<figcaption>Joan Kwong Credit: Courtesy of Pat Dougherty</figcaption>
Joan Kwong Credit: Courtesy of Pat Dougherty

The academic two-step. For a PhD coming straight out of academia, the switch to regulatory affairs can be tough, but not impossible. "It's very doable," but it takes two transitions, David Jensen says. You'll have to start by moving from the academic bench to the industry bench, keeping in mind that the company is interested in hiring you for the research experience you have right now. Once you get your foot in the door, start letting people know right away that you're interested in regulatory affairs down the road, he says. Network within your company and take training courses. A transition could take less than two years. "Take those transitions one at a time and be patient," Jensen says.

You'll be fighting against the bottom line, so have thick skin. As a regulatory professional, you'll...

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