Biosero account managers are on the front lines of the company. They have the big job of not only introducing customers to our automation solutions, but also helping them understand how these tools can simplify their workflows, reduce errors, and improve efficiency. New and existing customers can rely on account managers like Joseph Rodriguez to help them make sense of automation and how they can use it in their labs. He has a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor focus in chemistry from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
Q: What do you do at Biosero?
A: As an account manager, I work on developing new accounts for Biosero and I also try to make our current customers happy. I am responsible for our customers in the southeast USA.
Q: How did you get on this career path?
A: I didn’t come out of college thinking I would do anything in automation, but I had always been interested in pursuing a career that combined the biological sciences and technology. After graduating as a biology major, I worked in a pathology laboratory for some time. I needed a change so I began applying for different positions focused on working with data. I eventually received an offer to work on contract as a manager for an automation lab at Eli Lilly. As it happened, this was one of the premier automation labs in the Indianapolis area. I learned a lot about liquid handler automation and different types of instrument integrations. From there I applied for a field applications scientist position at Hamilton Robotics where I was able to work with many of the same people I worked with while I was at Lilly. I really enjoyed working on some of the larger platforms because they were more challenging.
Q: What brought you to Biosero?
A: I’m still early in my career and I wanted to take on a new challenge. I applied for a field applications scientist position at Biosero and it turned out to be exactly what I was looking for. Right away, I was thrown into some huge projects. Then I got an opportunity to be part of an account where I needed to move from Indianapolis to Raleigh, North Carolina. Eventually, I asked the then account manager for the East Coast to consider me for an expanded role in the company and that’s how I got into my current position developing our territory in the southeast.
Q: What’s one thing you wish more people knew about laboratory automation?
A: I wish people knew how vital automation is to an organization’s long-term success. A lot of companies that are launched are in survival mode — they just want to get through that first hump of getting results and data published or to create whatever product they are trying to provide. These survival tactics often become standard operations even though they are not very efficient or scalable. Automation is so easy to use and the bar to entry has been lowered so much that it should be integrated into scientists’ work just as easily as computers are.
Q: If you could automate anything in your life, what would it be?
A: I would automate taking care of my dog. I have a Great Dane that eats three times a day. I would want an automated solution that handles things like changing out his food and water and cleaning his food bowl and tray. It’s a lot of work.
Q: What’s your best career advice?
A: Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and take the risk. When I said yes to moving to North Carolina, a place I’ve always wanted to live, I knew it was going to be a big risk but I was willing to challenge myself. And I don’t regret it. I would encourage people to think a little bit more about what they are trying to do with their career and what it takes to get to that point. Be willing to think outside the box of what you might be good at. Don’t assume that you are not qualified because you don’t have a specific degree. Managers nowadays are always looking for people with broad experience that are well rounded and bring different skills. Push yourself to try new things and challenge yourself constantly.
Q: What was the first thing you ever wanted to be when you grew up?
A: I remember getting a space shuttle kit and playing with astronaut toys, so some of my earliest memories revolved around wanting to work at NASA. I have been fixated with anything involving space and science fiction ever since. I would not turn down a role working as an astronaut at NASA if they came knocking in future!
Q: What’s something your colleagues don’t know about you?
A: I think many of my colleagues don’t know about my appreciation of history. Learning about the past has always been fascinating to me, and moving to the Carolinas has opened up a lot of opportunities to learn more about American history!