Ghosh Science and Technology Center

STEM Ph.D. Students Can’t Be Afraid of Failure

October 19, 2018
By: Kristen O'Reilly

Omoz Aisiku ’98, M.S. ’05, Ph.D., Gives First Bridge to Excellence Lecture of Semester

Students who aspire to Ph.D.-level work in the sciences can’t be afraid of failure, according to Omozuanvbo (Omoz) Aisiku ’98, M.S. ’05, Ph.D., a scientist at Instrumentation Laboratory. This comfort level with failure, as well as uncertainty, may go against the nature of high-achieving students who are always striving for success, he added.

“Uncertainty breeds discovery,” he said. Embracing science at the doctoral level is appealing to people, such as himself, who enjoy both collaboration and competition, as well as the many opportunities to be creative in solving problems and answering questions.

Dr. Aisiku offered advice in his talk, “From WSU to Ph.D., Lessons Learned,” to a room full of students as part of the Bridge to Excellence lecture series, sponsored by the Imoigele P. Aisiku, M.D., ’92 STEM Center. The series brings experts from Brigham & Women’s Hospital to campus to offer guidance to students interested in pursuing careers in medicine.

Omoz Aisiku, the younger brother of the STEM Center’s namesake, talked about his journey from Worcester State, where he earned both his undergraduate degree and master’s degree in biotechnology, to his current position in the medical research industry. He finished his doctoral studies at Stony Brook University and continued his postdoctoral studies at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where he published work advancing the knowledge and understanding of PAR1 related thrombotic disorders.

His current research focuses on the development, verification and validation of hematological diagnostic assays.

He advised students of factors to consider when moving from an academic environment to a career in the STEM industry: career growth and trajectory; company culture and values; salary and compensation, work-life balance, and location. He also noted the many alternative careers for those with a STEM Ph.D., including market research analyst, business development manager, competitive intelligence analyst, product manager, and a healthcare information technology specialist.

The next Bridge to Excellence talk will take place on Friday, Nov. 30. At 1 p.m. in ST201.

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