For nearly a year we have shared blog posts written by the Microbiologics team. We want our readers to get to know a little more about the microbiologists behind the posts.
If you have called our Technical Support number about a pharmaceutical product question, chances are you have been helped by Kali Sorum. Kali is a vibrant and very knowledgeable member of the Technical Support Team. She shares her passion for microbiology and infectious laugh with whomever she encounters.
Q: What is your role at Microbiologics?
A: I am a Technical Support Specialist. My responsibilities include educating our customers on general microbiology and how to use our products, investigating support cases in and outside of the lab, and providing product recommendations for different testing standards and industries. No day is exactly the same. I split my time between the office and lab, and I learn something new every day.
Q: What’s your educational and professional background?
A: I obtained my Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska, and was also a member of Tri-Beta, the National Biology Honor Society. After graduating, I worked as a Pharmacy Technician before coming to Microbiologics. In this company I have furthered my microbiology knowledge and helped others gain some as well through technical presentations, hands-on trainings, and blog posts. Recently I obtained certification through the National Registry of Certified Microbiologists (NRCM) as a Registered Microbiologist in Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Microbiology.
Q: Why do you like being a microbiologist?
A. Working with microorganisms is like putting together a little puzzle because each microbe has its own personality. Trying to figure out the best way to grow them, maintain them, and see how they perform under different test conditions is very interesting to me. It is amazing how a microorganism can behave in a completely different way than expected just by changing one condition.
Q: What inspired you to become a microbiologist?
A. I was initially interested in the challenge of working with these tiny microorganisms and all the things they can do! My decision was solidified when I found out that I could still work with microorganisms and learn about all the cool things they can do without being tied to a lab bench.
Q: What advice would you give to students who want to be microbiologists?
A. Research is not the only prospective job option for a microbiologist! In college I always thought it was one of the only options, but you can take you microbiology degree in to many different fields and industries to find a position that fits your personality and working style. You can be a teacher, a technical support specialist, a clinical lab technician at a hospital, or a field application specialist. The possibilities are endless.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I love being outside! If the weather is nice I’ll be out for a bike ride on the trails in town or alongside the river. In the summer in enjoy working in my garden and cooking new dishes with the produce I grow. I also enjoy going out for good food, having adventures with friends and family, and just relaxing on my front porch while listening to some good music with my pets, Pinot and Jari.
Q: If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
A: I would love to travel to New Zealand and Fiji.
Q: What might someone be surprised to know about you?
A: I have played piano for over twenty years, and I’m the primary accompanist at my church in St. Cloud.
Q: Who do you look up to and why?
A: I look up to my father. If I’m having difficulties with anything, he’s always able to find a solution to the problem. He can help with anything from how to handle situations between people to building a fire pit and concrete patio! He has taught me to be patient and treat everyone with respect and kindness – especially those you do not know or are meeting for the first time.
Q: Why do you like working at Microbiologics?
A: Microbiologics has a great culture (no pun intended). I have never worked for a company where the attitudes of the employees and the way they work with each other has been so friendly and upbeat. It is a very supportive company that is glad to help you further your career and knowledge within the microbiology industry.
Q: Do you have any interesting stories about interactions with customers or distributors?
A: My favorite interactions with customers and distributors are when they realize they have a relative with the same name as me! My name is not very common (pronounced Kay-Lee), so you are able to make an immediate connection with someone and you can hear the excitement in his or her voice. I have special and funny interactions with customers and distributors daily which is one of the amazing aspects of my job.
Kali has helped write many technical documents for Microbiologics including these blog posts: