Dream Job: Adi Ramakrishna, Medical Science Liason

Meet Adi

adi face

Medical Science Liason, Health Outcomes & Pharmacoeconomics

Woooaahh, that title. It seems intimidating at first – what does Adi actually do? I’m very pleased to have a more nuanced explanation of that below, but before we get to that part – who does this apply to and why does it matter?

Do you feel like each day you start from zero? Do you feel an energy that drives you to accomplish a goal each day, regardless of how small? Adi, like other humans, is complex with many interests, but the difference for Adi is his Achiever talent. An achiever thrives in a work environment that allows them to create and manage their levels of productivity.

Adi is a beautiful mix of human with strengths in relationship building,  science knowledge, business poise, and he is inspired through creativity. His achiever talent is apparent in all of his accomplishments, but as a person, one meeting is enough to experience Adi’s warmth and interest in others.

Read on readers! Adi’s self-managed career helps him thrive, and you too, can better your job satisfaction through self-managing your strengths to your career decisions.

What’s your title? What do you do? How long have you done this?

Medical Science Liaison: Health Outcomes and Pharmacoeconomics. Shortened to MSL:HOPE. I like having Hope in my title. After all, it worked for Obama. Titles are just words though, and different companies have different titles for my job. Like Batman said, “It’s not who I am underneath, it’s what I do that defines me.” That’s right, I’ve mentioned Obama and Batman one paragraph into my job description. Narcissism, check!

So, what do I do? Long story: I meet with insurance companies, researchers, and physicians who are on the cutting edge of science to pick their brain and give them any unbiased, peer reviewed information they need. For example, I work with a particular brand of products known as biosimilars, which are low cost options for super expensive injectable drugs for cancer, arthritis, and many other diseases. I need to gauge what the level of understanding is for these products across all three of those groups, and provide them with information they ask for in order to make more educated decisions.

Short story: I talk science with people much smarter than me and try my hardest to keep up. I’ve been at it for the last 3 years.obama bat man 2

What jobs or past experiences have led you to the current thing that pays you money (your job)?

I’ve been blessed with a lot of student debt. Student debt that allowed me to stay in school long enough to escape with a pharmacy and business degree. I was then blessed to live in glorious Indiana, where I worked for a company named after a flower. Lilly. Actually, it was named after a Colonel in the Civil War who failed in just about every business venture he attempted until he stumbled across pharmaceuticals. Look up his life sometime: Eli Lilly. Dude had a crazy life. I’ll wait till you’ve come back from Wikipedia.

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Eli Lilly, Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Back already? My favorite part about Eli Lilly’s story is where he led a battalion nicknamed the “Jackass Battery.” Anyway, I digress.

I worked at Lilly as a sales rep for a year, got laid off, scrambled for a job and lucked into the MSL role about 2 days before I was going to be out on the streets. I’ve been at it ever since.

What occupation did you imagine having when you were 5? What about at 25?

Well, I lived in India until I was 11, so I always imagined myself a cracker jack Cricket player. Bowling googlys and batting centuries with full blooded strokes. What am I doing? I don’t need to elaborate for you, the avid cricket fan of this blog.

Well, life happened and next thing I knew, here I was in the US where kids use gloves to catch pop ups instead of their bare, bloodied, calloused hands. Pansies.

At 25? Since I’m 29 now, I guess four years haven’t really changed my career outlook that dramatically. I still know that I’m going to make it as a reality TV star after I marry, and subsequently divorce, one of the Kardashians and use my newfound 15 mins of fame to plug Frank Zito’s wonderful sketch show, “Improvidence.”

The Best: Tell us, what’s the best part of your job?

The travel, hands down! I get to attend conferences at New Orleans, Miami, New York, Philly, Milan, Buenos Aires, and other amazing cities.

My territory is also kickass: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, Phoenix, Las Vegas. I absolutely love my territory.

