So this post is my contribution to The New PI‘s amazing idea of sharing “A day in the life” redux: what do scientists outside of academia do? My chosen day was last Monday, November 2nd. I wrote down everything that happened during my day and later on added some more details about it. Because I deal with many people and at recurrent times during the day, I’d refer to them as Professor 1, Professor 2, etc…
8:00 am: radio alarm starts. 8:10am cellphone alarm starts. Yes, you read it correctly. Most of my territory is on central time, so I cannot really start working until 10am my time… Lucky me, such a nocturnal person! Around 8:30 am I finally get out of bed and pick up my personal computer to check personal email, Facebook, Twitter, etc…
9:00-9:20 am: As I work from home, I don’t need to get all dressed up, so I just go to my office (in my living room) and turn on work computer. Check work emails, connect to the firewall, open my CRM. That’s where all inquire for quotes, database of current opportunities and orders are.
9:20-9:35am: As we are in the beginning of the month, I go over what’s likely to be sold this month and send a forecast email to my regional manager.
9:35-9:45am: My Boss asked for a list of all orders I sold belonging to the molecular line. There’s going to be a 2x commission rate for all those! So I go through my system and send him the list. Yay!
9:45-10:35am: Receive a new lead. Professor 1 needs a quote for a detector to add to an existing HPLC. Once you accept the lead in the system, you create an opportunity and need to fill tons of fields. Forecast day. Market code. Product expected value. Found detector but the existing HPLC is discontinued. So I called sales assistance to ask if new detector is compatible with old HPLC. They answered my question and made me download a tool in which you can add equipment specifications and check for compatibility. Cool!
10:35-10:55am: Received a bunch of webinar invitations, accepted and moved them to my google calendar. As everyone I work with is remote, we have tons of webinars that we need to attend.
10:55- 11:20am: Professor 2 asked for a better price on a quote I’ve sent, so I’m adding a 25% discount, instead of 20%. Done and sent!
11:30-11:50am: Professor 3 sent me an email, telling me his old LCMS system went completely down and he needs something ASAP. He runs it with another company’s software and wants to know if his software could run a new LC from our company. I tried to look it up, but couldn’t find the answer online, so I forwarded the email to my HPLC specialist.
11:52-12:20pm: Email request from Professor 4 wanting to see the pricing on the HPLC system I quoted him with manual injection and a degasser. Also, specifications on the UV detector. Done!
12:23-1:15pm: Lunch break. As I’m trying to lose some weight, I just walk in the kitchen and fix myself a big salad. Coffee and a little lazy time after.
1:15-1:20pm: Check for my follow up email folder. Draft email to new professor 5 about the GC quote I sent while back and invitation to discuss different equipment equivalences with the GC specialist. However, wanted to give the GC specialist a heads up first and discuss arguments in the email. Called him and left message.
1:20-2:00pm: HPLC specialist didn’t write me back, so I just called. System I quoted would not work with professor 3 existing software. We have 2 options: quote a brand new one (more expensive) or demo one. Send email to professor asking his preference.
2:00-3:30pm: Sales training webinar
3:30-3:50pm: Called regional manager to set up details about the lunch and learn that I’m organizing here at the University. Yay, they agreed to pay for it, and it’s going to be awesome!
3:50-4:15pm: GC specialist called me back! We discussed details about quote for professor 5, finished draft email and set up a call meeting.
4:15-4:35pm: In the meantime, professor 3 told me he rather go with a brand new equipment rather than refurbished. Prepare new HPLC quote and dig into my company brochures to justify why this new quote is so much expensive.
4:35-5:15pm: Made a few phone calls to professors with coming opportunities in my system. Most of them didn’t pick up the phone, but talked to one that told me they were still waiting for funding. Update this in my system and check emails one last time.
5:15pm: Done with the day and ready to go to the gym!
So today was a busy day, and I didn’t have extra time to make phone calls to people in my system. Other days are calmer, and I spend more time chitchatting with researchers about their research and future plans. In spite of working from home, I’ve been pretty busy and got used to the new routine. I hope this post was helpful and feel free to contact me if you want to talk more about leaving academia!