As a PhD student there is a part of me that always wants to be conducting research, in the trenches, on the forefront of discovery. I’ve traversed the winding path to witness something in nature that only existed beforehand in a diagram I had drawn. It’s exhilarating! However, over time working on the bench I realized I didn’t want to pursue academic research indefinitely. The Commercialization Academy provided a steppingstone not just towards alternative careers, but to view the scientific landscape in all its wonder and complexity.

When admitted to the program, I suspected that I was interested in translating scientific discoveries to commercially viable enterprises that could benefit society and human health. I knew it was called technology transfer, but I had a vague idea of what that meant. Training within the Commercialization Academy showed me the many dimensions of technology commercialization. I learned through seminars and expert panels about patent law, licensing agreements, competitive landscapes, market dynamics, and venture financing. The Commercialization Academy equipped me with tools to evaluate the commercial potential of actual inventions born of Johns Hopkins research. It was splendid to see another winding path research takes as soon as it leaves the lab and attempts to make an impact on the world. This too was exhilarating!

The skills, experience, and contacts I developed through the Commercialization Academy allowed me to envision and prepare for my career more effectively.

I joined the investment affinity group within The Commercialization Academy, which was a group of students interested in pursuing careers in venture capital, private equity, and investment banking. We had multiple interviews with individuals working within the investment industry attempting to convert cutting edge research into high tech/high growth companies. The network I built in this group has put me into a uniquely privileged position to pursue a career within investment firms as soon as I graduate.

As I transition out of the Commercialization Academy to focus on finishing my thesis work, I am certain that my next career step is clearer and closer because of the great training the Commercialization Academy provided me.