On Friday February 26th, the Masters of Medical Biotechnology Program and EPICentre collaboratively hosted the Growing BE (Biotechnology Entrepreneurship) workshop at the Katzmann Lounge in Vanier Hall. The event was organized by Dr. Tranum Kaur, Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of the Master of Medical Biotechnology Program. The workshop saw over 70 students and community members who came out to learn leadership skills and how to pitch themselves in order to achieve their career goals. The Lead to Succeed workshop was led by Dr. Anne Snowdon, a professor at the Odette School of Business and chair of the International Centre for Health Innovation, who spoke about technological changes in society today and emphasized the importance of leadership, innovation and adaptation in the ever-changing workplace. Dr. Snowdon touched on developments in the health care system and provided the audience with a framework to get them thinking about what value they could bring to an organization, whether it be an existing company or their own.
William Greenwald, founder and chief Neuroleaderologist at the Windsor Leadership Group, also spoke during the Lead to Succeed workshop. William discussed the impact of teamwork and effective leadership on building trust. Greenwald led the audience in an interactive presentation, gifting each attendee with a copy of his motivational book Be A Mindsetter: The Essential Guide to Inspire, Influence and Impact Others to help participants achieve their leadership goals.
After the keynote speeches, the attendees were separated into three different groups for various pitching workshops. These workshops were geared towards training a majority of the graduate Science students in defending their research and preparing them to enter the workplace. Each workshop covered skills such as how to make an effective presentation or how to prepare for, and excel in, job interviews. At the end of the three rotations, attendees were invited to give a short one-minute pitch in front of a panel of judges to determine the top seven pitches.
Myra Sehar, a graduate student in her second semester of the Medical Biotech Program, shared that she attended the BE workshop to improve her interview skills so as to increase her confidence before entering the work force. Sehar said that the one-day workshop had already significantly improved her presentation skills and she now knows how to better prepare herself for the workplace in the future. Dr. Snowdon’s speech acted as her inspiration on the level in which she wishes to develop her presentation skills.
Xinwen Liang, Hongna Lu, and Miao Zhang were also Medical Biotech graduates who attended the workshop. They shared that the pitching component was good practice, and the feedback they received from one-on-one mentoring with the judges helped them the most. A workshop with Meaghen Quinn, a drama professor at the University of Windsor, deemed to be the most helpful for them as it taught them how to relax while giving a pitch and how to effectively deliver their message with confidence.
Overall, the event was a complete success. One of Growing BE and EPICentre’s goals is to have students from non-business disciplines start thinking about potentially starting their own businesses in innovative fields and these types of events are a great way to get students thinking about their ideas in different ways.