Damian Wang, PhD ’17, is a project manager in research services at 23andMe. When Damian started the PIBBS program, he knew early on that he wanted to work in the industry. A day in the life of this project manager consists of lots of meetings. Damian manages various teams from research, business development, engineering and even facilities. One part of the job that he enjoys the most is being able to work with a diverse group of professionals.
Damian chose to attend PIBBS because of the wide-ranging programs available and the support and encouragement offered from both program faculty and staff. Damian’s advice to those interested in the program is to make sure they are secure in their decision and purpose for getting a PhD and to remind themselves of that reason daily. Damian believes the PIBBS program prepared him for his career by giving him opportunities to collaborate in labs at USC, other universities and national research centers. The knowledge learned by working in cross-functional teams gave him the necessary communication and project management skills for his current position.
One tip Damian has for students nearing graduation is: “Although you think you know it all, you actually don’t. Use the networking skills you obtained while in the program to create resources for yourself. Go out and talk to people. Ask for assistance with your resume and cover letter. Reach out to people via LinkedIn who currently hold positions that you want to get a better idea of what their day is like. Do not be afraid to cast a wide net. You don’t need to know everyone, just the right people to get the job you want.”