Episode S1.5 : Career journey from Ph.D. in Virology to Associate Vice President (Health Sector) at Edelman India

Welcome to the Episode S1.5 of the STEM Professionals Chat!

Welcome to the fifth episode of STEM Professionals Chat where we bring to you the journey of one of our own, iSTEMCARE’ s advisory members,  Dr. Cheryl Travaso. Dr. Travaso holds a Ph.D. in Applied Biology from the renowned cancer research center – ACTREC, Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, India. Cheryl had a strong desire for pursuing cancer research from an early age and in fact, she pursued her dream by obtaining her Ph.D. in the same field. Although she always aspired to pursue research and academia, She stumbled upon an unexpected opportunity to work as a freelance news writer for the British Medical Journal website. She loved that experience and realized that this could in fact be a viable career opportunity.  Cheryl eventually decided to pursue her love for writing and undertook a career in science communications. Currently, Dr. Travaso is working as the Associate Vice President for Edelman India (Health Sector). This episode is hosted by: Dr. Manasi Apte and Dr. Jacinth Rajendra.

Key learnings

  1. How did you end up in the current position after pursuing a Ph.D.?
  2. What was the reaction of people around you when you chose to leave academic research? Was your choice welcomed and supported?
  3. How does your day-to-day work look? and what scientific expertise/skill helps you in your current job? 
  4. Do you miss bench work? 
  5. What is your scientific pet peeve?
  6. What are the different roles of a science communicator? What are the options of creative people in this field?
  7. Is a Ph.D. degree required for a job profile like yours? 
  8. How do you maintain your work-life balance?
  9. Any advice for budding scicommers?

About Dr. Cheryl Travaso

Dr. Cheryl Travaso is an experienced Health Communications Professional, specializing in Content Development, Strategy, Planning, and Creative Ideation. She has previously worked as a Presenter in front of the camera and was a part of an education app to teach biology to school children. Dr. Travaso received her Ph.D. in Applied sciences from ACTREC, Mumbai, and began her journey by working with Sorento as a content manager and a freelance news writer for the British Medical Journal website during the final stages of her Ph.D. She is currently associated with Edelman India as the Associate Vice President in their health sector. She is a motivated and creative person and has the ability of scientific writing for a wide range of audiences. 

Video Interview on YouTube

Listen Podcast

Cheryl’s tips for successful career!

Be comfortable in being ignorant: be comfortable about the fact that you don’t know everything.

Acknowledge small experiences in your life, they help you build skills that may help you in the future.

Identify what you really enjoy doing most and then decide your career path.

Learn to deal with rejections (like you deal with failed experiments).

If you are motivated to change a career path, start working towards it even if you have to work as a trainee in the beginning. You will never lose if you’re trying.

Work-life balance and mental health is very important in life, nothing is worth losing your sanity.

Everyone’s career path is unique and keeps evolving so, keep working to find your path.

Thank you, Cheryl!

If you enjoyed this interview with, Cheryl  let them know by clicking the link below and leaving them a message on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cheryl-travasso-ph-d-49389755/


Graphics & video design: Isha Parlikar & Pawan Upadhyay, Ph.D.

Video editing: Sumit Bhutada., PhD & Manasi Apte, Ph.D

Publication note: Vanndita Bahl

Podcast hosting: Pawan Upadhyay, Ph.D.

Publication Content editing:Manasi Apte, Ph.D

Review: All iSTEMCare Team members

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