Career Options in Obesity Outside of Academia


Senior experts in public health, non-profit organisations and the pharmaceutical industry discussed their personal career journeys in the field of obesity which have taken them to positions outside of traditional academia. The expert panel gave insight into the key lessons they have learned throughout their careers and offered advice to the early career audience.

Comments & Resources

The expert speakers in this webinar answered the remaining audience questions after the event. Here are their answers:

Q1: How can early career researchers transition from a career in basic science academia to other fields, such as pharmaceutical companies, considering that they often require clinical experience, which many of us lack? What advice do you have?

A1: Alessandra Lafranconi "Pharma companies are usually very open to researchers and scientists, but they want to make sure that the mindset is the right one. This is why they often require a previous experience. This is also why is much more difficult to enter, than to move from one to the other. Easier entry points can be: internships (downside: small pay); global trainee programs or similar (downside: highly competitive, with little place available); medical communication agency; positions in small pharma companies (downside: reputation is not as the first 10-20 players); junior positions/temporary positions."

Q2: What career opportunities are available for individuals with a Master's in Science or for those who did not take up a PhD? Can you give some examples of positions you have encountered in your career?

A2: Alessandra Lafranconi "In my view, PhD is a must for a university career. It helps for governmental careers, especially at the supra-national level (for example, European Commission). It helps also in the private sector, especially at global level (for example, global med affairs). But there is plenty of possibilities without; for example in pharma: medical advisor, medical science liaison (MSL), regulatory, clinical operations, project manager, etc."

Harry Rutter "I agree with all this. There are plenty of career opportunities without a PhD - I don’t have one myself - but it is now a requirement for almost any kind of university career except perhaps Professor of Practice at a senior stage of one’s career. Although a PhD isn’t necessary in many situations, if you think you might want an academic career, and/or you think you might want to do one, It probably makes sense to get one at a relatively early stage of one’s career as one’s options are likely to be more flexible then. But really, don’t worry if a PhD isn’t for you - there are all sorts of options without one!"

Q3: I'm interested in learning more about developing a career in consultancy. As someone with an academic background, considering a fellowship is an option, but I am considering moving away from academia. Any tips for making this transition?

A3: Harry Rutter "The easiest way to make the transition is to do both for a while! Ask around through your contacts, find out if WHO or others are advertising, to see if there are small short-term consulting contracts you might be able to take on in your spare time, or by reducing your hors. You will of course need to clear this with your line manager, but most universities are keen to bring in consultancy income so this is unlikely to be a problem."

Q4: Currently working as a researcher and dietitian, I aim to transition into epidemiology through a PhD. What was your experience transitioning from clinical work to public health? Do you have any advice on how to make the process as smooth as possible?

A4: Alessandra Lafranconi "My only advice here would be: make sure you won´t miss the clinical work. If you are not fully sure, then try to keep both."

Harry Rutter "I agree with this. The main thing with this, as with any significant career change, is to do as much as you can to be sure that you want to make the transition "

Q5: Can you share strategies for overcoming the feeling of failure when leaving or "failing" in one venture to pursue another? Were there specific things or people that helped you move forward?

A5: Alessandra Lafranconi: Leaving is never easy: it requires a change (by default, not easy), and it might activate the internal saboteur (“what did I do wrong?”). I experienced many times the feeling of leaving/failing: first I left clinical medicine; then I left public health; then I left university; then I left my med director role. In these 4 times, the only one in which I didn’t feel guilty was the last one (I left because of a portfolio reprioritization). In the other 3 times, I always felt a little guilty (“maybe there is something wrong with me”). Personal growth and coaching helped me a lot, in avoiding self-blame and in being courageous towards the next step. Socializing my emotions has also helped me a lot. One day for example a stranger saw me crying; he approached me, asked me why I was so worried, and gave me some amazing advices… this is a bit extreme, but generally speaking I have always found people happy to listen and give good advices.

Q6: As a current researcher, like many others, I find it challenging to build a network in the private sector. Do you have any advice for me on this?

A6: Alessandra Lafranconi: I find useful to read other biographies, or to see what others have done. Linkedin is very helpful. For example, I suggest following this colleague, who shares very meaningful advices: (2) Dr Azhar Ahmad | LinkedIn ( He posts almost daily; through the conversations on his profile, one can bump into other very interesting profiles.

Q7: I'm interested in consultancy work. Can you provide insights into the type of activities involved and share your experiences with consultancy projects you've undertaken?

A7: Harry Rutter: All my consulting has been with public sector bodies such as national and local Government, or WHO, bringing in my specialist expertise to support their work. In my case this has been things like help with obesity strategies, and increasingly support with developing complex systems approaches - running workshops, analysing the outputs, etc. But the range of likely consulting roles includes things like evidence reviews and evaluations - the kinds of things that academics do all the time.


Transcripts are auto generated, if you spot an error, please email

Hi everyone. Hello, if you've just joined us, welcome to today's ECN eLearning Hub session. I'll start off the session and anybody who's still to join can do so as we go on.

So welcome and thank you very much for joining the first EASO Early Career Network eLearning Hub event of 2024. I hope you all had a nice winter break and new year. So this session today is going to explore different career options in the field of obesity with an expert panel and I hope that you'll really find the information that's presented today really useful and give you some important insight into career paths that you might not have considered before.

So my name is Lisa, I'm one of six Early Career Network board members and joining me from the ECN board are my colleagues Brett and Filia who are going to be sharing some information on relevant upcoming events for the ECN and also helpful links in the Zoom chat, so keep an eye out for those. So please remember today's webinar is being recorded and any relevant links that are signposted will be shared along with the recording after the event on our specialist platform EASO Connect. So for any attendees in the audience who don't know, these eLearning Hubs are held by the EASO Early Career Network and they are used to promote knowledge sharing and skill development amongst students and early career professionals interested in obesity.

The ECN is free to join and so are the webinars so please do promote being an ECN member to your early career colleagues and encourage them to come along because we would love to have new members and lots and lots of participation in our almost monthly event series which is the schedule is due to renew for next year already so there'll be some more information getting sent out on the new topics that we've got planned. So before we kick off today I just want to briefly let you know about the house rules of the webinar. This is an informal setting and we have three different expert speakers who are really interested in hearing your questions so please don't hold back, please make sure that you're dropping your questions into the chat as the session goes on and we can make sure your questions are asked to the presenters.

Please do follow the ECN on Twitter and social media and join our LinkedIn group and we can share the links to those social media platforms in the chat too. Your feedback is really really important as well so my colleague Fulia is going to share the feedback survey link at the end of this session so please fill this out because it's really important for us to help develop future sessions. So I'm going to hand over to my colleague Brett just now just to chat a little bit about relevant events for Early Career Network members that might be of interest to you.

