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The Big Picture San Diego Blog


Talent and Universities

August 23, 2018

Last week, EDC welcomed a group of next-gen life sciences leaders to San Diego for an exclusive tour of the region’s life sciences industry. Over two days, 26 eager PhD candidates representing 15 schools across 11 states paid visits to seven local employers including ResMed, Takeda, BD, Janssen/JLABS, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Dexcom, and Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine. Upon completion of their PhD program, these students will enter high-demand occupations within the life sciences industry – namely, positions in bioinformatics, computational biology, genomics, and more. Our hope is that they chose to do so in our region.

EDC launched the San Diego Life Sciences Trek in 2017 as a strategy for attracting talent to support the growth of the region’s life sciences industry, mirroring the more typical MBA Trek model. Across the globe, leaders in genomics and connected health are gathering incomprehensible amounts of data with the power to unlock the human genome, make personalized care a reality, and enhance the way we live on a massive scale. Individuals skilled in bioinformatics, data science, and computational biology are instrumental in deciphering such data sets – a task with stunning implications across pharma, biotech, healthcare, genomics, and much more – and are thus highly sought after by companies and regions alike. The battle for talent is heating up.

Many trek participants attend this two-day program because they are curious about a career in industry, but with backgrounds in academia, have had limited opportunities to explore what one might look like. The Life Sciences Trek provides students a chance to get out from behind the lab bench to tour companies, talk with real professionals, and learn how their skills can be applied in life-changing companies in San Diego.

Through company tours, panel discussions, presentations, and a networking reception, students gained access to influential researchers and executives across leading life sciences employers. From drug discovery to connected devices, genetic sequencing to direct patient care, the breadth of opportunities for bioinformaticians became apparent within San Diego’s diverse life sciences ecosystem. In fact, after attending the trek, 90 percent of participants indicated that they plan to pursue a career in San Diego upon completion of their PhD program.

Below are their thoughts. See more at #SDlifesciencestrek.

“It was a fantastic experience for someone who's always been immersed in academia, but is interested in the industry.”

– PhD candidate in Bioinformatics, University of Michigan

“This was an incredible opportunity to network with the scientists that could be involved in hiring you in the future. It was an indispensable experience to see first hand the types of jobs that recent PhD graduates could be qualified for.”

– PhD candidate in Neuroscience, University of Southern California

“Seeing the positive testimonials from all the people at the companies regardless of their position about work-life culture will make me prioritize San Diego as my primary target for future job applications.”

 – PhD candidate in Animal Biology with a focus on Biotechnology, UC Davis

“The trek was really eye-opening and definitely changed my perspective about potentially pursuing a career there!”

– PhD candidate in Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Southern California

“The SD trek is a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with biotech opportunities in SD and to learn about a great town with a lot of potential for aspiring scientists.”

– PhD candidate in Microbiology and Immunology, Dartmouth College

 

The trek group represented 15 schools: Carnegie Melon, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Georgia Tech, Stanford, Ohio State, UC Davis, UC San Diego, UC Santa Cruz, University of Southern California, University of Idaho, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, University of Texas. 


Trek highlights: Surprise guest Dr. Stephen Kingsmore, CEO of Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine and Guinness World Record holder for fastest genetic diagnosis through DNA sequencing.

  

You can't talk about San Diego life sciences without talking about startups. Trek participants tour JLABS followed by a panel discussion moderated by Ashley Van Zeeland, co-founder of Cypher Genomics and former CTO of Human Longevity.

 

 

August 10, 2018

Well, that was fun.

Thank you to those who joined EDC last night for the SD: Life. Changing. Summer Bash. Since the beginning, this has been a community-driven campaign, and last night was no exception. 

This event would not have been possible without the vision of Dan Ryan and his team at Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., as well as our sponsors DPR ConstructionBNBuilders, and many more. A huge thanks to Dawn Barry and Nate Wiger for telling us their San Diego stories, and to Brian Malarkey for dishing up some culinary magic. These are exactly the kind of companies and people that make this place Life. Changing., and these are exactly the types of stories that we need to continue to tell. 

