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January Educational Program Engages a Crowd at Genzyme

by Jared Marshall, Genzyme, a Sanofi Company, with photos by Joyce Chiu, CPIP, Honeywell Safety Products

The ISPE Boston Area Chapter educational program entitled "Professional Development: Tech Skills Get the Meeting, Soft Skills Get the Promotion" was held on Thursday, January 16 at Genzyme Center in Cambridge. The program attracted over 50 attendees, both Members and non-members plus additional online attendees as the presentations were broadcasted live. Following the traditional networking reception, the evening began with opening remarks and introduction of the four speakers by Chapter Vice President Chris Opolski.

The Chapter's Young Professionals turned out in force for
January's career development program.
 


 Andre Walker, CPIP, Director of Manufacturing Sciences at Biogen Idec's Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Operation in Cambridge, was first to speak. Pulling from his years of experience in technical roles as well as leadership positions across Biogen, Andre focused on three transformations he experienced throughout his career. The transformations included his realization of the importance of selling projects by building relationships, networking through organizations such as ISPE and working with teams. He told entertaining stories about how these transformations benefitted his career and gave a few tips and tricks on networking, specifically when you don't know anyone.

 

(r to l) Andre Walker, Kristen Stants, Peter Antoinette and
Fred Nothnagel provided a fascinating look at the value of
soft skills in the career marketplace.
  

Kristen Stants, Director, People and Organization Capability, at Biogen Idec, was next to speak on career advancement. Kristen talked about talent reviews - what really happens, how decisions really get made and key gaps seen when promotions are considered. She discussed key differentiators for engineers coupled with a quick self-assessment and peer coaching exercise where audience members rated themselves on six competencies and discussed these with a neighbor. Kristen also stressed the importance of engineers getting career breadth, not getting too caught up in the data and taking the time to make personal connections. Her talk finished with asking the audience to share good points they learned from their neighbor through the exercise.

Fred Nothnagel, Independent Career Coach and Executive Director at WIND-Networking for Connected Professionals, spoke next. Fred's presentation, titled "Networking or Not Working," focused on why we should network, what it means to network and three different models of networking: one-to-one, events and online. Fred also discussed the importance of understanding your company's initiatives. He asked the audience, "What's the plan and how can you play a part?" He noted the importance of promoting yourself at work and reminded the audience that we all serve somebody so it is important to understand what your customers want.

To conclude the event, Peter Antoinette, President and Chief Executive Officer at Nanocomp Technologies, spoke about soft skills. Peter began by pointing out that we all have motivations and they are different. He emphasized the importance of leaders knowing where they're going, having the ability to influence others and mentoring. Peter outlined key qualities a person must exemplify to get to the next step, followed by important traits in order to prosper on the job once you're there. Peter stressed that whatever your motivation is, you must cultivate and master the soft skills, be willing to leave your comfort zone, work through others, take risks and be willing to fail. He finished by pointing out that even at the highest levels of an organization, the only three things you're going to manage is people, time and money.

In summary, a great deal of information was shared throughout the evening by four highly experienced and knowledgeable presenters. A series of lively questions and comments from the audience on their own experiences followed, including book recommendations on leadership, professional development and influencing people, and closing remarks by Educational Program Committee Co-Chair Mike Levesque brought the evening to a conclusion. The program, as a whole, was an unqualified success, delivering valuable material and experiences from a diverse and knowledgeable group of speakers.

The Boston Area Chapter and Program Managers Jared Marshall and Andrea Massa would like to thank the presenters, moderator and audience members for their contributions to this program; Genzyme for providing the venue for the event; and program sponsor Tufts University Gordon Institute for their invaluable support.

Chocolates, Wine and ISPE – A Perfect Combination to Kick Off the New Year!

by Fasha Onorato, R.W. Sullivan Engineering, with photos by Joyce Chiu, CPIP, Honeywell Safety Products

The ISPE Boston Area Chapter kicked off the New Year on January 30 at Taza Chocolate Factory in Somerville.  The factory was transformed into a chic chocolate and wine tasting scene where the chocolate was never-ending and the wine was continuously flowing. With over 75 people in attendance, the factory was chockfull of great people, great conversation and even private tours of the charmed chocolate making!  Artistic foods and libations provided by Season To Taste Catering   awaited the guests as they arrived at the event.  It was a wonderful way to ring in the New Year and catch up with longstanding Members and those new to the Chapter.

 

A special thanks to Social Committee members Fasha Onorato and Paul Sullivan of R.W. Sullivan Engineering and Chris Opolski of Alexion Pharmaceuticals for their tireless efforts at designing together a unique and festive event for the Chapter. For additional fun photos, please visit the Chapter website at  http://www.ispeboston.org/ .  

 

This sumptuous array of wines and chocolates explains
why the Holiday Social sold out almost immediately

 

The room was filled to overflowing with Chapter Members
and guests enjoying wine, chocolate & lots of good cheer. The room was filled to overflowing with Chapter Members
  

Chapter Past President Brian Hagopian and Board Members Jack Campion
and Immediate Past President Kevin Chronley donned hairnets in
preparation for the Taza Chocolates factory tour.

 

Page last updated: 5 March 2014