Women in Biotech: Kelly Jakinovich

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Name: Kelly Jakinovich

Job title: Product Manager

LocationReno, US

Tell us about your background: Where did you get your start & what is your role at Artesyn today?

I got a Chemical Engineering degree, but then branched out and found a more unusual way of using it. I have been a salesperson at a welding manufacturing company, worked in two chemical plants and have been in biotech for over 8 years. My degree has opened up a lot of doors within biotech - from estimating to marketing, sales, and engineering. With some networking, I ended up at ARTeSYN.

My original role morphed into something different based on my skill set. Originally - the company wanted a molding engineer. My abilities were better applied in a product manager position, however. So that is more of what I do now. It is still not a typical product manager position, though. I work more with quality and engineering with a large customer focus as opposed to working in marketing.

What do you like about working at Artesyn?

I like the challenge of a smaller company, all the others have been large. There is a different culture and mindset. I have to get out of my comfort zone and branch into other types of positions to make things work sometimes. It is always interesting and helps me grow.

What would you recommend to other women thinking of entering the biotechnology field?

DO IT. There are so many opportunities. The field wants to diversify. I had no biotech experience entering it, but that wasn’t an issue. There have been great learning opportunities. The industry is pretty large, but small at the same time. There are tight networks which makes it nice to have people to rely on in the network. There are also more and more women and it is not about what gender you are anymore.

It can be a little bit intimidating at times, but there are endless opportunities for STEM and I am glad so many more young women are becoming involved early on, more than ever before. There are so many programs that are out there, especially aimed at young women who are really paving the way for them to get excited because it is exciting! Become involved whenever you can at any stage in life, network with others in the industry, and always be open to learning new things. Specifically for Biotech, it is not going away; there are always going to be diseases that need treatment, cancers that need to be cured so opportunities will be plentiful.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

People make mistakes all the time. We are only human! What really counts is how you fix it and prevent it from happening in the future. Take a proactive approach and learn from it, it really shows your value, character, and integrity.