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Building a Biotech Career?

In four minutes, Strategy & Business Development executive shares four lessons he’s learned.


Since graduating from the University of Oxford and Harvard Business School, Alan Wills has spent 30 years building his career. Now Executive Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for biotechnology leader CSL Behring, Wills has learned many lessons along the way. He recently shared some of those lessons with CSL Behring employees at the company’s Development Day in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

Watch the video to see the four lessons he shared in exactly four minutes.

Here are some quick highlights from Wills’ key takeaways:

  • Authenticity is the first key takeaway that Wills shared. He explained that when working with a new process or tool, ask yourself “Is this who I am? Can I work this way? Can I manage this way?” If the answer to those questions is “no,” then consider better ways to work that are more authentic to you. 

  • Life balance is the second key takeaway that Wills shared. While on your career path, don’t be afraid to ask yourself if what you are doing is making you happy, he said. “The objective isn’t to optimize your career or your job. The objective is to optimize your life,” he said. “Think about development in the context of your overall life and not just your career,” he added.

  • Stretching yourself is the third takeaway Wills shared from his experience. Though you want to be happy, you also have to be willing to be a little uncomfortable at times throughout your career, Wills said. “When you find something you enjoy, push the boundaries,” he said. “Put yourself into situations that make you a little uncomfortable, because it’s only by doing that – that you can figure out what you like and what you don’t like, and what you’re good at and what you’re not good at.”

  • Building on your strengths is the final takeaway that Wills shared with employees. He said that career development should not just be about fixing weakness, but also about improving on skills you enjoy and are good at. “Think about development as how can you take what you're good at and become great at it,” he said. “And I think that will take you a lot further and make you a lot happier.”