Attitude is Everything

Marcia McCallum is back for another episode of “Science in the Mall, Y’all”, but this time she is joined by her supervisor David Medina. David is the Upstream Processing Manager at XBiotech, and Marcia works under him in Upstream Processing. XBiotech manufactures and develops medication from human monoclonal antibodies – and Marcia and David kick off their episode by explaining what that actually means. They talk about what the “upstream” side of the operations entails, from development to cultivating and mass producing cell culture with the antibody cells before it can go to “downstream” for purification and synthesis. They share the dynamic in their lab and what a day-in-the-life is like for Upstream Processing teams at XBiotech as they work with each other and the cell cultures. They even have some funny stories to tell about epic fails they turned into wins. 

As a hiring manager, David talks about the kinds of attributes he looks for when he’s recruiting. While skills and knowledge are important, a good attitude, work ethic, and eagerness to learn are the most important things that David looks for when he’s interviewing prospective candidates. David and Marcia discuss their unconventional educational backgrounds and how they combined those things with their hobbies, attitudes, and humility to secure their positions at XBiotech and thrive in their fields. Their inspiring journeys reveal how the right mindset and drive is essential to success, and David and Marcia give us an honest insight into the interview process and the hiring process, from the perspective of being hired and being the person doing the hiring. Marcia and David’s experiences and stories show that you can have a successful career in bioscience regardless of the degree that you hold provided you possess the work ethic, drive, and passion for the work. They talk about how they learn everyday in their job even though they are not in an explicitly academic setting, what students can do to augment their educational experiences to get hands-on skills, and why each employees’ character traits are crucial to a successful lab team. This episode is full of interesting anecdotes and great advice for anyone considering pursuing a career in the biosciences.

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