Your professional network is crucially important for success because it paves the way for future opportunities and helps strengthen your influence. Many people focus on building a strong external network as part of their career development. However, it is just as important to build your professional network within your workplace. It will broaden your impact and could open career opportunities that you may not have envisioned possible when you started. It will also cultivate mentors or build sponsors who can help you during your career.
There are many ways that you can build your internal network. If you work in the sciences, participate in symposia or poster sessions, or read internal newsletters. Don’t stop there, however. Engage people who are working in areas you find interesting in informal discussions. Share scientific challenges you are facing and ask them about theirs. You never know what new collaborations – and subsequent cross-department visibility they create - might result. Also, get involved in discussion groups on scientific topics or company culture. Company-wide training programs are another great opportunity to build your network. These activities will introduce you to people who don’t share the same formal training as you, which can give you a greater perspective on what is important to your company’s business.
Building your internal network will make work more fun, open doors and increase your influence.
Mark Noe is Vice President of Discovery Sciences. This is a department that includes six functions supporting small molecule drug design: Primary Pharmacology, Structural and Molecular Sciences, Cellular Genomic and Protein Sciences, Design and Synthesis Sciences, Hit Discovery and Optimization, and Compound Management and Distribution. Working collaboratively with other groups in Medicine Design and Therapeutic Area Research Units, this group helps progress preclinical projects from idea to first in human studies.
Mark grew up in Western New York just outside the Buffalo/Niagara Falls area. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1991, and his PhD from Harvard University, where he worked with Professor E.J. Corey.
Mark joined Pfizer in 1996 and worked as a medicinal chemist in the Oncology and Inflammation therapeutic areas and worked with teams that delivered several INDs. In 2003, he joined the Antibacterials group where he helped evolve the research portfolio from a focus on precedented agents for community respiratory infections to an emphasis on new mechanisms for treating hospital-based gram-negative infections. Two compounds from that portfolio have been licensed for further development: sutezolid for MDR tuberculosis and sulopenem prodrugs to treat Gram negative pathogens.
Mark has co-authored over 75 publications and patents. In addition to his interests in science and technology development, Mark sponsors the Groton Chapter of Pfizer’s Global Asian Alliance. He also serves on the Connecticut Site Leadership Team and has led Academic and Industry Relations for Pfizer Chemistry over the last 15 years. He serves on several scientific advisory boards for universities and biotechnology companies in the anti-infective area. Mark serves as the American Chemical Society Corporations Associates Representative for Pfizer and is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of their employer or the American Chemical Society.