Associate Scientist I 

(Female, Age 24) from Hillsborough, NY

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 24 who works as a Associate Scientist I in Hillsborough, NY. We have removed all names and personal information in order to protect privacy. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete one of our job profile surveys so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job Title Associate Scientist I
Salary $42,000
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week 43
Company Size (not answered)
Location Hillsborough, NY
Years Experience 14 months

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career 0
Education (not answered)
Income Rating 0 / 10
Interest Rating 0 / 10
Work-Life Rating 0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating 0 / 10

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
Global company of ~10000 employees, my site has ~50. We provide primary cells as products & services to the biotech industry.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
I am in R&D, so I do lots of various projects. I do standard lab work, establish QA protocols, write SOPs & ATMs, develop & optimize new assays, validate new processes. I’m also starting a project to develop new kits for sale as products.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
2 weeks vacation, 1 week sick, 1 week company holidays at the very least. BCBS insurance, 50% 401k match. Typical benefits.

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
Undercompensated- I do far more than most AS1’s, and though I get recognition for it, I am limited in pay due to the typical pay range for an AS1.

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
I work with others on occasion back in the lab- some jobs are just too big for one person. I also consult with members of other departments on a lot of the things I’m developing. It’s nice to get a taste of all of the different sides of the company.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
I’m in an office, in a cubicle. What’s nice is that there are lots of people around to chat with, but there’s a real lack of privacy.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 3
Benefits: 2
Hours: 8
Co-Workers: 4
Supervisors: 1
Job Title: 6
Level of Responsibility: 5
The Actual Work: 7

A day in the life of…

Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:

5am to 6am
6am to 7am
7am to 8am Still sleeping at home. Ah, the beauty of R&D.
8am to 9am Drag myself out of bed. Enjoy listening to NPR during 35 minute commute.
9am to 10am Sort out any emails, plan projects for the day. Today there was a company announcement that detailed some events coming up.
10am to 11am Company Monthly R&D Meeting- various people presented updates on current research and goals. I wasn’t on the agenda this month, so I just listened & learned.
11am to 12pm Company Monthly R&D Meeting- various people presented updates on current research and goals. I wasn’t on the agenda this month, so I just listened & learned.
12pm to 1pm Personal time- lunch & dr appt.
1pm to 2pm Read over SOPs and ATMs for a project I’ll begin in two days. Just making sure I’m familiar with the process.
2pm to 3pm Monthly Radiation Safety Committee Meeting- updates on what isotopes we have on hand, any new studies, waste management.
3pm to 4pm Tracking down various people with small questions (need to get pipets calibrated, the bathroom stinks, did you finish that report, did so-and-so follow up with you about that project, etc).
4pm to 5pm Researching assay I’m trying to optimize- another group is having trouble with the dynamic range, so it was handed over to me to figure it out for them. Ah, the joys of R&D.
5pm to 6pm Reading up on some current literature & advancements in the field. Found some interesting articles, forwarded to my boss.
6pm to 7pm Going home fairly early today. Some days I’ll get caught up and work till 7:30 or 8pm. R&D gives you a lot of flexibility.
7pm to 8pm N/A
8pm to 9pm N/A
9pm to 10pm N/A
10pm to 11pm N/A
11pm to 12am N/A

Table of Contents

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
Internet posting.

What was the application process?
Emailed resume & cover letter, recieved 1st phone interview, followed up with thank you email, then got 2nd phone interview, then live interview. Got offer by phone 2 weeks later.

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
Yes, two phone interviews & one live interview. The phone interviews were with my immediate supervisor, and involved standard interview questions for any job (past work, personality screening, etc). The live interview was with my immediate supervisor, her boss, the HR lady, and the guy who runs R&D (knowing I would work with him a lot). Also a group interview with the lab folks I’d be working with.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
Generic ‘why here’, ‘why science’, personality screening questions. My boss asked me how my CD’s are organized- he wanted to work with someone more tidy than he is!

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes, I had already done very similar work in school, and also there were several weeks of closely supervised peer-training, so whenever I had a question there was someone experienced & able to answer it.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
Yes, lots of SOP reading and then on the job training for the specialized lab work.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes, I constantly use things I learned in labs at school in my everyday work. It’s amazing how much Intro to Chemistry affects my daily routine!

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?
I didn’t have an internship, but I did research in undergraduate & grad school, so I think that prepared me well.

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
Network- find out who at your school has contacts in the industry, & look into those companies for which you “know a guy who knows a guy”. I am very rare in that I got my job without “knowing somebody”- about 90% of my coworkers got their interviews by referral.

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
Critical thinking, lots of laboratory skills obviously. People skills are very necessary to advance, as well as flexibility.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
Minimally a college level science degree for any AS1 position, but for R&D at least a MS degree.

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
You are the bottom of the totem pole. It doesn’t matter who you worked for at school, how many papers you published… You have to prove yourself all over again, and if you look cocky for a second, it will take you MONTHS to make up for it.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
Yes, I intend to work my way up the ranks to become a study director.

What are your current career goals?
I’d like to advance fairly quickly, and still be able to do some lab work, but also deskwork like I do now. I’d like to manage a team.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
It’s very rewarding, because people throughout the field use our products- so each innovation affects the entire biotech community, not just my company.

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

Title Length Salary Description
Prior Job 1 Grad Assistant 2 yr 19500 Grad student. 1st year taught undergrad lab, 2nd year did research in a professor’s lab.
Prior Job 2 Tutor 3 yr $6/hr Tutored gen chem with school learning center. Up to 3 students at a time.

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:6

GPA School Degree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
3.65 ASU BS Chemistry
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)
4 UNC MS Chemistry

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