Thanks. Thank you Lisa and hi everyone. So upcoming events, the first one I would like to mention is the Nordic obesity meeting which is held in February from the 1st to the 3rd in Helsinki and of course we hope to see many of you there.

Also we hope that many of you have submitted abstracts to the European Congress on Obesity last week or the week before maybe and this conference will be held from the 12th to the 15th of May in Venice and remember the early registration deadline is in February the 29th. And thank you to everyone who submitted their PhD thesis for the Best Thesis Award and we are in the process of reviewing all of these theses at the moment. And the final thing I would like to mention is the next ECN online seminar which will be held on the 20th of February at the same time as today where Jennifer Baker will give a talk on how to present the scientific results.

So we hope to see you again next month. Thanks Brett. So I'm just going to almost hand over to our speakers.

I just want to make an important note to say that this ECN eLearning Hub series is supported by an unrestricted educational grant by Boehringer Ingelheim. So on to the expert speaker panel. Our first speaker today is Professor Harry Rutter who established the National Child Measurement Program in England almost 20 years ago and was the founding director of the English National Obesity Observatory.

He is now a professor of global public health at the University of Bath in the UK and has a number of other roles related to policy, practice and research on obesity. So thanks again Harry for agreeing to speak and looking forward to hearing more. Thanks very much Lisa and hi everyone.

It's great to be here for the Early Career Network. If a little daunting, I mean I'm someone who's staring into the abyss of late career and feeling rather envious of your network. So yeah anyway I'm not sure how much use I can be.

If you're here, you're already clearly pretty sorted. So I guess there's a bit of selection bias here. It's the people who aren't here who probably need the career advice.

But hey ho. I guess so I might to some extent look like an academic. I mean I'm not wearing leather elbow patches but I have professor in my title.

But although I have a job in in a university and I am on the face of it an academic, I don't really see myself as one. I'm someone who has ended up in academia as probably the least uncomfortable home for me and the home that has the greatest set of opportunities, as you said actually in your introduction, to get involved in research and policy and practice. And you know we all do that to some extent but most academics I think, not all but most, are rather more focused on research.

I have to do the research. I have to get my papers published and bring the money in to keep my job. But the stuff that really fires me up is actually trying to make a difference in one way or another out there in the world.

So perhaps a little bit of history might be helpful. I started off as a doctor. I worked as a doctor for quite a few years.

I loved it. I mean it's the most extraordinary job. I think any job with clinical interaction is a huge privilege and I still miss it.

I think about old patients of mine every now and again, even now 25-30 years since I last laid hands on a patient. But while I was doing it I gradually came to realise that my skills were probably more aligned with something that was rather more strategic than operational, a bit more about the big picture rather than the detail. I could kind of do the detail but you know if you're going to be the consultant, the senior doctor on a team, you've really, really got to know the detail because the buck stops with you.

And that's not kind of my thing. I think I was much more suited to being a junior doctor and having much more of that one-to-one relationship with patients. But it changed and now my relationship is with populations and people not with patients and that's quite a shift and I think, I don't know what your backgrounds are, but I think that might be something to come back to in the discussion in the questions because I think there is something fundamentally different about the public health perspective looking at populations and the clinical perspective looking at individuals and that plays out in lots and lots of different ways.

So I kind of realised that medicine, clinical medicine, wasn't going to be for me. I did law for a bit, I went to law school. I didn't actually finish law school because while I was there, I met the woman who then became my wife and moved to New York City to be with her and had my green card interview on the same day as my law school finals and love won over the law, I'm pleased to say.

And 28 years later, she still seems to tolerate me so I must have got something right. So I, anyway, I lived in New York for a bit. We then decided to she's English, we decided to move back to the UK and I just didn't know quite what to do.

I bounced around doing a job in a hospice, a job as a flying doctor, various different things and realised that actually I needed to get a bit of focus in my career and stick something out for a bit longer than a couple of years. So, but what was that to be? I mean, I very, very seriously considered psychiatry. I put a lot of effort into the possibility of psychiatry, possibly even studying psychiatry in the United States.

But in the end, I realised that what I needed to do was talk to some people who knew what they were talking about. So I ended up going through a pretty extensive process of discovery with a kind of snowball, what I would now regard as a snowball sampling approach where I'd speak to one person, I would ask her or him, I'd get some advice from her or him, I'd then speak to someone else and ask her or him who else I should speak to and so on. People were unbelievably helpful.

They were amazingly generous with their time and, you know, I got to speak to the, at the time, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for 45 minutes and, you know, I was just a lost medic not really knowing what I was doing. And this woman was incredibly helpful and supportive. And one of the reasons I am really happy to give talks like this is I, you know, I think it's really important to pay that kind of thing back.

And I was shown such such kindness and generosity. I, you know, I think it's important to continue that. Anyway, I ended up through that process, realising that public health was probably the thing for me.

That's quite a difficult decision for a third generation medic. One of the worst things you can do if your father and grandfather are a surgeon, or have been surgeons, is to become a psychiatrist. And even worse than that, is to go into public health.

But I think my father still thinks I'm a hospital manager, actually. But who knows? And he's, you know, I'm an adult, I can make my own decision about my career. But it was a pretty difficult decision to get out of clinical medicine.

However, having done it, I realised that it was the right thing to do. I trained, I live in Oxford, I trained in public health here in Oxford, 25 or so years ago, and covered everything from communicable disease, to prison health, to homelessness, to walking and cycling, did a lot of work on physical activity. I had an academic attachment during my training.

I then went into regional kind of policy level public health and health impact assessment, completely by fluke. One of my colleagues, who actually was an expert in child health and childhood obesity, went on maternity leave, she didn't come back. So I took over the portfolio on childhood obesity, ended up having to do some work on our initially failing surveillance programme.

I then completely reshaped it and set up a new surveillance programme called it's now called, we renamed it the National Child Measurement Programme back in 2006-7. I think it's still the largest child obesity surveillance programme in the world, measures well over a million children a year. And on the back of that, I and on the back of the UK Government Foresight Project on obesity, you'll all have seen the big messy system map.

On the back of that project, I applied to the Department of Health to set up a National Obesity Observatory. Terrible name, not the name I'd have chosen, but we had a network of observatories. Obesity was the focus.

So that was the name it had. And I ran that for several years, until we had a large scale reorganisation of public health in 2011-2012. When all of the public health observatories, in fact, all of the public health system in England, was shifted into a new organisation called Public Health England, I wasn't prepared to work in a government organisation like that for a government that I could see was going to be absolutely terrible at dealing with health.

