John Casey was one of the founding cohort of BE Communication Fellows, who joined and helped shape the Communication Lab when it was established in 2013. He was a BE PhD student in Angela Belcher’s lab, where he designed and developed thermostable de novo enzymes on viral capsid proteins. John graduated with his PhD in the spring of 2015.

What are you doing now?

I am an Associate at Flagship Pioneering, where I design and build new biotechnology ventures. We focus on healthcare, agriculture, and sustainability.

How are you using communication skills in your job?

Everything we do comes down to communication: condensing complex technical ideas into clear & intuitive slides; motivating both potential employees and investors with compelling company narratives; managing important relationships with the right nuance in emails.

How did the Comm Lab prepare you for your current role?

The Comm Lab was extremely useful in teaching me how to distill messaging down to critical components and get them across with clarity. My writing was more to the point, my slides had less fluff, and I was able to spend more effort considering prospective audiences being addressed.

Any advice to current students?

Put yourself in front of many different audiences to get accustomed to different scenarios & expectations.

Blog post by Diana Chien.