But we cannot do this alone. We need your help. As part of SDlifechanging.org, we've created a Talent Recruitment Toolkit and a directory + map of the region's most innovative companies – You can request free access to those here. We’re asking you – as San Diegans that know and love this region – to share these resources on your company and personal channels.

Please be sure to follow along and engage with us at @SDlifechanging and stay tuned for additional updates.

Stay life-changing, San Diego.

- Team EDC

p.s. Event photos will soon be available for download here

If you are interested in engaging more in the campaign, please drop us a line at communcations@sandiegobusiness.org.

July 17, 2018

EDC launched the San Diego: Life. Changing. campaign to attract talent and investment to San Diego by celebrating the smart and innovative people that call this place home.

Join us August 9 for a night of local food + drinks served up by celeb chef Brian Malarkey, campaign giveaways, and more to learn how we can take San Diego: Life. Changing. to the next level. We'll also hear a keynote from Dawn Barry, co-founder and president of Luna DNA, and Nate Wiger of Amazon. Stay tuned for word on another special guest..

Where: Farmer & the Seahorse | 10996 Torreyana Rd, San Diego, CA 92121 (one of the hippest spots in SD)
When: Thursday, August 9, 2018 | 5:00-8:30pm

June 28, 2018

In an effort to maximize the region’s global competitiveness via talent attraction, EDC launched the San Diego: Life. Changing. brand campaign last year. The campaign serves to raise San Diego’s profile by telling real stories of the people and companies that call San Diego home. By bringing light to San Diego’s robust innovation ecosystem and vibrant entrepreneurial community, EDC aims to eliminate the stigma that there aren’t jobs in San Diego.

Most people around the world know San Diego as a vacation destination, rather than a place where they actually live and grow their careers. Part of this could be attributed to a ‘too good to be true’ mentality, with San Diego’s impeccable weather, endless outdoor activities, and friendly easy-going residents. It doesn’t seem possible to get both one’s dream job and the top-tier quality of life that San Diego offers. But those who have made the move to San Diego know that is, in fact, not the case. San Diego may not be a headquarters town, but the mission-driven companies located here are making huge, ‘life-changing’ impacts in both the tech and life sciences industries. And better yet, they’re hiring.

As part of the campaign’s latest web developments, there is now an interactive company map that showcases top tech, life sciences, and lifestyle companies in San Diego. This allows people to easily compare and contrast the different companies located here at a high-level, so they can get a holistic view of San Diego’s career offerings.

If you are part of a San Diego company that meets this criteria and would like to be added to the map, simply sign up for the online recruitment toolkit and select ‘I’d like to also add a profile for my company.’

From Illumina’s human genome sequencing technology to Aira’s software for the visually impaired, San Diego companies are quite literally changing the world. Visit the San Diego: Life. Changing. company map to see other top companies that are fueling global innovation from right in our backyard.

 

June 14, 2018

As part of the San Diego: Life. Changing. campaign, we're always thinking of different ways to communicate San Diego's story. And though it's a mostly digital campaign, we know the value in prospective talent having something tangible to hold, touch, and keep at their desk to flip through whenever daydreaming of a better life.

This guide - as part of the Talent Recruitment Toolkit - provides an overview of what it's like to work and live in San Diego, showcasing some of the innovations and technology created here, as well as the different neighborhoods recruits could soon be calling 'home.' Flip through the digital version of the guide below. If you're interested in purchasing printed copies for use in your recruitment efforts, email us at communications@sandiegobusiness.org.

June 8, 2018

From Intuit to Amazon and more, San Diego is home to numerous companies that come here to tap into the region’s impressive talent pool. However, Qualcomm aside, San Diego is not often thought of as a headquarter town.

Teradata, a data analytics company, might be changing that. This week, the company announced that it would be relocating its headquarters to San Diego from Dayton, Ohio. While Teradata has had a presence in San Diego for some time, 18 months ago it began to make a strategic shift from being a data warehouse company to a data analytics platform. And where do you find large volumes of software engineers, statisticians, and others to create the world’s premier data analytics platform? That’s right, San Diego.

As part of its shift to San Diego, Teradata will continue its aggressive hiring spree at its Rancho Bernardo campus, which currently holds more than 1,000 employees. 