So I then got out, I did some consulting for a while. I then got a part-time academic position and actually I remained part-time academic, part-time consulting, mostly consulting to Public Health England, but as an academic rather than a civil servant, right up until 2018. And I was a research fellow at the London School of Hygiene for most of that time.

I was on various European projects, all of which in one way or another were looking at obesity. But the London School wouldn't make me a professor because I didn't have a PhD. University of Bath Wood, job advertised in 2018, I applied for it and managed to get it.

So I moved to the University of Bath. So I've really only been a full-time academic since I got to Bath back in 2018, so five and a bit years. And during those five and a bit years, actually two and a half or so of them were almost entirely taken up with me working on COVID.

I ended up co-chairing a subgroup of our national advisory group called SAGE, and I sat on main SAGE. So COVID took up a lot of my time, really until the middle of last year. It wasn't until then that I was kind of done with COVID.

And I guess what I do now is still quite a lot on obesity. I mean, I dipped out of obesity over the COVID period, but I'm delighted to say I'm getting back into it and doing more on obesity again. But I guess what really came out of the Foresight Project from 2007, I mentioned the system map that I'm sure you've all seen, and I was involved in that project.

And one of the key things that came out of it was this idea of complex systems and complex systems problems. And that was, I found that really appealing, but really challenging. I had done, you know, from the age of 16, I had studied science subjects at school.

I'd done an undergraduate medical degree. I'd done a postgraduate medical degree. I was steeped in very traditional models of science.

And here I was confronted with this concept of complexity. And like most people who were engaged in this, I kind of got into it, but I didn't really understand it. And my journey, really, for the last 15, 18 years has been getting to grips with what that means, with obesity as one of the main complex problems that I deal with, and I work on, but by no means the only one.

You know, I've been looking at all sorts of other complex problems, severe mental illness, knife crime, the environmental health impacts of the war in Ukraine is one of the more recent ones I'm doing. All of these are systems problems. And now I'm really looking at the nature of evidence within public health and what that means, but not, I hope, from an abstract academic perspective, much more from a practical perspective to help us to use, generate, apply, understand, and use evidence in a meaningful way for tackling the complex public health challenges that we face, of which obesity remains one of the main ones.

So I'm not sure there's any, I don't know if this is quite what you were after, but I guess that's my journey. I don't think I've got any particularly special insights that come from that journey. But I guess the things that I always give as advice to people are work out what you're bad at, as well as what you're good at.

We, you know, we tend to follow paths of things that we think we're good at. So one of the little blind alleys I took on that journey that I didn't mention, related to law school, and the reason I went to law school is that my sister said to me one day, 28 years ago or whatever, Harry, you're good at arguing, you should be a barrister. And I thought I'd be quite a good barrister.

Actually, I'd be a terrible barrister, because even if I were good at arguing, actually, 95% of what a barrister does is to sit in his or her study and do the background work on their own, not to stand up in a courtroom. And, you know, I might be able to stand up in a courtroom, I'd be rubbish at that back, that, that, that home doing the homework. But until I kind of realised what it was that I would be bad at, I was about to pursue a path, because of what I thought I was good at.

And I think acknowledging where our weaknesses are, rather than just being led by our strengths is really important. I had the same thing when I I don't know if you know, the Bellbin teams inventory, that kind of works out what your kind of role might be in a team. And there are various roles, there's a kind of ideas person called a plant, there's a completer finisher, you know, a person who manages well with the detail, and so on and so forth.

And a load of a chairman, a load of other roles, I came out very strongly as a plant, an ideas person, I if it was possible to have a negative score for completer finisher, I would have had a negative score, I felt they shouldn't, they should have a new category called starter abandoner. And, and by doing that process, which, you know, there's no hard, robust evidence behind it. But what it taught me is that these incredibly irritating people who are completer finishers are not irritating at all.

They are my best friends, because I'm really crap at doing the stuff they're really good at. And actually, I used to find them really annoying. I now I love them.

They're my friends, I work well with them. Because we complement one another. And I think seeing what not just what you're good at and what you're bad at, but but what other people are good at, and how they can fill the gaps that you don't and how you can work, you know, we almost all work best in teams.

The kind of work that I'm sure all of us do is work that's based on teamwork. And understanding that you have a role in that team, but other people also have a really important role in that team, I think is a is a valuable thing. And it's really important to be humble about about what our role might be.

And I guess, the last thing to say is, you know, I mentioned at the beginning, you know, I'm kind of late career, not early career. And one of the things which still surprises me, you know, I kind of still think I'm 25. But I'm not.

One of the things that takes one by surprise, is that this, you know, you find yourself late career. And as you make that journey, options get closed off. And some of them get closed off permanently.

And that's okay. Because actually keeping all your options open all the time means you don't really progress. But at the same time, I think it's worth making conscious decisions about which are the options that you really, really, really want to keep open, or have the possibility of keeping open, which are the ones that you don't mind closing off, you know, I could never go back to being a doctor.

Now, I'd have to do five years of retraining or something. You know, I miss it. I, in many ways, I'd love to spend the last five years of my career working as a doctor again, I can't do that.

I wouldn't be safe. That's okay. I'm at ease with that.

So I think being clear about which options will remain open, which ones get closed off, but being as open as you can for as long as you can, but but knowing when to stop is really important. And I guess the final thing to say is that bright people, bright and motivated people, and you are all bright and motivated people who can get on with get on with others and are prepared to learn, have more options than than everyone else. And you know, the world is tough out there.

There are lots of challenges that we face, but I'm fundamentally an optimist. And, you know, I've had some pretty bad knockbacks in my career. But, you know, if you're if you're, if you persevere, if you're kind to people, I think kindness is one of the most important attributes.

If you're kind to people, and thoughtful and decent, as well as being good at what you do, you'll be fine. My final bit of advice is to enjoy the journey, whatever you do, enjoy the journey, you won't like every day. But on, on the whole, just make sure you enjoy the journey.

And if you're not follow a different path. Thanks, Harry. Thank you very much for such interesting insight and definitely great key messages to take away.

I just want to remind the audience if you do have a question, please drop it into the chat. I will move on and just to Alessandra just for now, just with recognition to time, but we'll have five or 10 minutes or hopefully towards the end for Q&A. But I was really interested in hearing more a little bit more sorry, about the consultancy work that you did and what kind of activities might be involved in that.

But maybe we can talk more in the in the Q&A. If nobody else has any, any questions. But thank you very much again.

And we'll move on to our second speaker. So Alessandra LaFrancone is a medical doctor by background, has a PhD in public health nutrition. And the day of her PhD defense and birthday, she was called to join the Boehringer Ingelheim global team to work on an upcoming anti-obesity medication launch.

