Season 1 Episode 5

Listen to the episode here!

Jessica Yingling, Ph.D., provides strategic public relations and corporate communications for biotech companies to support company goals. As the President and Founder of Little Dog Communications Inc., Jessica works closely with biotech companies—crafting stories which inspire their audiences to join them in their efforts of innovating new technologies and developing new medicines.

At the age of 12, Jessica learned the importance of science communication when, after struggling with confusing information from doctors during her mother’s cancer treatment, she jumped in and helped to be a medical translator for her parents. Her experience inspired her to pursue a PhD in biomedical sciences. During her PhD, however, she realized that bench science was not aligned to her strengths and passion to help others better understand and support medical innovations.

In this episode of Translate Your Training, Jessica walks us through her science journey—from being a medical translator for her mother to starting her own public relations company. We learn about the ins and outs of starting your own business, and how having a PhD puts you on the same playing field to work closely with scientist entrepreneurs. At the end of the episode, Jessica gives us valuable advice on what to look for when searching for a supportive workplace. 

Jessica’s Company – Little Dog Communications:

Biotech Newsletters: 

Main points and take-aways from this episode:

  • Jessica’s corporate communications and public relations company, Little Dog Communications, supports biotech companies’ goals by telling their stories to their audiences in a way that encourages them to join and support their innovation journey.
  • When it comes to work-life balance, if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing and how you’re getting to do it, it’s going to be difficult.
  • Network, network, network. Networking doesn’t have to look like a professional social event. It can look like talking to your colleague on the campus shuttle.
  • Having a PhD gives you many tools when working in biotech PR. It gives you the skills to read a scientific paper, ask good questions about the science, and it puts you on the same playing field with scientist entrepreneurs, giving you the credibility and trust to work closely with them. 
  • Most of the business skills you need to work in the PR business are learned along the way and not during your PhD.
  • When looking for a career, you should be searching for a workplace that gives you the best answers to the following questions: What do I love doing, and what is an environment where what I love doing can support me and my work?
  • If you want to go into biotech PR and communication, you have to understand the industry. Read the major trades, major news, and dig apart the titles and news to see how they differ. 
  • People get to where they are in their careers not by themselves. So, don’t be afraid to reach out to people for guidance.

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