It was refreshing to listen to Dr. Lydia Cox’s career seminar last semester. After getting her Ph.D. and a few years employed in industry, she decided to take some time off to raise her children. This is quite unique in the life sciences. As female scientists, we usually can’t afford a gap in our career, for fear of never getting back to the place we once were. To be able to do this she gave the following advice, “Don’t burn any bridges – the world of science is smaller than you think.” It was refreshing to hear that Lydia had re-entered the workplace successfully, and not even that but was able to take an eleven-year break between employment. While this isn’t for everyone, it’s nice to have options. Currently, Lydia is working at Nichino America, an agricultural chemical company as Director of Regulatory Affairs. She describes her current job as science plus business, and a logical progression and on the job training allowed for this.
“The people that I see as successful are those that are not only driven, but who are also positive, optimistic, and can interact well with others who are above and below them in the hierarchy.”
Dr. Cox received her Bachelor’s in Animal Science from Cornell University and Ph.D. in Toxicology from the University of the Sciences. She then completed a postdoc at New York University. Now in her current job, she works in regulatory affairs. She explained the field, “Everyone I know in Regulatory Affairs started off doing another job first and then moved to Regulatory Affairs. I think it is unusual to be hired into Regulatory Affairs directly from graduate school, at least in my industry sector.”
As graduate students, we must keep an open mind and consider all possible career options. If you are interested in regulatory affairs, feel free to reach out and ask Dr. Cox additional questions.