HiddenChamp: Labforward – Connecting Laboratories

At Labforward's airy office, the GSO team looked behind the scenes of a potential employer for researchers. Labforward is a software company that produces lab operating systems, assisting laboratory teams worldwide.

Overview

Creates lab software for Biotech, Medicine, Agriculture, Food Tech, and more

72 employees across two offices in Berlin (Headquarters) and Karlsruhe

Renowned clients include Bayer, Charité and Novartis

Good to know

International candidates are very welcome!

Company language is English and there are regular German lessons

More than just work: Enjoy various activities such as TGIF Meetings and Debate Club

About Labforward

One thing that immediately stood out to us is Labforward’s mission:  It’s about scientists supporting other scientists in their undertaking to cure illnesses, unravel life’s greatest mysteries, and create a more sustainable future.

Having said that, your potential career path is not limited to scientifc tasks. As CEO and Co-Founder Simon Bungers points out, former scientists are now working at Labforward in many different roles such as Marketing, Software Engineering, and Customer Support.

Combining state-of-the-art science, entrepreneurial drive, and a joyful team spirit, Labforward is a true HiddenChamp in the heart of Berlin.

Working at Labforward: What it’s like and what it takes

Labforward includes the best of two worlds: You are still in touch with state-of-the-art research while also experiencing the business side of scientific products. Knowing how scientists tick is a great advantage when managing clients and communicating with the non-scientific team.

On the job, you will quickly adapt to tight deadlines, keeping profit margins in mind, and working in diverse teams towards a common goal.

Take a closer look at what Melanie, Jacek, Richard, and Simon work on during their daily work at Labforward – and get inspired to dig into your own transferable skill set.

»When you worked in a lab you have skills that are required in industry - sometimes you just have to hear that two or three times until you believe it.«
Melanie Hüttenrauch, Customer Success Manager
»I'm acting as a bridge between the customers and non-science team members. I love being in the lab.«
Richard Watson, Head of Lab
»We have former researchers literally everywhere in the company. It's amazing to see how these people were able to pick up other career paths than initially designed by them.«
Simon Bungers, CEO and Co-Founder
»I joined Labforward as a trainee after my graduation. I applied for a position I knew I had no qualification for. After talking to the recruiter we agreed there is a need for somebody like me and I had the opportunity to check different departments during my traineeship.«
Jacek Antkowiak , Talent Acquisition Specialist
How to Apply and Career Advice

If you want to apply, Talent Manager Jacek shares three main requirements that are also true for other applications:

  • Communicate your personal motivation
  • Translate your skills
  • Teamwork and communication skills are crucial

Want more general career advice from researchers in business? The Labforward team shares their personal lessons-learned as well.

3 Hacks for your Application

Communicate your personal motivation: Why do you want to to contribute to simplifying the life of laboratory teams? What do you like about the company?

Translate your skills: As a researcher, you are already good at organizing yourself or present complex ideas. This also means you can sell a scientific product – be open-minded and trust your experience in learning quickly.

Adapt to a customer-centric business environment: Teamwork and communication skills are also important in the lab, but now you should be able to put yourself in the shoes of clients as well as team members, for instance in product development or IT. You speak their language and empathize in order to understand their problems and come up with solutions.

Interested in joining Labforward? Understand the wording!

We help you to

(1) Understand that many potential job titles might be interesting for you – even if you never heard of them;

(2) Read between the lines of the requirements in the ad and what that means for writing a great application – no matter what job title;

(3) Get in touch with Labforward!

 

Customer Success or Sales Manager? Business Development Associate? Researchers are working at Labforward in many different roles in the field of Marketing, Business Development, Software Engineering, and Customer Support. Check out the open positions here.

Make sure you have understood what skills that job requires rather than getting discouraged by a cryptic title – the skills you acquired in academia are useful for companies like Labforward. However, the wording might be different. For instance:

Customer Success Manager or Sales Manager skills:

  • I finished a PhD in a lab =  I can work with minimal supervison and as part of an international team
  • I’ve published papers and write a blog = I can communicate complex ideas effectively and adapt to differnet audiences/stakeholders
  • My experiments only worked after 5 trials = I am used to creative problem-solving, I am resilient and work towards a set goal. Also, I really like science and want to contribute to improve processes.
  • I worked in a lab/as a researcher  = I understand the needs and challenges of a specific target group and can come up with ideas how to further improve the work flow
  • I wrote and submitted a grant = I am able to plan projects and deliver in time

Still not sure that the titles match your particular profile? Send an unsolicted application – the formula for writing a good application is similar to an open position. We read between the lines of such an open job ad under (2).

Labforward offers open job ads for unsolicted applications. Using this open job ad, we show you how to read between the lines of the terms and what that means for your application here.

General advice:

Think like an employer – what can you do for them and why are you specifically a good fit?

Cut the jargon – How would you tell a friend why you would like to apply for the job? Rephrase that a bit – it’s authentic and makes you stand out.

Do your homework and make it easy for the employer – Understand what the company is doing and needs and how your skills are helping them. Mirror the wording of the requirements and prove through examples that you can fulfill the requirements.

Follow the guidelines – For instance, answer the questions asked  (like the ones of Labforward), check for an easy-to-read layout, don’t send word files when pdfs are required.

Own your academic background – You learn quickly, you are highly qualified and an asset – don’t be shy to communicate that.

(3) Contact Labforward
Still have questions? Quynh is happy to help when it comes to applications and job opportunities at Labforward:
Quynh, People Operations Lead

 

What is HiddenChamps? Hidden Champions are highly successful companies whose names are, however, unknown. These companies need qualified employees - including researchers with a PhD. Researchers are themselves "Hidden Champs" - highly qualified, but mostly invisible. That is why companies and researchers often don't get together. We want to change that - offering a service that spotlights Hidden Champions and Hidden Champs.
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