Along with the travel comes the down time after my meetings are done. Typically I’ll have one or two meetings in a day. After I wrap up the meetings, any conference calls, and wrap up for the day, I have plenty of time to catch an improv show, play in an open jam, meet up with friends, or attend a sports game. You’ll usually see me post on the Traveling Improvisers Network, or thumbing through apps like Hangtime or Viator before I head to a new city.

adi hawaii

The Stink: Tell us, what’s part of the job that you really wish were different?

I honestly feel blessed to have this job, and can’t really complain about anything in particular. Expense reports are a pain, but then again, at least I didn’t have to spend my own money. Occasional conference calls at 6 or 7 am PST are rough because of colleagues in the east coast, but then again they all stop by 1-2 pm and I have quiet time to actually get things done. Nope, can’t complain about anything.

Outside of your job, how do you spend your time?

Improv, sketch, and film-making. I’m taking classes at Second City Hollywood. I’m midway through my current project: converting my second bedroom to a green screen sketch filming studio. I’ve built a powerhouse workstation that can eat Adobe cloud and 3D animating software for breakfast. My goal is to be able to write a sketch, improvise/act it, film it, edit it, and publish it all from my own apartment. That tends to take up some of my free time.

adi over fire

Who is someone you look up to for career inspiration?

I’ve learned from all types of people. Career wise, I look up to mentors in my company and outside my industry. As far as inspiration, Elon Musk, is a highly motivated over achiever/workaholic who has changed the world considerably. His ability to bounce around from industry to industry, while still maintaining that thread of working towards sustainability and innovating every field he touches, is beyond inspiring. He’s probably in his office right now. Why are you reading this blog instead of working?

What is your advice to people who are interested in a similar career?

In all seriousness, if you are reading this and are considering college, get a Pharm.D. It is the quickest and most versatile doctoral degree in the world (you can work in a pharmacy, within industry, in insurance companies, in entrepreneurship, in tech, in consulting, the list is endless). It also starts you off with a great salary and good benefits. I’m a proponent of building your safety net early in your life, so you can take risks later. And if you are at all worried about not being smart enough, remember C’s get degrees. Just stick with it.

C’s get degrees. Just stick with it.

If you could read these questions about someone else, who would you want to see answer them? (can give a job title or name a specific person).

Elon Musk, Batman, Obama, or Carlo Sanfilippo. All people who have, and continue to, inspire me.

Any other passing words of advice or anything neat you have going on that you would like to share with us?

If this is out before Friday, Sept 25th, and you live in St. Louis, check out Frank Zito’s wonderful sketch: Improvidence at the Sham Film Festival. It should be on at 7 pm at Winifred Moore Auditorium in Webster University. Frank is a uniquely talented director and deserves your support! Also, he cast me in his sketch, so clearly he’s a man with a great sense of charity.

Passing words of advice: Make your bed every morning (it starts your day with a small win and builds momentum), take a cold shower for 2-3 minutes (it builds your willpower), meditate for 10-20 minutes (it sharpens your focus and prepares you for the bullshit you will deal with throughout the day), cut down on carbs and up your healthy fats, meats, and veggies (you are what you eat), and most importantly, read every day (or listen to books on audible). Wow, giving advice is so easy! Thank God I don’t have to do all those things.

Thanks Adi! Love the passing advice – maybe one day I will be able to get 2 of those down simultaneously.  Keep doing what you do best and thanks for sharing some of your brain with us.

Also, p.s – Cricket, whaa? Fun!

Dream Job: Ryan Griffin, Retail Craft Beer Store Owner

Meet Ryan Griffin
ryan griffin

Owner, Saint Louis Hop Shop

Are you fascinated by new ideas, concepts, and principles? Can you easily see connections where others may not? You might be someone with a talent for Ideation. If you are someone who easily has new ideas and sees connections in seemingly disparate events, you may be fit for a career in entrepreneurship.

Ryan is bright, hard-working, and easily able to make friends with all walks of life. He is someone who finds joy in making connections with people and ideas. Ryan has recently entered the life of an entrepreneur and he’s not looking back. If you are someone who is interested in paving your own way, check out Ryan’s advice in the 3rd to last question.