So Alessandra has some slides and I'll hand over to you. Thanks very much. Thank you, Lisa.

Not easy to talk after Harry. Amazing talk, by the way. And thanks for for sharing your insights.

Can you just quickly confirm that you can see my screen correctly? Yeah, I can see it full screen. Thank you. Perfect.

All right. So yeah, I was thinking to walk you you guys to a visual visualization also of what has been my my journey so far. So and we can start back in in 20 in 2004, basically, when my basic question was, what do I want to do in life? Do I want to specialize in journalism or in in medicine? I was 19 years old back then I was very good in literature and writing and fascinated a lot by journalism.

I was also quite good in science and fascinated by the human body. So I was really, really, as Harry mentioned, reflecting of what I'm good at. And then I went out and reach advice from a couple of people.

So for example, one of them was my professor from Latin, who was very committed to literature, but also said you need to be mindful and look out at opportunities when you finish. So to be very honest, in Europe, journalism doesn't really pay your bills. That was a good point.

But it wasn't the only we call it inflection point. Yes. So decision point.

That wasn't the only decision point for me. The most important one was probably when I passed through a glass door the night before my finals. And in that occasion that I still remember as a very vivid and intense moment for me, I really had the realization that what I really wanted to do in life was to help people.

And that was for me a clear call to go towards medicine rather than journalism. And that's basically how it started. So I enrolled in the medical school back back home nearby the place where I was born.

So I come from the Como Lake region. So I enrolled in a school there. And a couple of years later, 2007, I was 22 years old, the big exams were behind.

So anatomy, physiology, pharmacology. And I was feeling a bit bored, like, what do I need to do? And again, I reflected on the fact that there are good people out there that that are helpful, and, and up to give advice. So I went to my pharmacology professor, who was also the responsible of the Erasmus program in Europe, we have the luxury of this program that I believe is really tremendous opportunity for for the ones that can benefit.

And he guided me through it. He said, Look, we have Poland as an uncharted territory, nobody from our medical university has been there, just go there and open the Erasmus destination. Sound fun, sound interesting.

And that's what I did, basically. So I moved to Poznan. In spring 2008, I was supposed to stay there only for two or three months, but I end up loving it.

And then I stayed one and a half years extending the contact over with a with a visiting contact after the Erasmus. And that's where it becomes very clear to me that I wanted to live an international life. You can ask me the why? Yeah, it's easy to say I want to help people.

That's something I believe that human beings are very, you know, are there for that at the end. Yeah, we want to help each other. But to live the international life is something that is is maybe a bit more peculiar.

So for me, the reason was, you know, international life means diversity means a lot of, you know, cultural background, richness, possibility of travelling, of course, but especially the possibility of meeting people with different ideas from all over the world. That is really what what resonated with me. And that's why I wanted to go down that way.

But at the same time, I was, I was then then thinking, okay, let's let's then pursue in an international path. But it also needs to be somehow granted grounded down in some job opportunities. So in 2012, I found myself 27 years old lived in six different countries, Italy, Poland, Spain, US, Switzerland and Cyprus.

And, and basically, these were the experiences that I was lucky enough to do I mentioned the Erasmus, but then there are so many programs that they really invite you to look at your home institutions and explore because usually there is plenty is just a matter of sorting out what is best for you. So that was, that was the adventure for me. But then, as I said, I wanted to move from the naive thought of okay, an international life to the fact of getting an international job, a global job.

And that proved to be not as straightforward as I thought. Because at the same time, I also wanted to advance my scientific, my scientific path. And I wanted to explore opportunities, as Harry mentioned, I'm also a third generation physician, and was not easy for my father when I said that I was not going to practice, by the way, now he calls me some sort of manager, with, I would say not very appreciative tone, but I have a brother who is now a physician.

So I would say that my father is also happy. And and as Harry said, I mean, we are all we are all old enough to take responsibility on our own careers, despite disappointing. Yeah, I disappointed, for example, my father, I disappointed the professor in in Harvard that got me a scholarship.

And then I said, No, I'm not getting it because I don't want to go to the US be overqualified, and then come back to Europe without a place to work. So you know, it's it's also a matter of Yeah, you might disappoint people, but but you need to be in the driving seat. So for me, you know, first, first, first option that I explored was OBGYN.

OBGYN for me was was nice, because apparently was very broad. When we think about women health, I mean, we have so many domains, but then in fact, when you are a physician in women health, you need to specialise. So you will do something that is quite narrowed down.

So that's how I excluded OBGYN. Then I thought about emergency emergency medicine. But and I did I got quite serious about that.

I stayed six months in a rotation in in my home hospital. And when I saw that two people that I kept treating, and they kept coming back, really, this question came to my head, yeah, what's the point of curing the person, sending the person back to the same environment, and eventually read the meeting the same person in few weeks. That was really the the key point for me to say, Okay, I don't want to deal with people anymore.

I want to deal with communities, because I want to make the world a better place. Back to my first inspiration, I wanted to help people. But then, at a certain point, you really see that, okay, if I stay in a operational setting, then I help on a one on one basis, if I move on, and I, I think about the community, then I help on a much larger scale base.

So that's, that's when public health ideas started to populate my mind. And then at the same time, I also thought was, in this has been also recurring thoughts for myself, that is not just me, it's me and my husband, we are a team. And we also need to make sure that we both advance together.

So one, the prioritization of one can never over overstep on the career of the other. So that's also another complex element that we always try to prioritize. So the road has been bumpy, I have to say, in you see here from 2012, until 2021, basically what happened to me.

So I decided to enroll into a public health program. I did a residency there for five years, including one year at the European Commission, I was quite sad, I went to the bad experience of having two bosses, one in jail, one in penal proceeding. And that really demotivated me a lot on the public health system.

Now, not to say that all is bad, not at all. But that was my experience. And this this was was quite, you know, under my skin, this one together with a three years professorship at the University of of Milano Bicocca prestigious university, but nevertheless, quite slow for my standards.

Therefore, I was always feeling like, you know, I want to do more. Yeah. And, and as mentioned before, there is a time in which you still feel yourself early career, and then you start to feel mid career.

And then soon enough, you you see that the time is running out. Yeah. So I was about 30 years old, and I was telling myself, okay, I'm still at the university, I'm still not happy.

I'm not happy. And that's why at a certain point, specifically in 2018, I decided to move to the private sector. To me, it, it was not an easy moment.

It was honestly, it was the lowest moment of my academic or my professional career. Yeah. Because I tried first the public health route didn't really work out.

Then I tried the university route didn't really work out. So I was feeling like I failed, I was really taking with me the weight of two failures. And what gave me the strength to try the private sector is that my husband as an engineer was extremely happy in the private sector, all the roadblockers that I was experiencing, they were not there for him.

