It’s never too late to follow your calling. Depending on where you are in life, there are many ways you can reorient and choose a new path for yourself, be it getting a second degree, growing your minor or a hobby into your main focus or getting a certification in your domain of interest. This week, we’ll hear about how our guest went from a bachelor’s in theater to a PhD in neuroscience, and eventually to a fulfilling career as a startup CEO.

Chris Kent SMALL

Chris Kent has served as the CEO of ODS Medical since its’ founding in 2015. ODS Medical is a medical device company commercializing an exclusive Raman spectroscopy system for real-time, intra-operative tumor margin detection during surgical oncology procedures. Prior to ODS Medical, he worked with Dr. Kevin Petrecca, building a translational research program at the Montreal Neurological Institute focused on working with industry partners to accelerate the discovery and pre-clinical development of a wide variety of small molecules and biologics for treatment of brain cancers. Prior to his work at the MNI, Chris was involved with a start-up that specialized in the application of stimuli-responsive polymer materials to a wide range of industries.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How meeting and talking with people of your domain of interest is central to gathering data during your job search
  • Starting a club or an activity to bring together likeminded people with whom do discuss and exchange about common interest subjects outside your research
  • The importance of making grad school or a PhD a conscious choice, rather than just the next logical step in your studies
  • How fear of the unknown is part of career growth, and a sign that you are on the right path in terms of tracing a fulfilling and productive career path for yourself
  • Transferable skills that are prized in the entrepreneurial/startup domain
  • The importance of being able to tell your story and to get people excited about it in your post-MSc/post-PhD professional life
  • Finding mentors outside academia through your academic network
  • What key skills serve you best as the CEO of a startup

This episode’s pearls of wisdom:

“The great thing about being a grad student is that although you’ve got way more work than time, you   can set your own schedule. So, you can be available to go and have lunch or have coffee with whoever around their schedule, and then make up for the time later. And that way, you can be there to have those conversations.”

“The first biggest principle is to know yourself and to listen to yourself. You have to be really honest about things to yourself, in terms of what motivates you – why are you doing this, you know? I think grad school is a perfect example for that, because there is a huge temptation to undertake a PhD or to enroll in that program because it’s the next logical step.”

Chris’s links: www.odsmed.com | www.mcgill.ca/dobson/entrepreneurship-programs/mcgill-dobson-cup | www.mcgill.ca/dobson/entrepreneurship-programs/x1accelerator | centech.co | ctssante.com | d3center.ca | rebelbio.co

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