At Riffyn, we are proud that our customers see us as scientific partners. That’s because our mission is to help solve their deepest process and data challenges, and to deliver transformative long-term value. That commitment starts with people who care.
In our “Riffyn Spotlights” blog series, we’re giving you the chance to get to know the people of Riffyn that make our mission real. Today, we talk with Marketing Communications Specialist Embriette Hyde about her past as a research scientist, why she started writing, and her thoughts on selfishness. Please note that answers have been edited for clarity.
Q: What is your greatest success story for helping a Riffyn customer?
A: My greatest success story actually predates my current long-term contract with Riffyn. Tim [Gardner, CEO] reached out to me after I had written an article about Riffyn for the SynBioBeta newsletter. He asked if I’d be interested in writing a case study for Novozymes, a Riffyn customer that had recently achieved some pretty cool things with Riffyn being a key (but not the sole) component to their success. I travelled to Novozymes’ offices in North Carolina, interviewed a lot of people, and wrote up the story. That case study has been used a lot by Riffyn since, and I know it’s gone to several prospective customers. I’m really proud that I was able to produce that.
Q: What is your background -- what did you do before joining Riffyn?
A: I am a PhD-trained research scientist-turned science writer. I actually did both my doctoral and postdoctoral work on the subject of the human microbiome. I was managing a citizen science research project and realized just how bad of a job we — scientists AND science journalists — are doing at helping the general public understand science. It leads to a lot of hype and also mistrust in science. I decided to quit academia to become a freelance science writer and try to tackle this problem. It was a terrifying decision, and a lot of people judged me for it. They said I was wasting my PhD and that I could make a bigger impact on the world in the laboratory. I’m glad I didn’t listen to them. I’m happier than ever and I think the world is realizing the true power and influence of the written word.
Q: Why did you decide to join Riffyn?
A: When I first learned about Riffyn Nexus, I wished I had had it available to me during my own scientific research endeavors. I love that the team is seeking to solve a problem scientists have recognized for years but no one has been bold enough to try to solve. It’s going to affect so many things because it can be used by literally any field — not just biopharma or industrial biotech. They’re clear about their mission and they are actually working toward that mission each and every day. Riffyn’s an organization I can be proud to be associated with.
Q: Describe Riffyn in three words.
A: Innovative. Passionate. Honest.
Q: What personal values do you get to fulfill through your work?
A: I get to write real things for people. Sometimes when you work for clients, you have to adjust your writing to fit their agenda. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — of course companies need to “advertise” themselves. But it’s so refreshing to be able to write things like they are and not sugar coat them or eliminate another point of view because it comes from a competitor. It adds authenticity and makes people trust you more. I think that’s why so many look to Riffyn as not just a company selling a service, but as a group of real-live people that actually want to partner with them and help them.
Q: What does “a day in the life of Embriette” look like?
A: I love freelancing because it gives me the freedom to organize my day how I like it. I also have other clients, so my work isn’t just Riffyn. Typically I’ll wake up around 6:30 and begin my day with some light housework and personal time before jumping into work. I’ll address all Riffyn-related tasks first, and if I am working on something for another client I’ll save that for the afternoon. For Riffyn, I write and publish most of the social media posts as well as blog posts, but I also help with behind-the-scenes marketing tasks; for example, working with our web designer to create pdf templates for case studies or organizing our blog posts by topic so we can develop an improved topical search function for our readers.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
A: Right now I’m focusing on competing in CrossFit so I spend a lot of my free time training. Most days I do a morning session that lasts 1-2 hours, and an evening session that lasts 2-3 hours, so I squish my working hours around that. I also have two high-energy dogs so I make sure I take them for a walk every day. I also love to ride my motorcycle. My husband and I recently started riding on the track, which I quite enjoy — it’s much less stressful when you don’t have to avoid people on the road not paying attention (and can go as fast as you want without getting a ticket!).
Q: If you could solve one major problem, what would it be and why?
A: Selfishness. It really bothers me when I see innocent people being hurt because someone else was too enclosed in their own bubble. I don’t believe most people do it on purpose — I think it’s just how we are. We aren’t taught anymore to put ourselves in others’ shoes, or to consider the consequences of our actions that might affect other people. We need to get back to real, old fashioned human interactions and that includes being cognizant of others’ feelings and how what we say and do might affect them. A lot of problems could be solved if we all remembered it’s not all about us and had a heart to serve rather than a desire to be served.
If you're interested in joining a dynamic group of people passionate about helping scientists discover more, please visit our Careers page at riffyn.com/careers or send a letter of inquiry to email@example.com