Written by Myung Soo Kim, PhD, Research Analyst, Kineticos
I’m a nerd, and it is awesome. I was one of those annoying kids who always, always asked “why?” I was constantly questioning everything, trying to figure out how, and why, things worked. In addition to taking things apart and (trying to) put them back together, I enjoyed reading anything and everything I could get my hands on, both novels and books about science and the details and inner-workings behind the things we see or use every day.
As I grew older, my pursuit of knowledge became increasingly specialized, going from a broad range of subjects covered by honors and AP courses in high school, to primarily biology and chemistry courses during my time as an undergraduate, and then, finally, to extremely niche classes taken during my PhD training related to pharmaceuticals and drug formulation development. Despite this narrowing academic focus, my expansive thirst for knowledge had not changed, and I continued to find myself interested in fields of science other than my own. In my spare time, I would often read up about scientific and technological developments I had heard about in the news or elsewhere, or have long, drawn-out nerdy conversations with strangers I had just met on the bus about their doctoral research in neuroscience.
As I found myself growing increasingly dissatisfied with life in the lab doing benchwork, I found that I had an interest in business and entrepreneurship. This eventually led to the formation of my first pharma startup, NeuroNostix, with three other graduate students at UNC, followed by an internship and then a full-time job here at Kineticos. I had identified Business Development as an area that I was interested in learning more about, and Kineticos has provided me with many opportunities to learn about Business Development and gain experience in the area.
On a more personal, nerdy level, being a consultant has provided me with the opportunity to learn about many different cutting-edge biotech companies and their science/technology, which I find extremely interesting and exciting. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here at Kineticos; I learn something new every day and am constantly challenged to push myself to find creative solutions to difficult problems. I have found my job as a consultant to be extremely rewarding and fulfilling, as not only do I get to have “fun” learning about the latest exciting developments in the life sciences, but I am also able to see a direct real-world impact from my work. When I was a graduate student sitting at a bench, or in front of a hood, for hours and hours, pipetting and developing calluses on my thumb, for the sole purpose of publishing a paper in an extremely niche field, which will only be read by others in that field, it’s hard to see the significance of the research. But as a consultant, it’s amazing to me that the fruits of my labor will influence multi-hundred-million dollar corporations as well as the lives of hundreds or even thousands of patients. Thus, not only am I incentivized to work hard in order to “have fun” learning about interesting new science, but also in order to have a positive impact on patients’ lives.
In summary, if you are a “nerd” who finds all kinds of science interesting, and have a desire to help people and make an impact in the world, consulting may be the career you’re looking for. I like to think of myself as a philosopher scientist. There is a quote by John Ziman, a scientist from the late 20th century: “A philosopher is a person who knows less and less about more and more, until he knows nothing about everything. A scientist is a person who knows more and more about less and less, until he knows everything about nothing.” Personally, I want to know everything about everything.
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Myung Soo Kim, Ph.D., Research Analyst, is currently responsible for supporting the delivery of customized management consulting solutions to clients across the life science ecosystem. Additionally, Dr. Kim is the lead author on several Kineticos research reports.