Ladies, Gentleman, and All, meet Ryan Griffin, Retail Craft Beer Store Owner at Saint Louis Hop Shop:

What’s your title? What do you do? How long have you done this?

I’m the Co-owner of the Saint Louis Hop Shop. I designed a retail craft beer store where people can come in, buy beer, and taste them as well. The LLC was formed in 2014 but we opened our store May 2015.

What jobs or past experiences have led you to the current thing that pays you money (your job)?

I always wanted to own something and I grew up around entrepreneurs. During college I had the idea of getting into a management-training program, which I found at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Each job I had previously worked at, I was always considered a leader or at least decent at what I did. I felt that all of these working hours of my life were going into someone else’s pockets. I figured that if I dedicated those hours into building something myself, I would be able to make something happen.

Ryan Griffin Hop Shop

What occupation did you imagine having when you were 5? What about at 25?

When I was 5, I wanted to be a doctor. When I was 15, I wanted to be a football player and/or a businessman. I liked the idea of working in a corporate structure and making money there. By the time I turned 21, I wanted to run my own business and work for myself. I just turned 26 a couple weeks ago.

The Best: Tell us, what’s the best part of your job?

The best is being able to make my own decisions. Think of an idea, connect with people, and execute. I like the part of hosting and being able to control the environment around me.

Think of an idea, connect with people, and execute.

The Stink: Tell us, what’s part of the job that you really wish were different? 

Having to do everything myself. Currently I do all my own marketing, accounting, promotions, meetings, etc. I always have things going on and time goes by so quickly. 

ryan working

Outside of your job, how do you spend your time?  

With my girlfriend or my family.

Who is someone you look up to for career inspiration?

My uncle Jo Jo White, he was just retired into the NBA Hall Of Fame last week. He is one of my lifetime role models.

Ryan and Uncle

What is your advice to people who are interested in a similar career?

If you have an idea, run with it. Be confident. Do your research and figure out what works for you. Nothing ever happened by someone sitting around and waiting for it. If you have something you want to do, write it down and go make sure it gets done thoroughly.

If you could read these questions about someone else, who would you want to see answer them? (can give a job title or name a specific person).

Percy Miller aka Master P. He is CEO and recording artistfor No Limit Records. One of the most lucrative rap empires of all time.Master P

“Work hard and never make excuses” – Master P

Any other passing words of advice or anything neat you have going on that you would like to share with us?

Yes, I just launched my website @ www.saintlouishopshop.com. I’m hosting events all month that I would like whomever to come check out! I’m 3.5 months into my entrepreneurial experience and I’m not looking back.

Thanks Ryan! He has both local and national craft beers for sale at the Hop Shop. I know because I tried 1 or 6. Definitely worth checking out – located at 2606 Cherokee St., St. Louis, Missouri. 

The Sunday Story with Keisha Mabry

The Sunday Story from

This is Your Sandbox:

 Keisha Mabry

keisha mabry 2

Director of Innovation for College Bound

The Sunday Story is an event hosted by This Is Your Sandbox at 9am on Sunday, September 20th at The Focal Point in Maplewood, Missouri.

Keisha Mabry is the guest speaker for this event and I had the opportunity to catch a sneak peak of her speech at rehearsal over the weekend. Work Theory followers who are feeling unsure about where they are in their career journey, this is for you.

For an idea of what to expect Sunday, I will tease you with an excerpt from Keisha’s speech. She eloquently lays out 3 questions she faced when she was searching for her purpose. She asked herself,

“Why am I here?

How will I be? (What will I stand for?)

What will I do?”

I don’t want to ruin the ending for you – and I won’t mangle Keisha’s words by attempting to relay the rest of the story here. But I will tell you — time and time again, throughout rehearsal, I was inspired by her words, her experiences, and how she is spending her time now.  Come see what she says about passion and purpose.

Keisha said she, “dreamt of a life outside of her reality.”

This is something you can do too!

Her story is entirely engaging. If you’re feeling lost, come meet Keisha. She is someone who will tell you from personal experience how to figure out what’s next.

