Milou van der Lans
Head of Growth, Labstep
And - Winner of the 2016 Student Women in Business, Consulting and Finance Spring Career Booster
Be bold and unapologetic in your ambition.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I work for a tech startup that is building a sci-tech platform for scientific researchers to document and share their data. My job involves user acquisition, marketing, and web design. This means I am in contact with a lot of researchers in the scientific community and am also writing my own html codes.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?
I chose this field as it is the perfect application of my experience in cell biology research to learning a new skillset in a completely unfamiliar industry. I have always been interested in psychology and user motivational studies used in marketing and acquisition strategies. I also already had some html experience, and really wanted to apply this basic level of coding on a more creative level, for which landing page and UX design is the ultimate outlet.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"
I wish I had known that a degree in scientific research (I finished my MRes in Developmental Neurobiology) doesn’t limit me to a career in scientific research. The skillset I acquired throughout my undergraduate and masters in research has actually been incredibly applicable in project organisation and has trained me very well in how to use my words in descriptive writing.
WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?
Not a day goes by that something new has been discovered / developed, so there is always more to know and more to learn about. That’s exactly what I wake up looking forward to, the possibilities of constantly developing and shaping my knowledge and skillset.
BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?
You work hard for yourself, not to please someone else. Chase after and fight for your what you want to achieve in your career. Don’t let anyone put you down by calling you cold-hearted or selfish.
INSPO / FUN FACT
My role model is Hilde Mangold. From 1921-1924, Mangold performed very delicate transplantation experiments with embryos (a feat even more impressive before the discovery of antibiotics to prevent infection after surgery, most embryos died). From 280 transplants, 5 embryos survived. She demonstrated that tissue from the dorsal lip of the blastopore grafted into a host embryo can induce the formation of an extra body axis, creating conjoined twins. Crucially, by using two species of newt with different skin colours (black and white) for host and donor, she showed that the transplanted tissue did not form the extra axis by itself, but recruited host tissue to form the twin (although the full implications of this result were not understood until a year after her death). Her supervisor coined the term induction, a now fundamental principle in the field of developmental biology.