You can check out Teradata jobs in San Diego here.

 

May 18, 2018

The first cohort of biomanufacturing students at MiraCosta College is half way through their two-year bachelor’s degree program. That’s right – Oceanside-based MiraCosta Community College is one of only 15 community colleges in California to offer a bachelor’s degree program (114 total community colleges in CA). MiraCosta’s existing biotech associates degree program, which is the oldest in the county, helped the school gain prowess as a leading community college focused on life sciences. Building on that success, this new bachelor’s program will prepare students for work within San Diego’s lucrative biotechnology industry. The pioneer behind the program is Mike Fino: a UC San Diego Jacobs School alum, former industry researcher in regenerative medicine, and current Dean of Math & Sciences at MiraCosta.

With a background in industry, Mike Fino made the ideal moderator for EDC’s Link to San Diego: Life Sciences event at MiraCosta College in May. Formatted as a panel discussion followed by a networking session, Link to San Diego: Life Sciences welcomed representatives from Human Longevity Inc., Genentech, and BD to campus to speak about industry trends and lend advice to students on how they can prepare for a career in the San Diego industry. While open to all students, the program was primarily designed for MiraCosta’s biomanufacturing students to begin making industry connections and thinking about next steps as they work through their program.

The group of students who attended came prepared with resumes and thoughtful questions for the speakers. MiraCosta’s biomanufacturing BA program is a prime example of how San Diego’s community college system prepares its students based on the needs of our local economy, providing opportunities and value for residents and employers alike. Now, it’s our job to keep this bright and eager talent pool in San Diego.

May 17, 2018

 

In San Diego, leaders in genomics and connected health are making life-changing breakthroughs every day: unlocking the power of the human genome, turning personalized medicine into reality, and enhancing the way we live on a massive scale. Much of this is due to San Diego’s impeccable local workforce, skilled in bioinformatics, data science, computational biology, and other life sciences fields.  

To stay on this trajectory, San Diego companies conduct an ongoing search for the best and brightest, skilled in translating data into actionable results for healthcare and medicine. During this year’s San Diego Life Sciences Trek program in August, some of the biggest players in our life sciences industry are once again opening their doors to PhD students with the expertise and mission-driven attitude to get the job done. Through company tours, presentations, and a networking reception, students will gain access to influential researchers and executives across many of San Diego's fast-growing companies including Thermo Fisher, ResMed, Dexcom, Human Longevity, Takeda Pharmaceuticals and JLABS. The program is open to PhD candidates interested in exploring careers in bioinformatics, data science, computational biology, genomics, and more. From drug discovery to connected devices, genetic sequencing to direct patient care, it’s clear that San Diego’s vibrant life sciences ecosystem provides an abundant breadth of opportunities.

Over two sunny days in November 2017, 30 Masters and PhD candidates toured San Diego for the Life Sciences Trek in its pilot year. This group represented 10 schools from across the country, all working towards advanced degrees in bioinformatics, bioengineering, genetics, molecular biology or similar disciplines. One participant has already made the move to San Diego after accepting a bioinformatics software engineer position at Illumina, one of the participating companies last year. Other participants from the 2017 Life Sciences Trek reflected on their experience as well:

“This is a fantastic opportunity and unique experience to get an inside look into companies and a career in Life sciences and specifically Bioinformatics. It was perfect timing for me in my last year of a Ph.D. program.”

“[The Life Sciences Trek] gives you an inside look at companies in the area beyond just reading their website. I now have firsthand connections to recruiters and other biotech professionals in the area that I will maintain over the coming years.”

“San Diego is at the top of my list for post-graduation job hunting, primarily because of my experience at the EDC Life Sciences Trek.”

Registration is now open for the 2018 San Diego Life Sciences Trek -- don’t miss out on this exclusive opportunity to explore one of the top life sciences markets in the country. Join us in San Diego August 16-17 to see the life-changing work happening here for yourself. And who knows, you might just find your dream job.

To learn more or register, visit the official Eventbrite page or contact Kate Gallagher – ksg@sandiegobusiness.org.