Tickets available at The Sunday Story.

Click that link above, or click here for tickets. Or buy them at Focal Point before the event, although, I’d advise you to buy them now before they sell out.

Onward Theorists!

Dream Job: Kevin McKernan, High School Teacher

Meet Kevin

kevin face

High School Teacher

Are you unafraid to make an impact on people’s lives, where others may be afraid to do so? Do you have a desire for strong leadership, for people and situations to be lead well? You may have a talent for Command. A person with a talent for Command believes that one must step into the fear to remove conflict and help bring in a solution. If this sounds like you, teaching could be a career you’d enjoy.

Kevin is humble, deliberate, funny, and uber caring. His eye for watching people grow and supporting them is present in his paying gig as a teacher and outside as a friend and human being. Check out his advice in the 3rd to last question for practical sound advice that’s hard to come by elsewhere.

Presenting, Dream Job with Kevin McKernan:

What’s your title? What do you do? How long have you done this?

I’m a high school teacher. I teach improv and speech. I’ve taught high school for 10 years; for the first eight years, I taught English. I’ve taught exclusively speech and improv for the past couple.

What jobs or past experiences have led you to the current thing that pays you money (your job)?

In terms of what led me to teaching, I think I found high school kids to be more generally honest, funny, and open-minded than your run-of-the-mill adults. I’m not sure I still believe that, but I know I didn’t want to be around a bunch of stiffs that were spending their little time on earth caring about stuff that didn’t matter to me. I also had great teachers, and so that job title meant something to me; they were always a special brand of hero to me. The good ones were always thoughtful, idealistic, and kind. And so to dedicate my life to teaching was just a selfish way of trying to become more of those things.

I know I didn’t want to be around a bunch of stiffs that were spending their little time on earth caring about stuff that didn’t matter to me. I also had great teachers, and so that job title meant something to me; they were always a special brand of hero to me.

What occupation did you imagine having when you were 5? What about at 25?

When I was 5, I didn’t think about having a job. At one point when I was young, I thought about being a movie director. That seemed fun. I loved movies when I was a kid. When I was 25, I was already teaching.

kev babies
Photo credit: http://www.rexkang.com/947/youve-got-to-be-kind/

The Best: Tell us, what’s the best part of your job?

I love it when a kid takes a creative risk. I also love seeing them being kind to each other when they don’t know I’m watching.

The Stink: Tell us, what’s part of the job that you really wish were different? 

To be quite honest, I don’t think I would change anything.

kevin with level 5
Photo credit: Adam Shaw

Outside of your job, how do you spend your time? 

I like hanging out with my fiance, especially if we are watching Netflix or going to get something to eat. I have a dog named Henry that I like to take naps with. I’ve also recently been playing a lot of 8-bit Nintendo games. Right now, I’m working on the original Castlevania. I play a lot of Words with Friends on my phone, but I’m not very good at it; for some reason that doesn’t bother me or keep me from playing.

Who is someone you look up to for career inspiration?

I think of any of the really great teachers I’ve had and try to remember what it was about their style that was inspiring.

What is your advice to people who are interested in a similar career?

Teaching’s fun. You should try it, but only if you actually know what you’re talking about. It’s not hard to sleep at night when you’re a teacher. Try to be really good at it even if you’re not yet. Don’t worry about money, especially if you don’t have any kids.

kevin teaching
Photo credit: Christina Moran

If you could read these questions about someone else, who would you want to see answer them? (can give a job title or name a specific person).

Perhaps someone who makes their living solely from creating some kind of art.

Any other passing words of advice or anything neat you have going on that you would like to share with us?

I also get to teach classes at The Improv Shop, which is really fun and inspiring. You can check that out at theimprovshop.com.

Thanks Kevin! If you’re in St. Louis – definitely check out The Improv Shop. It’ll change your life.

3 Ways To Discover A Job You’ll Love

3 Ways to Discover a Job You’ll Love

hand in space

Thanks to UltimateHero0406 for the visual and story. 

