Alumni Spotlight: Leslie Lewis
Leslie Lewis graduated from NC State University with a Master’s in Microbial Biotechnology in 2020. Leslie is now working as a senior marketing manager at an epigenetics company in Research Triangle Park, EpiCypher.
We reached out to Lewis to find out about her experiences since graduating.
Could you provide me with your educational background?
I attended NC State earning my undergraduate degree in genetics with a minor in biotechnology in 2019. I was one of two of the first-ever accelerated bachelor’s/master’s students in the Master of Microbial Biotechnology program, graduating in 2020.
Can you share a little about what you do at EpiCypher?
I am the senior marketing manager at EpiCypher. As the marketing lead, I set our goals for the year, manage their progress and monitor our budget. I ensure all of the messaging and graphics out of the department are on brand, and schedule and oversee our various marketing activities like sponsoring events, marketing new/existing products, updating our website, communicating with our customers through email/social media, etc.
Where did you work before EpiCypher and what brought you to them?
I started at EpiCypher as an intern while still in the MMB program. I applied through the North Carolina Biotech Center’s Industrial Internship Program in May of 2019 and have been here ever since! I was drawn to EpiCypher for several reasons, but mainly because I was excited to work for an epigenetics company since it is such a new, emerging field and I felt that there would be a lot of opportunity to grow professionally at a small company.
What do you enjoy most about your career?
I love that my education enables me to blend science and business. Being a part of both conversations and being able to truly understand them helps me make quality decisions for the marketing team. My favorite part of science has always been sharing how cool it is and explaining how it works – I feel marketing is a perfect outlet for that.
What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment in your career?
Building the marketing team from scratch is easily my proudest accomplishment – and is still very much a work in progress. I am humbled that EpiCypher has entrusted me with it.
What do you miss most about NC State?
Being in school, you are constantly learning new things, going deep to better understand new subjects. It is at your fingertips all the time! It is much less frequent now – going to a conference here and there, and listening to a webinar/podcast/audiobook on my way to work. I miss being able to quickly dive deep into a new subject!
Do you have any advice for current MMB Students?
Don’t be discouraged if you have to apply to a lot of internships/jobs. The internet and remote work has dramatically widened the applicant pool. It is not uncommon for me to get hundreds of resumes for a single position – though there might be a lot of great people, I can only pick one. Unfortunately, it’s often a numbers game…hang in there! Networking seriously will make the job search much less painful – I’m always happy to connect!
What do you like to do for fun?
Since I moved away from the bench, my kitchen has been my lab. I love fine-tuning baked goods to understand how each ingredient affects the bake. I love food in general and am always trying new restaurants in the area with my husband. I foster dogs with behavior issues, enjoy traveling, am an audiobook aficionado, and I try to blend the outdoors and working out whenever possible!
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I work in RTP and am always happy to get coffee and chat!