Xuanyan Xu - Graduated in 2011 – MSc Biochemistry, Science Based Business

Today we hear the experience of  Xuanyan Xu, who graduated in 2011 in the Science Based Business variant of Biochemistry.

What is your current position?

Xuanyan is working as a Global Market Manager at QIAGEN -a large international provider of innovative technologies used in molecular diagnostics, forensics, veterinary testing, food safety and research and development. QIAGEN is her very first employer, fresh from school. She has been working there for 4 years. “I started out as an associate e-Marketing Manager, responsible for the direct marketing campaigns in Asia-pacific region. By working closely with the global team, I learned how to develop the marketing plan from the scratch and what are the most practical ways to manage the projects. Two years later, I moved to Global Market Manager role, responsible for creating content for multi-channel marketing activities. What I enjoy is the blend of the technologies and the commercial values, such as  writing blogs about a popular technique, making new application note based on R&D studies and the scientific publications, managing the corporate twitter account etc.” Xuanyan started as a specialist in the Asian market; her Chinese background is a great asset for this position.

How did you get your first job?

As a recent graduate in 2011, Xuanyan started to apply to a variety of jobs, since she did not have a clear idea of her possibilities in the labour market. After more than 30 applications, that all resulted in a rejection, “If I received a response at all”, she decided to approach small companies for internship opportunities. “Due to specific personal circumstances during my Master’s, my last internship was performed two years before my graduation. Only after my graduation I realized how important this experience was for any future employer; my experience needed an update. I found a great opportunity in a small consultancy firm, where I performed an assessment of the market potential of a new biomaterial.”

Xuanyan was an active user of LinkedIn; she updated her profile regularly. And with success, “After a few months working as an intern, I received an e-mail from a headhunter, who was interested in my biochemistry and business background. Not long after this introduction, this person introduced me to my current employer”. She had to get used to all the fancy - and sometimes confusing - job titles that are used in industry. “For example, even though my job title is Global Market Manager, I do not manage other people”.

Do you have any advice for our students?

Xuanyan immediately responds “The importance of the internship! The final part of your study can be essential for your transfer to the job market. If you want to work in the industry, try to get exposed to industry during your study because there is a real difference from the academic environment. Companies value the outcome and return-on-investment, and it took me some time to get used to that.” “Secondly, read the job requirements carefully, and then customize the CV and cover letter so that they are matched. I used to make a complete CV with all the skills listed. But I realized that HR or talent acquisition manager won’t have the time to read them all. Selecting the ones which include the keywords they look for, saves their time and increase my chance of being picked out. As a final word of advice based on her experience: “Use LinkedIn and keep your “personal branding site” up-to-date. While you are looking for a job, someone might be looking for you!”

Laatst Gewijzigd: 10-06-2016