So with that in mind, and I said, Okay, as it doesn't make any sense, I studied public health, and now I joined the private. But maybe, maybe there is something for me in there. So I start looking around in the private sector, and there was a an industry fairing specifically, that was looking for, for somebody to create and then lead the medical department.

And just by reading at the job description, and what I would have done, I thought this is in line of, of the things I like, you know, so you create a team, you develop a team, you create the science about the disease, you make sure that what you communicate is always highly scientific. You always try to finance research, you try to be part of the guideline process, at the minimum to understand how the disease landscape is changing, and so forth. So reading all these points, I have to admit that my barriers against the private kind of went away.

And that then I said, Okay, going beyond the titles, so what is public, what is private, reading the job description, it looks like something I like. And that's how I went totally, you know, it was a jump in the dark, I have to say, it was super fun. I loved it.

Until one day, and I learned the meaning of reprioritization quite hardly again, on my skin, reprioritization, basically, it means that in the private sector, when when you see that some trends are not going to be as as either profitable, or so to say, with the possibility to win, as you thought, or maybe your pipeline drug are not going to be as promising as you thought, then you say, Okay, I do reprioritize. So basically, you change your scope. And this can happen overnight.

So that happened to me. And basically, the disease areas to which I was most attached were oncology, namely was closed. And then the all in a sudden, basically, my job became much more about communication, rather than creating science.

And that at that point, I was like, again, again, a failure. I need what do I need to do now? So funny enough, coincidence 33rd of April 2021. It was exactly one week after reprioritization.

It was my birthday, it was the day of the defense of my PhD in public health nutrition mastery, by the way, that was also a very fun experience. And I had a call from the head on. In Italy, we say that we are when you have three things happening in one day that they must be good, you know, so that that's why I even picked up the call, because otherwise, wouldn't have made so much sense, especially thinking of, again, the boldness of it, because the head on to open up opened like, are you up to move to Frankfurt with your family? I was living in Milan back then I was having a child of two years old.

I was like, well, Frankfurt, not really, I mean, not really considered. But then the head on to continue it. We were looking for somebody to support the development of drugs to treat obesity.

And I was discussing my PhD thesis just a couple of hours afterwards on public health nutrition in Europe. Then the third point was, it's a newly created role. So again, something to start from scratch.

And then with the perspective to set up a team in medical affairs, are you in? Obviously, I had to talk with my husband first, I had to do some reflection. We I think we took a couple of months to make decisions. You can imagine also the interview process doesn't take one week.

So in the couple of months I was going on with the interview, and then we were seriously thinking about it. And finally, that's, you can guess that I accept it, because that's, that's basically the role that that I have now. When I reflect on the overarching journey, and I asked myself, imagine back in 2004, rather than journalism, I was rather than medicine, I was speaking journalism.

You know, I like to think that maybe I would still be living in England, as of today, working for Berlinger Ingelheim, maybe in the corporate communication department, in which we have plenty of very talented journalists. So what what is my message? My message is, is basically listen to your guts, because it really starts with you. Listen to your mentors, don't be shy, there is wonderful people out there that are that are really willing to help and support out of free time and generosity.

Identify what fulfills you and why and go back to that because this will be your guiding star. Go for it. Go for it without any doubt.

Don't care about the labels, no title. Sometimes it's not, it's not easy. It was also not easy when I had to give up my medical director title that I had in Italy and come with a medical advisor role.

It sounds less important, right? But I mean, at the end of the day, again, reading the job description and what you're going to do, that is what I think should should influence the decision. Embrace failure, learn from it. Maybe there are failures for you, but not from the outside world.

And also, if they are from the outside world, at the end, nobody will care. It's just you that that is important here in the in the decision. Leave your alternative career path to teamwork.

That's another one Harry already mentioned it is when when you work with a team, then you can also really leverage the other the alternative you and and exploit it to the maximum you find somebody that is very good at what you're not. And then in a teamwork, this is going to go often brilliantly. Always ask yourself if you're happy, the road is not always easy, but you need to enjoy it.

And I plan to move on if you're not because the road is going to be short at the end. But if you're happy, practice gratitude, this is not for granted. So this is also my my last goal.

And thank you for the attention. Thank you very much, Alessandra. Thank you for such an inspiring talk and for some really, really strong messages at the end.

It is important to keep trying after you feel like a failure, but I can assure you watching your slides, it doesn't seem like you it doesn't seem like you are. But just to remind everybody that if you have a question, please do drop it into the chat. It's a few questions for Harry and I can see some for you already, Alessandra.

So we'll move on with Jacqueline's talk right now, just because I'm keeping an eye on the time. We've got 20 minutes left and I would hope to have just under 10 minutes now for the Q&A. So I'll introduce Jacqueline.

And I did have quite a long bio for Jacqueline, but I'm going to shorten it and I'll let you Jacqueline introduce yourself more and more when you come on to your talk. But Miss Jacqueline Bowman-Bussato is head of policy at EASO, which is obviously the European Association for the Study of Obesity in Brussels. As such, she represents the voice of 20,000 plus strong community of clinicians, health professionals, researchers, public health professionals and students in 36 countries across the World Health Organization Euroregion.

Jacqueline coordinates the MEP interest group on obesity and health system resilience and the Obesity Policy Engagement Network EU hub. So I'll hand over to you, Jacqueline. And thanks again for our speakers so far.

This is our final talk. OK, thank you so much, Lisa, and also Alessandra and Harry. Those are really inspirational for me, you know, and I'm coming up to late stage.

I'm counting down those days to early retirement. But OK, so I'm actually going to say something, I think, quite different to everybody else, because I am not a medic. Let me be very clear.

So I didn't come to this through medicine and then find a sideline. I actually came from a legal education, an international MBA and also postgrad in strategic communications. But those are just things that you say on paper.

What's really about me and I was when I was thinking about this, I said, I'm actually going to write a letter to my younger self because there's so many things that I, quite frankly, would have done differently if I knew back then what I know now. And the big, I think the big reveal that I've had very recently, age just before coming into summer, age 50 coming on to 51, is that actually I'm autistic. Now, I'm saying that because a lot of people in my environment have said we knew that all the time, Jacqueline, move on.

But actually, I didn't know. And that has actually, I mean, it's a long story. Talk to me afterwards.

But that has influenced how a lot of my career choices, a lot of my life choices and actually how I function as a professional. So a very little bit about me. I was actually born in Guyana, South America, and I see some people I saw at ECM.

So I know there are people who are non-European born on this call. And that's actually really important because our curses through careers in Europe and globally is going to be very, very different because actually we're having to sit there with our home culture. And much like Harry and Alexandra, I come from generations of top of society in my home country.

