Dr. Gail Rodgers is a Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist who was previously the Senior Director, Scientific Affairs, Vaccines for Pfizer, Inc. and most recently took a Senior position with the Gates Foundation focused on global vaccine development and distribution.
Why did you select Kelleher Associates for your career transition services?
As I researched available career transition services and talked to colleagues Kelleher Associates was always mentioned as one of the best. During my first meeting with them I knew that this was the place for me. They are highly professional, first getting to know you and personalizing a program to suit your needs. They deliver a strong team effort with all the principals and staff interested in helping you achieve your goals.
What were the most challenging aspects of your search?
I had never looked for a job before. I had always been recruited for jobs, so I didn't realize how hard and competitive it is to actually be looking for a new position. I found the ups and downs of the process, with excitement generated by new opportunities and interviews sometimes followed by disappointment and rejection, to be very challenging.
What tools did you obtain and techniques did you learn from Kelleher Associates that proved to be valuable in your search?
I learned so many things but the most important are to know who you are, what you've done and what you want to do. The process by which these elements are distilled, sorted out, and placed in a CV is crucial. Doing the work of delineating your accomplishments and what advantages you can bring to an opportunity is essential. I learned to be more proactive and position myself in a very positive light. The live mock interview was one of the program elements I found most helpful. The Kelleher interviewer picked up on several areas that were likely to be questions from prospective employers and coached me through them so I was smooth and prepared. I also learned to keep an open mind and say "Yes, I'm interested" to all potential jobs even those for which I wasn't exact fit, since even these positions often opened up other, attractive possibilities.
What did you learn about the importance of networking through your work with Kelleher Associates and were they helpful to you in this area?
I knew nothing about networking before working with Kelleher Associates. Now, I understand how invaluable it is. My coach, Mitch Wienick, taught me to be proactive and consider my colleagues and contacts as potential networking targets. At first I was apprehensive, but now I know that being bold and assertive with regard to networking is a very important part of the process. I was pleasantly surprised to find that people, many of whom were contacts that came directly through Kelleher Associates, were genuinely interested in me and very willing to help.
How did you become aware of the position at the Gates Foundation?
Following advice from Mitch, I reached out to a colleague in my professional field who had just recently accepted a position at the Gates Foundation just to network and that initial conversation ultimately led to my being the offered the position I accepted. Without this encouragement I would have never made the call that led to this exciting opportunity for me with the Gates Foundation which is doing leading edge work in my field.
How was Kelleher Associates helpful to you during the interview process and offer package negotiations?
Mitch was extremely helpful in the process. I felt totally prepared and in control since we developed a pre-interview strategy, reviewed how it went in real time, making adjustments as needed, and developed a post-interview strategy. I was inexperienced in negotiations and Mitch helped me with every single detail, with nothing left to chance. I am very pleased with my overall package.
What advice would you give to others who are embarking on a process to find their next position?
Nothing had prepared me for how difficult and often humbling the job search could be, so my advice would be to find a partner -- mine was Mitch -- to guide you through this often frustrating process.
Would you recommend Kelleher Associates to others and, if so, why?
I would recommend Kelleher Associates without reservation. They are extremely qualified professionals who are experts in career transition and support. You can count on them as trusted partners who will guide you through every step of this challenging journey.