of our magazine and arranged various events. I knew I wanted to be in the industry. But I had no idea where to go. What would suit me out there?
Via a colleague, she received tips about Trygghetsstiftelsen and asked her employer to get her registered. She met an adviser and was advised to meet a coach. It became a turning point.
- He had knowledge of both academia and industry. He became like a bridge to another world. He helped me understand how it worked and where my skills could fit.
Yildiz participated in webinars on writing resumes, activating Linkedin and interview training. She also took a course in Swedish at the same time as she applied for jobs.
- I got my job as a Medical Science Liason in April and started in May. It is a communicative service with scientific advice, training and a lot of presentations. It suits me well to be a link between clinical staff, patient organizations and the pharmaceutical industry to explain and disseminate knowledge about the research that takes place.
She is happy and grateful for the support from Trygghetsstiftelsen.
- The support from my advisor and coach was absolutely crucial to reach my goal, says Yildiz Kelahmetoglu.
Yildiz good advice for you who want to go from academia to industry:
• Identify your strengths.
• Make a list of what you like to do and what you can do without. It will help you understand which roles would suit you.
• Look not only at titles but at what the job actually means.
• Be curious and outgoing even during your time at the academy - already think about what you would like to do.
• Network and be open with what you want and are looking for.
Gunilla Mild Nygren, freelance journalist