So everybody was either the richest person in the country, the biggest landowner, the minister for this, that and the other. But when you have to leave your country in a hurry, which is what we did, and I've got, I'm second generation legal education. My father was UCL law.

My mother was at London School of Economics, Social Administration. I'm coming from a family that expect and the culture that expects you to succeed. Failure is not an option.

I mean, you know, even if you have zero and we left in a hurry, so nothing. So I sat there, I was saying in the green room beforehand, I sat there from the age of nine, knowing that I was going to study law. And not only that, I knew exactly which university I was going to be attending.

I knew which subjects at school I absolutely had to have A grades in. I knew that music could be my easy subject, all kinds of things. My life was planned out for me.

I was also a TV addict. Keeping it real. I love to watch this program called Crown Court.

And I could see myself being a barrister and knowing what it was about because, you know, I'm surrounded by all of these people. Yes, I had the maths tutor from the age of seven because, you know, had to get into the right schools, which, of course, we did growing up in London from the age of five. So I did exactly what I was supposed to do.

And again, culturally, something which is not. Yeah, it's very different from generation because I'm a generation X, you know, so where actually your parent is the only adult in the household and you follow that and you basically have to achieve whatever it is that your family is expecting of you to achieve. Well, age 15, I said, I want to be a journalist.

Yeah, I'm another one. Big family conference. Very long story short, the compromise in the end was if I get high grades, then I must study law.

In the end, we compromised on English law, French law, which is what I ended up with studying. If I didn't, then I could go to journalism school because actually the grades were lower, but I still got into the top school in the country. I studied law, English law, French law.

So as Alessandra was saying, I basically drank the Kool-Aid because actually from the age of 10, my mother took us to France every single holiday to make sure that we were fluent in French because my family doesn't do things by heart. And you need to take this into account when you're thinking about how do you actually become international and in which sphere. Now, as I said, now I understand a lot of this was down to autism, but actually I have a very inquiring mind.

I see things in patterns. My entire life is a tapestry. I run things, I run my entire life as it's a project.

So what happened? I finished studying law. Actually, I called up because you could in those days, I wanted a tour around the European Parliament because I was studying in Strasbourg. There was somebody whose father was a judge in Germany and a lot of security.

So I said, could I have a tour? Ended up as an accredited assistant part-time when I went back to do my master's in public international law because you could in those days. Decided I've got into bar school to become a barrister. It's not my personality.

It wasn't about the detail. Now I understand it was more about autism. My face doesn't lie.

So if you're talking rubbish, it will show on my face. I have zero understanding of hierarchy. I've talked about my family.

I do not understand just because you happen to be ahead of me. If you don't have merit, I will quietly walk away. That is not a good thing in the legal profession.

It is not a good thing when you're looking at civil service either. Along the way, because I worked for the UK Permanent Representation via consulting, I have a lot to say on that, but we don't have enough time. But I have actually worked for the large, without understanding what is a policy analyst, because I'm a fixer.

I'm not actually really a policy person. But actually, you'll see in all of your countries, things that can be related back to me, all the way from global health, sexual and reproductive health and rights in developing countries. That was my first NGO office, running the office in Brussels job, all the way through to, again, maternal health.

I came back to it. Also, chronic conditions, the original NCD framework, all of the work from Europe related to HIV, AIDS, integrated health models, you name it, there's going to be a door reaching back to me, because I've been in this game for about 30 years. It is a game.

I think that's something I really wanted to get across to all of you. Because in science, there are a lot of left brain people. There are a lot.

Yesterday, I was very fortunate to be personally invited for the very first time to represent obesity, but actually, on the health service delivery side of the house at the OECD high level health policy forum. So you couldn't move for government ministers. I mean, you literally couldn't move.

And afterwards, I mean, I saw some of the tape, you can tell I was the neuro diverse person on the panel. Everybody who had any claim to that left brainedness came up to me afterwards saying, so, so happy that you're up there, because actually, we're not, now that I'm there, I'm representing. And I think that's something else that you need to think about, not just in terms of what I'm good at this, I'm bad at this, what is actually going to help you to flourish.

So for me, actually flourishing, in the end was, as a black woman, I'm also blind in one eye, I mean, you name it, it's that, with such a high sense of social justice, funnily enough, now we know why. But actually, I said to myself, okay, I want to make a difference for real people like me, because totally selfishly, before the age of two, I had 25 operations on my eye. I'm an early health system user.

So what that means is, every time I have something, I always look to say, is the health system actually working for me? No, it's not. So when I ended up with, you know, endocrine disorders, autoimmune Hashimoto's, then I ended up with endocrine obesity, then I ended up with bariatric surgery. Along the way, with all of my background, plus having got my MBA, run a think tank, you know, actually been a social entrepreneur, headed up the built the communications department of a major association management global consultancy, where I specialize in bringing technical associations into the European environment.

So I can talk a lot about different types of consultancy, trust me. But what it boiled down to was that I was actually able to take my talents, have my face not lie, and actually have a sense of security of, quite frankly, not being bullied. Because as Harold was saying, there are different types, there are different parts of a team.

Being based in Brussels, and the whole international environment means to put it bluntly, everybody's very bright. So that's actually a hygiene factor, you need to find something that sets you apart in a good way. And as a black woman, actually, that was pretty tough.

Because a lot of people in my environment are not used to seeing black people who have citizenship, who have an extremely good education, and who knows that we have a right to eat at the table. So it's all of these things that you actually have to say to yourself, do I really want to go through all of this? And yes, I met my husband when I was already a successful. So that was a whole, and he does nothing to do what I'm doing.

He's my tea guy. And the one person who was never intimidated by me. So that was always a good thing.

But you know, but you literally have to think about all of these things. So I would say by the time I came to ARZO, it was actually I'd never heard of it. And I had been one of those awful people saying chronic conditions and obesity is a determinant of health.

You know, so it took me by the time I realized that the health system wasn't working for people like me. And then I met in the beginning, what's now ECPO and realized, okay, I'm way too far ahead. Because actually, I have a track record, which I don't want it to go into my volunteer life.

And yeah, and from a, and then ARZO, Ewan Woodward said, well, actually, you know, we're thinking of building out the policy function. That's where my entrepreneurial spirit came in, because I know how to fundraise. I've run a think tank.

I have my own business on course driven SMEs, small to medium sized enterprises. I know how to make money. I mean, literally, I can give you chapter and verse on it.

My MBA specialized or my end project specialized in innovating business models. And actually, I'm a very determined person. Because, you know, I didn't realize that as somebody with a DSM-5 neurodevelopmental disorder, a lot of what I have to earn money to pay for actually could have been an employer accommodation, didn't know.

