Marketing management is an exciting career path for professionals interested in the intersection of science and business. A marketing manager role offers a diversity of tasks, such as advertising, social media marketing (SMM), design or copywriting, market research, data analytics, and content creation, to name a few. Marketing managers are people passionate about engaging with clients and establishing strategic partnerships, being updated on the latest market trends, and having excellent communication skills, both oral and written. That said, this career entails constant learning, and the skills you develop as a marketing manager can be easily transferred to a range of other roles. The personal qualities that are valuable for this role are being highly organized, goal-oriented, creative, and flexible.
Nicholas Gouw, senior field marketing specialist, and Sherlin Lee, marketing specialist, share their experiences from GenScript Biotech’s European Division.
What is your background?
Nicholas: I have lived and worked in several countries around the globe. I hold a BSc in Biochemistry and Cell Biology (University California San Diego), and a MSc in Biotech and Entrepreneurship (NYU Tandon School of Engineering). I have a genuine interest in bridging the gap between science and marketing, and my journey into marketing has begun in the Netherlands.
Sherlin: I was born and raised in Hong Kong, where I did a BSc in Applied Biology (City University of Hong Kong). Working on my own in the lab has taught me self-management and discipline. I have obtained a MSc in Science and Business Management (Utrecht University) combining scientific knowledge with business essentials, such as management, marketing, and entrepreneurship.
What does a marketing specialist do?
Nicholas: As a senior field marketing specialist, I oversee marketing efforts in the UK, Switzerland, and Southern Europe (Italy, Portugal, Spain). My tasks include planning, attending small academic conferences and events, content creation, SMM, and writing editorial articles and interviews.
Sherlin: Similarly, I oversee marketing activities across Benelux and Nordics, Germany, and France. I attend conferences to search for new customers and create marketing materials. Internally at GenScript, my responsibilities are digital marketing (e-newsletters, SMM), distributor management, and public relations.
How have you transitioned into marketing?
Nicholas: I used to spend long hours in the lab working as a research assistant, but I have realized that combining science and business is a better fit for me. During my studies at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, I took courses in accounting, marketing, and operations. I also truly enjoyed a crash course in entrepreneurship and learned how to make a marketing plan, launch product design, and position a product. Afterwards I did an internship in a technology startup developing a data science platform for visualization and analysis of genomics data. I performed different tasks, such as comprehensive market research, visual and data analytics, public relations, accounting, and organized events.
Sherlin: Experience with operations and project management has helped me to enter marketing. I was a project management intern at Danone’s Operations Department. The role was a good match for my knowledge of nutrition, analytical thinking, and creativity. Then I worked as a business support officer for Eurofins, an international life science company, where I developed a digital marketing strategy and analyzed the customers’ needs. Eight months later I joined the marketing department at GenScript Biotech.
What skills and personal attributes are essential to succeed in this career?
Nicholas: Time management. Due to a constant influx of new projects, a marketing manager should ensure that the work is done on time and successfully.
Sherlin: Creativity. Create visually appealing banners that can catch people’s attention in a few seconds. Being talkative. Meet a lot of different people, and chair internal conferences and webinars. Time and project management. Use resources around you wisely to maximize the effect, especially when you are working with people in different time zones.
What are your favorite tasks as a marketing specialist?
Nicholas: I enjoy planning and carrying out interviews, as it offers a way to develop a deeper connection with the people being interviewed, as well as it is an opportunity to explore and highlight their individual perspectives regarding topics of their interest.
Sherlin: Meeting people, talking to clients and scientists, and getting to know their projects. It makes my job more meaningful when I know I can offer help to their projects through GenScript’s services. When I attend conferences, I also have the possibility to compare the work we do at GenScript to our competitors, see their performance, and learn from them. This encourages me to never stop learning, but «stay hungry, stay foolish».
What is your next career move?
Nicholas: Compared to larger companies, here at GenScript we have many unique opportunities for professional growth, freedom, and creativity in our daily tasks and the possibility to attend international scientific conferences as marketing managers.
Sherlin: I enjoy working at GenScript because the team is so friendly. Our division was established in 2019, and it feels like working in a startup rather than in a company, with many opportunities to grow. And we also receive support from GenScript offices in China and USA.