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The 2016 SAPA Career Forum Discussions with Young Professionals

Princeton, NJ, March 10, 2016 --( On February 27, 2016, Sino-American Pharmaceutical Professionals Association (SAPA) hosted a career forum with young professionals at Rutgers University. This forum is co-organized by the Rutgers University iJOBS program, Rutgers Chinese Students and Scholars Association, Association of Chinese Students and Scholars at Princeton University, and Columbia University Medical Center-Chinese Students and Scholars Association. This interactive forum is organized primarily for the graduate students and postdocs, and young professionals who have newly entered the workforce, and interested in career planning and development in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology field.

The event was co-hosted by Dr. Xiaodong Chen and Dr. John Sun. Xiaodong warmly welcomed the panelists, speakers, and all the participants. He introduced SAPA’s history, mission, and upcoming events especially related to career development. John emphasized the importance of career planning and development in the early stage, and the intention to make this forum more interactive to address individual concerns. John also introduced the SAPA career development workshop “Turning Point” on June 4th with more in-depth discussion around the hot topics on career development.

Five panelists with diverse backgrounds had an engaged discussion with the audience: Dr. David Cragin, an experienced toxicologist and quality professional from Merck is also a passionate career advocate; Dr. Yong Guo, a professor from Fairleigh Dickinson University shared his insights and working experiences spanning from industry and academia; Dr. John Lin, a senior executive revealed many opportunities in the CRO companies such as Frontage; Ms. Meng Xu from BMS brought a fresh perspective from her valuable experiences in the past few years; Dr. Haichen Yang, a Medical Director from Eisai also shared her valuable career advices. The questions from the audience were quite broad ranging from working eligibility, OPT planning, networking, preparation for interview, communication and leadership skills improvements.

After the panel discussion, attendees joined four group discussions, featuring 1)understand the career choices and optimize planning process, 2) getting the job you want – practical perspective; 3) career advancement in the early stage; 4) improve leadership skill and enhance network in professional organizations. The forum ended with a relaxing dinner reception, with more than 50 attendees.
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Sino-American Pharmaceutical Professionals Association
Xiaodong Chen

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