Sometimes we get stuck in our career path when aren’t sure how our interests can become a job or when we’ve lost sight of what we are actually interested in. There are a variety of ways to rediscover your mojo.

This post is a list of strategies to help you answer “What makes you tick?”

Take a look through the 3 strategies listed below. Spend time on the ones that captivate you and leave the rest. TL;DR (too long;didn’t read) located at the bottom of the page.

  1.          Write & Reflect through a Career Narrative

  2.           Interest Assessments

  3.           Try Something New

…great, more info please!

1. Career Narrative

If you enjoy storytelling this may be just the tactic for you. The goal is to tell a piece of your story. You will analyze and discuss the influential times in your life that have led you in your career path thus far. You will write a story of your past and present experiences to help conceptualize your journey towards a career.

Here’s how to do it:

Write your career narrative:

  1. Self-Understanding- Ask yourself why and how you’ve made particular career decisions. Contemplate on the experiences you’ve had, the beliefs you hold, and your values. What past experiences and guiding principles led you to where you are now?
  2. Showcasing Yourself-  Telling your story and marketing your skills is vital to understanding your story better AND helps you get the job you want. Employers look for people who are able to tell their story well.

Ok, that’s your outline – now go write your story. 1-2 pages double spaced.

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Credit: media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com

2. Interest Assessment

You know how you feel and what you are interested in better than anyone else in the world. Interest assessments can help you better articulate your interests (which helps you tell your story better), and helps you identify jobs that fit your interests more quickly. I recommend taking the RIASEC assessment which is based off of the Holland Theory. Briefly, Holland Theory gives us 6 terms generated from exhibited traits and behaviors to provide insight into what makes a career satisfying for an individual. The 6 traits are Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. Your Holland Code is made up of your 3 highest scores and can help you in your job search.

            Here’s how to do it:

  1. Take an assessment. Go to http://www.self-directed-search.com/ to pay $10 for the trademark John Holland Self-Directed Search Assessment, or use a free assessment like this one: http://personality-testing.info/tests/RIASEC.php.
  2. Get your 3 letter code. Learn more about the 6 terms here: https://www.onetonline.org/find/descriptor/browse/Interests/
  3. Search job descriptions. Plug your individualized code into the yellow box at the top. https://www.onetonline.org/explore/interests/Realistic/. Get an idea of what jobs exist that fit your code.
SIA example
Screen grab from O*Net

3. Try New Things

This is pretty self-explanatory. It is the quickest way to discover what you enjoy and can be the easiest to push off. Sometimes putting yourself out there to try new activities can be scary. Bribe a friend to go with you if you need to, but get yourself out there trying new things.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Job Shadowing- Think you might like a job? Find someone who has that job and politely ask if you could schedule a time to watch them do what they do best.
  2. Volunteer- There are volunteer opportunities for every job task and across all industries. Open your mind to all possibilities.
  3. Intern– This usually requires a longer commitment but can be a great way to get experience and network.
  4. Join clubs, pick up a hobby, DO WHAT SOUNDS FUN- If you think something sounds like a lot of fun and have an urge to do it but dismiss the idea for any reason, you’re doing it wrong. For example, not taking an improv class because you don’t want to be an actress and move to LA. There are so many benefits to taking a class or joining a club.
    • Joining a community of people using their curiosity and who are willing to try new things will ignite your progress immensely.
    • Building a new skill (whether you think it’s practical or not) will create opportunity for you in ways you could not predict.
Photo Credit: John Langen

TL:DR

The better you know yourself the more capable you are of making decisions more quickly and with better results. Reflect on what you know about yourself and if you get stuck there – it’s time to try out new things.

Work Theory is a blog designed around the idea that humans should have access to jobs that they enjoy and can make a living doing. The Dream Job series gives us a glimpse into the lives of people who have managed to achieve consistent satisfaction and happiness in their career. The jobs they work are as diverse as the lives led by these individuals. “Like” Work Theory on Facebook to remain a part of the story.