So I earned my way through. So it's to say that just because you think that there's a particular pathway for you, you know, I jumped around like everybody else, because you could in my day, I know that it's a lot more competitive today for all of you. But I would say, embrace what makes you different.

Understand that languages do go a long way. Even if you're not born in Europe, you know, or that you're, you know, or of a different ancestry, because you know, I've got my nieces and nephews, all the rest of it, understand that you have an equal right to be at this table and just get on with it. Regardless of what your academic origins are, I do not have my PhD.

Actually, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter, because in my job, I am the bridge between the science, because how we know I understand it, because I've had to advocate for myself, and the policy makers to the point that again, when I was out and about yesterday, the UK health minister, who's been hiding away for 18 months, but finally, you know, he was in the VIP room, he'd never heard a decent rendition of what is obesity, he's now personally invited me to send him a policy brief on all of this. And it was because I said to him outright, could you stop that sugar tax rubbish, please? It's not treating obesity, get real.

So again, now we know why I'm so direct. But you know, you've got to be able to have the confidence in yourself to be able to go through. So lots more, we need more time.

But that's my basics. Thank you very much, Jacqueline. Thank you for such a presenting such an interesting career path.

And we'd love to be a fly on the wall in that the room that you had that conversation in would be an interesting thing to listen in on. I will move on just to the Q&A. I know we've got five minutes left of the scheduled time.

And the chat was very active. I just want to say to all the speakers, thank you again. And I'm going to give you shortened versions of the questions.

But all the people who asked said, they really enjoyed your talk. And thank you for the contributions. Let me just take the spotlight off Jacqueline.

Okay, so I'm going to direct the first question to Harry. And this is somebody that would like to hear more about how to develop consultancy as someone with an academic background, and they could consider a fellowship. However, they do enjoy enjoy real life and not just academia.

So do you have any tips for developing a career in consultancy? Get used to uncertainty and anxiety, I think would be my first bit of advice. So I took voluntary redundancy from the National Health Service, because I didn't want to go into public health England. And a lot of people said, oh, we'll give you work.

But that day, when you no longer have a job, and you don't know where your next bit of work is coming from, is a scary day. It was fine, it didn't take long to build up some work. But I have friends, I have a friend I spoke to earlier today, who does lots and lots of consulting, he gets periods where he's got nothing lined up when his current projects are over.

He's used to it now. He's been doing it for 20 years, he knows something else will come in, it's fine. If you're good, if you have a good reputation, you do good work, you know lots of people, work will come your way.

When you first start, it may not be that much work, but it'll come. Other than that, you know, I'm not someone who's been a full time consultant, I've always almost always had something to fall back on. There are others who could give much, much better advice than mine.

But yeah, that that would be the experience for me for someone, as someone who would come from a very, very, you know, I'd gone into medicine, I left university knowing what I was going to do. I never had any uncertainty about it. And then to find myself without a paycheck coming in was was a scary day.

But worth doing. I enjoyed it. Yeah.

Can I add to that? Yes, of course. Go ahead, Jacqueline. Make sure you've got six months in the bank.

So I mean, it's that simple. Make sure you've got six months in the bank. I like to have a bit more just, you know, out of habit.

But basically, it's not yet I do a lot of thinking in the shower always have done in my line of if I were doing consultancy, I bump into people all over the place. That's not necessarily billable, although it is with apps these days. So you actually need to be thinking about what is the value and your little black book to the people that you're working with.

And also understand that there are different kinds of consulting. So there are you can be drafting studies sitting at home quite quietly. You know, I've done a few of those back in the day for international organizations.

Great fun. You know, you get them out the way, get your name on. It's a nice hybrid.

There are others where you have to sit for endless hours. And then Alexander will know about this because you've got to sit there with the agency. And you're thinking, why am I teaching them what they should know? And we're paying them for the privilege.

I mean, you know, so they're different kinds. So you need to investigate what would actually be good for you. And as Harry said, quite rightly, try hard not to be in a situation where that is all you are doing, because I can tell you, it is so stressful.

It's unbelievable. Thanks, Jacqueline. Thanks for adding that in.

That was a really good point. I know we are coming up to the end of the session. So I just want to say for anybody who has to leave immediately that thank you for your questions.

I have a note of them. So I will forward them to the speakers if they do have the time to answer in text. And I can attach this to the meeting recording.

For now, if the speakers aren't rushing off, we could maybe extend by a couple of minutes just to quickly go through a couple of the questions. But other than that, we will close in about five minutes. So if you do have a burning question, please do let us know.

But I just wanted to ask another question. This is for Alessandra. I think you got to it in the chat, but maybe you could elaborate.

Someone asked, could you please share with us how to surpass the feeling of failure when leaving or failing one adventure to begin another? Are there any specific things or people that helped you move on? Thank you. Great, great question. Indeed, I started replying a little bit here.

Books on emotional intelligence, they helped out a lot, as well as TED, like TED Talks, for example, when because then you start socializing, you understand it's not just you, it's common nature, human nature that we all encounter failure. And the earlier we can face it to ourselves first and admit it and spell it out, the easier than it becomes. So either to, you know, social, social channels, like TED is a nice one, or via books, if you're more traditional, I think I think you can get a lot of empathic material to digest.

And then obviously, if you can talk to you know, friends, mentors, if you can identify some mentors early enough, or there is no no too late point in time, but mentors are going to be very helpful as well. And again, I mean, I would really advise not to be shy, but rather to socialize it because it's super common. I mean, I think that everybody can say, I failed.

Yeah. And when I look at my daughter, I mean, to take her to walk, she failed so many times and fell down so many times. Yeah, that's that's the first experience that we all realize as children, we learn from failures.

So the earlier the earlier we socialize, then I think the easier is going to be for us. Let's say something about networking. Yeah.

I've always, you know, I'm English, networking is a horrible concept, you know, actively going out and putting yourself forward, we don't do that. But actually, being sociable, which I think is the language you just used, and talking to interesting people. If you if someone says thing interesting, go and have a chat with them.

You know, I don't think that's networking. It's not kind of pushy. I'm only here, I want to get one thing out of this.

And that's another contact on LinkedIn. That's not what it's about. It's actually about making contact with people who you you've got something in common.

And so I don't think one should be shy of it. But yeah, it's it should be fun. Not a chore.

Yeah. And two things to add there, for those of us who basically are not, I know people say, Oh, but Jacqueline can chat for England. I'm not a natural, I had to force myself to do it.

So I actually created a game for myself that I called five card poker, I have to, I had to collect five meaningful business cards during the course of any encounter. I was actually published in a magazine on that once, which was quite interesting. And then the other thing related is practice in a safe environment, where it doesn't matter.

