IE Business School Online Masters
Mª Victoria Martín
November 3, 2008


First, a little bit about me….

   In December 2002, I received my PhD from the Department of Molecular Biology at the University of Salamanca, Spain. Two months later, I moved to California, USA, to begin my postdoctoral career at The Scripps Research Institute. After three great years in which I worked on DNA damage and repair, I moved to Switzerland to initiate a second postdoctoral period, this time focused on transcriptional regulation.

   Scientists come in all shapes and sizes but enthusiasm, energy, perseverance and a passion for learning are some characteristics needed in our job. As I go from project to project during my career, my energy and enthusiasm for the bench work, have started to diminish. I still love science and I don’t have problems coping with the ups and downs that one experiences at the bench. However, the long hours, the difficulty in obtaining funding, the pressures to publish and  the salaries that are less than ideal, can easily affect you.


 Is there any alternative to research?

   As a basic research scientist I always thought there were not many alternatives to research. Biomedical consulting, technical writing, intellectual property, venture capitalists, Pharma regulatory affairs, … : all these sounded like interesting options to me but how could I get there with a pure scientific background?

   One year ago I was surfing the net with these ideas in mind, when I found the webpage of IE Business School. They were announcing a new Master Program (the Master in Biotechnology Management -MBM) that seemed to be tailored to people like me, willing to take alternative careers in science, other than the classic academic track. I was specially attracted by the flexibility of this particular program, its on-line methodology, the subjects and the option to finance my studies through scholarships or loans.

   So, 12 months ago I went to the IE Business School Info event in Zurich, with my CV, my application form, all the required certificates … and of course, many questions. After the presentation of the MBM Program, I had an interview with the person in charge of the recruitment process and before the end of the year I got a positive answer from IE Business School. No need to say I was extremely excited, but little by little the excitement changed into fear. Specially when the course started and we spent the first two weeks of the program at the IE Campus in Madrid: my free time disappeared, my savings were gone, my sleep time was painfully short. All of us, smiling and fresh when we started,  became phantoms of puffy eyes in just two weeks of classes!! I think the question we were all asking ourselves in our flights back home was the same:  Would I be able to survive this during 13 months?

   I guess the fact that I am here writing this blog means that I managed to survive (at least the first 10 months!). I can also tell you that the rest of my colleagues are still around: tired but alive. It did not always go smoothly but I will talk about my experiences inside the MBM in future posts.

   I still don’t know where I might end up, but taking off my lab coat for a few hours every day and exploring this new universe, the business world, is being already a great experience.



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