A global pandemic is a unique challenge we are all facing together. Dr Catherine Lopes is a strongly committed IMNIS mentor in medtech-pharma in Melbourne. We invited Catherine to share her advice for PhD students and early-career researchers to help them manage and navigate this hurdle.

 

Maintain focus, adjust expectations, identify a project.

 

Dr Catherine Lopes, Head of Data Strategy and Analytics, ME Bank and IMNIS mentor in medtech-pharma in Victoria.

Melbourne-based IMNIS mentor and data scientist, Dr Catherine Lopes, says mentees, and other students and early-career researchers can turn this challenge into opportunity if they are able to stay positive and maintain focus, even if for only part of each day. “This could actually be a good time to be more productive”, says Lopes.

Catherine says she is staying positive by having structure to her daily life and putting some effort into managing her time effectively, including planning her day as much as possible. “Given the circumstances, expectations will need to be adjusted – whether it is an expectation about productivity, achievements, networking or job-hunting, it is important to evaluate each situation on a case-by-case basis, while preparing for multiple possible scenarios”.

 

“Given the circumstances, expectations will need to be adjusted – whether it is an expectation about productivity, achievements, networking or job-hunting”

Dr Lopes also reiterates that while networking in the traditional sense will not be possible for some time, valuable connections can still be made through social media and online platforms, meetings and webinars.

Catherine has encouraged her mentee to identify a project or some sort of online learning that will allow them to strengthen, sharpen and hone their skills, and to increase their understanding of the latest COVID19 research and innovation. “It’s moving at a fast pace and a lot is happening – it’s also a great example of how industry and academia can collaborate for the greater good”.

 

About the author:

Catherine Lopes is a strategic data team builder with analytical management leadership as well as a machine learning and data science expert with broad technical knowledge. Catherine is also a product developer for business outcome with a digital focus and a business partner with passion in education.