After a very deceptive end of the year, I decided I wanted to take a month or so to get my thoughts in order. To relax and find some peace with what had happened. :peace:
However the day following my departure I was already looking at companies and contacting labs. 📱 I was in this state where the only thing that could make me feel better was to look at the future and the possibilities. 💭
But it was still tough mentally, I was thinking about the option of going back to the Broad Institute. “Would it be hard? Should I go now? Would it be the easy way out? What about my apartment, my girlfriend? etc.” I felt like a way out, like cowardly going back “home” 🏠 after a failed attempt.
I had, fortunately, all the support I could need.
It actually only took a week or so before I got replies. One coming from Deep Life and one from WhitelabGx.
I ended up being offered positions, but the choice was easy. DeepLife’s management seems to have a few red flags 🟥 in their behavior during my couple of meetings. After my previous experience, this is something I was now much more sensitive to. I was not really able to see these before.
Whitelab on the other hand was very welcoming. Excited about my profile and offered me a very rewarding position, especially compared to DeepLife. I would be a team lead in Computational Biology . Here I saw how much my previous experience was valuable as I felt I was now much more able to see in between the lines during recruitment processes. Not what people say, but how they behave, what they offer, and the way they do it. Doing so I could also see the tremendous difference between how companies can see or not someone’s value and potential.
In a way, it is like friendship. It is a matter of taste, need but most of all serendipity.
On the surface, the position looked a lot like what I had been told at Aqemia (although not really offered). But here, the team was already there waiting for me and the objectives were clear. 🥇
Many things were green flags 🟩 for me. The company was actually thinking of itself as a Biotech, the CSO was a biologist with experience. They had an HR manager. They also had a team of biologists and both the CEO / CSO were very honest, aware of what they didn’t know, and were very open to my suggestions and ideas.
The place itself was a brand new incubator 👀 called Future4Care. As nice as Broad and less than 10 minutes from my place.
Every member of the team was nice and welcoming. It was small, however: 20 people.
The goal of WhitelabGx is to build a platform to help develop, de-risk, and fasten the preclinical phase of novel cell and gene therapies. The idea is to use ML and data science to drive the discovery, experimental design, and so on 📈.
Especially after getting experience in small molecule preclinical development, I could see the huge potential of CGTs in their precision compared to regular small molecules. I also believe strongly that many diseases will only be cured through the use of CGTs. Finally, it is also a nice experience to add to my resume.
Why am I doing that?
It is simple: I strongly believe in openness and honesty and I think the world is a better place every time someone speaks freely and openly about subject matters that have been kept behind closed doors.
I am talking here about my sole experience at WhitelabGx. With the management of 2023. This is just one point of view at one specific moment in time. I also have my own values and reference frame. Please do not use anyone’s past experience to judge a current company on this account and do your own due diligence.
Because of the nature of the subject and with respect for anyone currently working at WhitelabGx, I will keep this post private for now. If you are interested in reading it, please send out an email and I will send it to you.
But I might at least let you know about what WhitelabGx was very open about as of the end of 2023:
- Whitelab has a culture of kindness and honesty.
- Almost everyone is staying in the company after their trial period.
- Whitelab is largely composed of people with past experience in research, biotech, and biology.
- Whitelab is very diverse, exactly half of the company is non-french. with people coming from all over the world. The culture is very American.
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