 

 

 

May 10, 2018

As part of the San Diego: Life. Changing. campaign, EDC has released a recruitment toolkit and company map for use by local employers.

Amid a nationwide battle for talent, San Diego companies must compete with other cities to fill innovation jobs. To address this issue, the toolkit and map provide the resources needed to inform talent of all that San Diego has to offer: meaningful career opportunities, unparalleled lifestyle amenities and highly-talented people.

 “San Diego: Life. Changing. was created by San Diego, for San Diego,” said Lauree Sahba, COO, San Diego Regional EDC. When we spoke to tech and life sciences companies, they said they needed a one-stop shop where they can pull information about the region to help recruit talent and attract investment. We will continue to add and refine resources based on company feedback.”

Talent fuels economic growth, drives corporate decision-making and incubates entrepreneurship. If San Diego wants to remain economically competitive, it must continue to attract and retain a talent pool that appeals to global companies.

In early 2018, Robert Half staffing company named San Diego the number one city for tech job growth in the first half of 2018. Additionally, STEM jobs are 34 percent more concentrated in San Diego than the U.S. average, based on a San Diego Regional EDC analysis of EMSI data.

San Diego: Life. Changing. was created to refine a cohesive regional identity to attract and retain STEM talent. The campaign and the contents of the toolkit have been guided by the “San Diego Brand Alliance” – a group of more than 50 life sciences and tech employers including Illumina, Human Longevity, Inc., Viasat and more. Representing the region in a united front will ensure San Diego continues to compete on the global stage.

San Diego holds such tremendous opportunities for candidates, yet when recruiting top talent from outside of the region we still encounter the false perception that career options in the area are somewhat limited,” said Melinda Del Toro, SVP of People & Culture, Viasat. “The toolkit provides resources that reinforce the message we’ve been telling candidates for years: San Diego is a dynamic, rich environment with incredible opportunities to have both the career and life you want, that you just don't find in other regions.”

The toolkit includes recruitment resources such as fast facts, imagery and b-roll, infographics, industry overviews, social media posts and more. Users can sign up for free access to the toolkit online here

The map was designed so potential recruits and those interested in learning about careers in San Diego can visualize the breadth of companies throughout our region. Representatives from tech, life sciences or lifestyle companies may also request to add their company to the map.

For more information about ways to leverage the campaign, visit SDlifechanging.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 4, 2018

Each year, EDC honors an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in addressing challenges and making significant contributions to improving our region. We are honored to announce Dr. Mary Walshok as the 2018 Honoree of the Herb Klein Civic Leadership Award

The Herb Klein Civic Leadership Award is presented by:

Dr. Mary Walshok is an author, educator, researcher, and Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Programs and Dean of Extension at the University of California San Diego. She is a thought leader on the topic of workforce development and its role in fueling regional economic prosperity. Dr. Walshok is the co-author of “Invention & Reinvention: The Evolution of San Diego’s Innovation Economy,” a book published by Stanford University Press that analyzes San Diego’s ever-changing sociological, political, and economic trends. In addition, she is the author of five other books and more than 100 articles and reports on regional innovation, the role of research institutions in regional economies and workforce development. Her work has led to a number of international engagements and awards in Sweden, the UK, Asia, and Latin America. 

Dr. Walshok oversees a $45 million, 200-employee division  in San Diego that annually serves more than 80,000 enrollees through innovative local and online programs, as well as provides access to a vast array of intellectual resources through the award-winning UCSD-TV and nationwide through UCTV, which reaches more than 6 million households and millions more around the globe via web. The Division also serves more than 3,000 foreign students annually.
 
Dr. Walshok was a co-founder of the internationally recognized CONNECT in 1984 on whose board she still serves and of the San Diego Dialogue in the 1990s, a program focused on opportunities in the San Diego-Tijuana region. She has chaired the Francis Parker School and The San Diego and International Community Foundation Boards and continues to sit on the boards of the La Jolla Playhouse, the Girard Foundation, and the Foundation for U.S./Mexico Science and Technology. 
 
Please join us at SeaWorld on May 31 to celebrate Dr. Mary Walshok and more. Register here.