We had the good fortune of connecting with Adhi Sikand and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adhi, what is the most important factor behind your success?
For a networking organization trying to connect and grow the biotech ecosystem of greater Los Angeles area, the most important factor behind the success is collaboration. Los Angeles’ biotech ecosystem is small but growing. There are multiple geographical pockets all over the county which stay isolated and unaware of each other. This void was filled by my organization, BCLA, by collaborating with numerous organizations. Just in 2020, we have had the pleasure to collaborate with over 15 institutes, non-profits, small and large companies to deliver networking events both in person and virtually (during the COVID19 pandemic). With every new collaborations, our outreach expands and we enter new demographics of the life science community. Now BCLA’s monthly newsletter reaches more than 6500 subscribers.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am currently a PhD candidate in Chemistry at USC and also the President of Biotech Connection Los Angeles. My academic career was accelerated by internship positions I took during my college years which took me to University of Alberta in Canada and helped me land my PhD position at USC. During my college years itself, I realized that networking is the key to not only finding new positions to succeed but also educating oneself of what all possibilities lie in the world. I have used networking as an education tool and my advice to everyone else on their professional journey is to do the same. Speaking of challenges, the biggest challenge in performing duties in research lab and in running a non-profit organization was time management. When things got busy, my answer to managing my day has been to dedicate specific hours to each job and not getting distracted by the other in that time frame. This challenge of having too much work at once has also taught me how to better delegate duties to my team members and learning how to do so was a very critical skill to learn! Thanks to an amazing team at BCLA, who are all volunteers, we were able to deliver amazing events for the life science community.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Los Angeles has been very wonderful to me over the last five years I have lived here. For me the nature stands out in LA and the diversity in topography is the best. Whenever someone visits my favorite things to do is Hollywood sign hike, Lake Hollywood hike, biking by beach in Venice and Santa Monica. My favorite food stops mostly include traditional cuisine spots like Jitlada, Marouch, Guisados and the Grand Central market in Downtown. One of the most unique and favorite spot of mine is the Hollywood Sculpture garden in Hollywood hills. It is art installation curated by my friend Dr. Robby Gordon. Dr. Robby has countless art sculptures both inside and outside his beautiful home and a perfect view of downtown Los Angeles. All my friends and family love when I take them to the sculpture garden.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My success at BCLA is 100% attributed to the amazing team and advisory board. I got to know about the organization through Carolina Amador, BCLA advisory board chair and under her mentorship I have climbed the ladder to become president of the organization. The other advisory board members have helped me in harnessing leadership skills and given me independence in running new initiatives at the organization. My entire team of about 25 volunteers are the reason why the organization is thriving and growing. All the team members have been focused and productive even during the pandemic lockdown. The numerous events and online content we have delivered over the past few months has been a result of my team’s hard work. Also, I would like to thank our core sponsors Magnify at CNSI, The Bridge Institute at USC and BioscienceLA for providing fiscal support for the organization.