Basant Ebaid, mentee in the 2018 MedTech-Pharma program in VIC (La Trobe University)

I am currently a full-time third-year PhD student at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, and I am currently part of the IMNIS MedTech-Pharma program in Victoria.

Why are you participating in the IMNIS program?

Throughout my studies, I learnt that I didn’t want to pursue a career in academia, however nobody really tells you about alternative career options. When I found out about the IMNIS initiative through my PhD supervisor, I thought this would be a great opportunity to broaden my knowledge about potential career paths I could take post-PhD. I was matched with my mentor, and I learnt a great deal about careers in industry that really sparked my interest – particularly in clinical trials.

What is the most important aspect of this professional relationship to you?

The most valuable aspect of the relationship I have with my mentor Gabriel Liberatore, currently the Group Chief Operating Officer at Telix Pharmaceuticals, is his sincere commitment to guide me throughout my career in industry. His invaluable knowledge about industry careers (and life in general!) has been extremely beneficial to me, and I truly feel grateful to have him as my mentor.

What do you hope your mentor can help you achieve and what is the best piece of advice you have received so far?

I have definitely learnt that academia and industry are quite different. I came into the IMNIS program doubtful of the skills I possessed in order to pursue a career outside of academia. However, I now know that a PhD is valuable for an industry career. My mentor has taught me how to tailor my CV so that it is more suited for industry job applications, and he has given me a greater understanding of what industry employers are searching for.

What are the top 3 key things you hope to learn through the IMNIS program? Do you have a plan and have you set goals?

As this awesome year of the IMNIS program nears its end, I have learnt that networking and maintaining relationships with professionals in industry is essential. I have also learnt the value of the skills I acquired through academic experience, and how they are transferrable to industry.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of the IMNIS program for you so far?

I truly believe that being part of the IMNIS program is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m extremely blessed to have had the opportunity to partake in this program as a mentee in the final year of my PhD (which is a stressful time, given that I needed to start thinking about life after post-graduate studies!). For me, a few standouts were the amazing people I was fortunate enough to meet in industry thanks to my mentor, including CEOs and Medical Directors, and the insight I gained through conversing with them. Also, my mentor advised me of an internship opportunity that was arising in clinical trials, where my application was successful and I couldn’t be happier!

I have an immense appreciation for my mentor and everyone I’ve been fortunate enough to meet, for dedicating time to the next generation of STEM leaders.