That's a really, really key. And then the last thing related to that is indeed, LinkedIn is your best friend. So if anybody contacts me, either in person or via LinkedIn, asking for a job, I ghost them.

If I have a conversation, because I'm like, I'm sorry, what what are you actually offering to me? I mean, literally. So whereas people that I've had a really interesting conversation. So I had one yesterday on furniture, actually, it's really interesting.

So various things, I've had things about high heel shoes, long story. But you know what, that has actually led to grant funding, to the great surprise, I was very junior at that point, to the great surprise of my very senior colleague in then the NGO, because I couldn't understand how come the Czech signer knew me, simple. We both had feet killing us on a journey.

So we're talking about shoes. That's the kind of thing, the higher up you go in your profession, the lonelier it becomes actually, because you've got too much going on in your brain. So to actually have a regular conversation is fantastic.

And bear that in mind when you're networking, I actually don't want to talk about work. I like talking about furniture and shoes. Thanks very much for those points.

And everyone that kind of covers another question that we had about developing and networking in the private sector. And I'll ask for your opinions on career mobility. That was one of the questions and I'll ask all three of you just to really give me a quick answer.

And just in summary, and what are your thoughts on career mobility between, for example, basic science, academia to somewhere else? Specifically, the questioner used the example of pharma companies, and they usually require some clinical experience that most of the time, people don't have unless they actually trained in that area. What are your advices on moving from one kind of area to almost a completely different area? Alessandra, please go ahead. I can go first here.

I mean, my advice would be really try to map what is your core capability and what is out there in the job market. Because not for all jobs in science, you need the exact same capabilities. So for example, you can start in corporate communication, and therefore here science is really minimal, the amount of science you need.

Or you can start from medical affairs, which is more like looking at the strategic landscape and then orientating the direction and also a lot of communication. Or you can go into drug development. And that's true.

I mean, not everybody gets in academia, the exposure to drug development. But nevertheless, you might, you know, at the home institution, you can contact your biostatistician teams and see if they have anything, then you get, I would say maybe six months, a temporary assignment or voluntary shadowing on top of what you're doing in biostatistics in your home institution. And you get a bit into the clinical trial, and then you prepare yourself for that.

So I would say map what is available on the job market, because there is really a lot. It's not just clinical development is again, research, communication, medical affairs, epidemiology, real world evidence, you name it. And I mean, the pharma industry is always open to talent.

So that's, that's a question of just getting your application to the right to the right place. Yeah. And if I can add to that very briefly, it's not much, much as I love you, Alexandra, much as I love bi, I have lots of personal friends over there, different departments.

Pharm is not the be all and end all. Let me be clear. When we go to international institutions, I always say it's the evidence building arm and then the political arm.

My favourite arm of the European Commission is not the policy arm. It's the policy evidence generation arm. And it's all academics, all scientists, and they are lovely, because we have real conversations and share the realities of what we're all facing in order to get decent evidence out there.

So you need to think about that as well. And then secondly, apart from institutions, you've also got med tech, you know, so it's, it's a it's a different beast. But and you've got things like alliance management, which I can't apply for, because guess what, I'm not a scientist, but you can.

So you can actually use different skills, you could be in market access, which is basically anything goes, as long as it's legal and vaguely ethical, you know, in order to get things to market. Nobody's mentioned patient relations, you know, so it's all of these things. And I see all the you know, patient first people first language coming up this and that.

That's pure and simple patient relations from private sector. So there are a number of things. But as Alexandra says, map, what, you know, what's out there, I regularly have always done a SWOT analysis as a mind map.

And I also always set what are my particular personal goals in life. So at the moment, it's to retire early. So I'm with AR so up until that point, and I said that very clearly when I came in, when I bought my first apartment, that's when I worked for the global consultancy in association management and said, you've got me for three years, because I need to recover from the purchase years worth of proper renovation, and then a year to get rid of the apartment.

I stayed for four because they raised my salary, then I went off to do my MBA, but be very, very clear as to how you map it needs to help you. Thanks, Jacqueline. And Harry, maybe just the final comment.

Yeah, I mean, thanks. I'm really my career has been one until recent years, at least, and even some of that of Brownian motion kind of buffeted about by external events, nothing very strategic on on my part. So I'm not sure how well I can answer that.

I guess there's a couple of things I would say one is social media. We've had mentions of LinkedIn. I think that's probably correct.

For people who are looking to develop their career. I I loathe surveillance capitalism. I shut down my LinkedIn account a couple of years ago, because I think LinkedIn is a poisonous organisation that will take your data and flog them wherever they can.

And I've stopped using Twitter as well. About two or three years ago, I still still have an account there, but I don't use it any longer. So I, but there's a semi serious point in this in that the I think things have got worse.

I think LinkedIn used to be okay. Twitter used to be really good. But be careful with social media, because they are pretty poisonous environments.

And the thing that got me off Twitter actually was was COVID where I was on a national committee, and I was getting more attacks by my friends, and the people whose work I actually agreed with, than the people who disagreed with me because they I don't know, but so so I think be really, really careful with social media, but do what you can with them. And I guess that the other thing is that there are things that seem impossible that time will solve. And when you're starting out when you're younger and more junior, some of these barriers are insurmountable, you can't switch from one thing to another.

But actually, if you really want to, and you can map out a way to, to get in at a later stage or a different stage, it may well be possible and certainly be a bit more strategic about it than I've ever been. But I think there are things I really think that time is your friend with many of these things and an actually a bit of patience and the older I get, perversely, the more patient I get about these things. The older I get, I think the the more I can see in retrospect, that actually, some of the things you thought you'd never be able to do, those doors will open eventually in one way, or an equivalent or perhaps better door will open.

Thank you very much. And I'm going to I'm going to wrap up, but thank you very much to the speakers for all of your input on the Q&A and also individually your your talks on your career path. And thank you to all of the audience as well for coming along and being really engaged in the talks and the Q&A.

I will post the recording in a couple of days and I'll attach the questions and if there's anything left unanswered, I'll contact the speakers and if that's okay with you, I'll get an answer and write in and attach it to the recording. But this has been a very special webinar, one in that it's been more conversational, which has been really, really nice. There's been a contribution from different people with really, really kind of different backgrounds and it's been really insightful for me and I'm sure all of the audience would agree too.

I also want to thank you again for staying late. Thank you to the speakers. We usually keep very much to time, but the Q&A was just so active and the conversation was just flowing so well that we stayed a little bit longer.

But thank you very much again. And with that, I'll say goodbye to all of the audience. Thanks very much, everyone.

Thank you. Bye. Bye-bye.

Bye. Bye-bye.