Novartis Biocamp 2010 – Taiwan (from application ’til before the big day)

I just have to get this down before my short-term memory fates away…

It began in May, from an e-mail from the institute’s office. Our chairman had recommended me and the other girl to the Novartis Biocamp, with a deadline that was not too distant away. It immediately reminded me of the that experience Su told me a long time ago. I felt honored, privileged, and motivated. Fast track…

Time of interview. The 10 of us were seated in a line across the panel interviewers. There were the self-introductions, the leadership experiences, the why you’re heres etc. I remember it was always me, the other lady who climbed Mt. Jade, and a very impressive guy from NCKU. I knew even if they were selecting 1 out of 10, I probably would have been chosen. It was also my (or our) first encounter with Don, who was not only interviewing but also "teaching" us. And I also remember a young yet stylish interviewer named "Jackson" who asked me had I published that "Extreme Exercise vs. memory" studies. Fast track…

At the precamp workshop. Don was giving his out of textbook experiences. That was something. I raised a question on how to avoid being marginalized or "categories" by being too-local. That marked on a good note. I also met my teammates, called another, and most importantly, learned about them. Our assignment was appointed, having 10 mil USD ventral capital, and coming up with an "innovative health product/service for 10 years in the future." Now that really was something. I first raised the proposal of "Finding the right doc for the patients." We went at it for a few hours, just to later be criticized for its lack of innovation. That was when I realized that I was confined within the boundary of knowledge, innovation was something I believed in, not really something I acted on. MUCH, MUCH more brainstorming would be necessary. The late arrival of Alex, the MD, was quite a refreshment. He is blessed with extraordinary experiences and journeys, with the charisma capable of capturing the heart of estrogen possessors. With he and me grouped in the same team, we would either be fantastic, or chaotic. A harmonic solar system is constructed by a sun and its surrounding planets; however, when 2 source of energy collide, the energy blast is either like God creating the sun, or Diablo discovering fire. We’ll see. We set the agenda, date of discussion etc, and moved on.
This set the beginning to the longest duration of brainstorming in my recent memories. I can still recall going from nerve stimulators, to mind readers, to mind controllers, to finally, growing back a limb. I must have asked over 10 people over the course, and all I got were "this is fun!" Yes, it was fun, especially when I began netsurfing and was amazing by how technology can really be inspired by human imagination.
And just when we were gearing up for the topic, some of the teammates began to drop out for various reasons. In the end it came down to Cherry, Alex the MD, me, and the unknown lady who will arrive on the first day of camp. So the task for 7 was falling onto the shoulders of 3; it’s heavier, yet we still had faith in it.
When it came to the time of discussion, we decided to use Alex "the MD"’s idea, the blood clot cleaning robot. It’s the most innovative and scientifically plausible. Alex became the project manager since it was his idea. In a way it put me in an unfamiliar role; I haven’t been a follower for a LONG TIME. So that’s an adjustment I had to make for a bit. Since none of us had any experience in the field of finance, I took the responsibility as it’s an "attractive challenge." Plus, lil’ Wang came to my mind, I could give him a try, to see if he’s really learned something in school! Apart from finance, I was also responsible for the R&D, which meant coming up with a good robot! haha
So I began some intense expertise-fielding. Lots of appreciation goes to Stix who accepted the whole brainstorming idea with me and came up with the possible blueprint, there is some creativity in NCKU students, after all. And thankgoodness lil’ Wang did pay attention during his years in NTU. The a few hours of discussion with him gave me some very key essences and examples of finance. He really is one clever person, just like the old times. I was at mist and misoriented before meeting him, yet after that, I began to have a better picture of our finance plan.
Our 2nd telemeeting was even better than the previous one. We were more comfortable and even more efficient than the already status. We laid out the plan for human resources, for marketing, and I got an idea to the extend of budget I gotta estimate. Oh, and the nanobot plan Stix and I came up had its first success in the group. With all the ideas and directions we could go in mind, us the TEAM 6, was ready for the real challenge.
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