Recently, Asian Foundation for Cancer Research Founder and CEO, Sujuan Ba, was featured in the series Profiles in Success as a Scientist Trailblazing the Transformation.
In the interview, Dr. Ba highlights her path from determined teen to research and eventually nonprofit leadership. She also shares her advice for being persistent and confident in your passions.
“That is my strength. I don’t give up easily; if I believe in certain things, I won’t give up no matter how hard it is.”
Sujuan Ba locked eyes with the job interviewer and knew, at that moment, she had a monumental decision to make. She could tell him what he wanted to hear, or she could tell him the truth.
Sitting across from Sujuan was Dr. Michael Griffin, the Vice President of Research and Development for ARCO Chemical Company, where she was attempting to land her first job after graduating with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Griffin asked Sujuan where she wanted to be in five years, a question never before posed to her, and she knew immediately it was not in a laboratory conducting research as she had in school and theoretically would be in the role she was interviewing for. Using all the cliché buzzwords she knew, Sujuan hesitantly expressed to Dr. Griffin that her long-term interests actually lied more on the business side of science than in research.
“He was really surprised,” Sujuan recalls, “asking me, ‘Why do you think you can do that? You don’t have the business background.’ …