If you, or someone you know is living their dream job and are interested in being interviewed, please contact Annie here.

Dream Job: Aimee Loyet, Trade Events Coordinator of Headphones for Harmon International

Meet Aimee

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 8.18.13 AM (1)

Trade Events Coordinator of Headphones

Are you someone who has an idea and immediately begins working? Do you consider yourself to be someone who enjoys doing rather than talking or planning? You might be someone with a talent of activation. Activators make things happen. If you have a hard time waiting around for things to happen, a position that creates events could be just the job for you.

Aimee is outgoing, charming, and seems to make & crush goals with incredible ease. Her job has taken her to 16 states this year – as well as a trip abroad to Tokyo. She landed her current gig by researching companies that share her values and reached out to them. Take a page from Aimee’s book and read her advice below on getting an interview (and ultimately hired) for a job that’s not even posted.

If you’re interested in travel, leaving the desk job behind, or ready to just get started already!!!! – Check out Aimee’s responses below.

What’s your title? What do you do? How long have you done this?
I am the Trade Events Coordinator of Headphones at Harman International. In a nutshell, I coordinate and execute our direct-to-consumer and business-to-business trade show events. Everything from securing space, entertaining additional marketing opportunities, coordinating travel for myself and staff, set-up and tear-down of the expo space and recapping the events (and so much more!) fall into my bucket. I recently celebrated my one year workiversary in August!

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What jobs or past experiences have led you to the current thing that pays you money (your job)?
Before Harman International, I worked for Special Olympics Missouri coordinating our year-round sporting events for our athletes in the St. Louis area. I’ve always been motivated by traveling and seeing as much of the world as possible so it was a no-brainer when my current opportunity came to light.

What occupation did you imagine having when you were 5? What about at 25?
No doubt when I was 5 I was going to be an elementary school teacher (like a lot of girls at 5). I entertained working in Public Relations for NASCAR teams throughout college but ultimately decided to stay in St. Louis. I’ve always been a personable, outgoing person so a public-facing job is a must for me. Sitting in a cubicle behind a computer screen is not where I am going to excel as a professional.

The Best: Tell us, what’s the best part of your job?
I get to travel across the country and even had an chance to go to the Tokyo Marathon. Of course, you’re in a city for a few days focused on work but I coordinate my schedule to maximum my time in a market by scheduling red-eyes whenever possible (yes, I said red-eyes). Our office is packed with young, brilliant, motivated people. Plus, the view is amazing!

Cardinals Stadium (1)

The Stink: Tell us, what’s part of the job that you really wish were different? 
As much as I love traveling, it has its downfalls. I’ve slept on the floor of an airport, missed events with family and friends and sprinted through terminals to make a flight. Plus, managing and keeping track of logistics gets complicated now and again. However, knock on wood, I’ve been pretty lucky for the amount of travel I do.

Outside of your job, how do you spend your time?
You’d think I would never want to see the inside of an airplane when I’m “off the clock” but again, I have wanderlust so I’m usually galavanting somewhere. Catching up with friends and family is a must. I recently purchased my first home so I expect decorating and the joys of homeownership will be taking up a lot of my time.

Hollywood Jump

Who is someone you look up to for career inspiration?
My parents started their own commercial landscaping company over 26 years ago from nothing. Growing up, I remember Dad working long hours and Mom helping with the books after hours. Their dedication and hard work is something that’s been instilled in me from an early age. The older I get the more respect I have for them because I can fully understand the sacrifices they made for my brother and I.

What is your advice to people who would like a position like yours?
I didn’t wait for this job to be posted on a website; I sought out this opportunity. I found a product and mission I believed in and sent a cold email to a generic email address at yurbuds, the start-up Harman International acquired. If you want something, no one is going to hand it over.

Any other passing words of advice or anything neat you have going on that you would like to share with us?
In one year, I have managed 41 events, spent 94 nights on the road, took 73 flights covering over 77,000 miles in 16 states and one other country. I could have never imagined that was going to be how the last 365 days panned out!

Thanks Aimee. Wishing you safe travels!