For the fifth straight year, graduates and friends of BMB returned to campus this fall to share career advice with current students in the department’s Real-World Biochemistry and Molecular Biology course (Biochem 394RI). With thoughtfulness and humor, the ever-popular guest speakers provide students with lessons learned, insight into a diversity of fields, and an overview of the sometimes unexpected career paths that can unfold following graduation.
Here are some highlights:
- As the first guest speaker of this fall semester, Dr. Nessim Watson (of UMass Career Services and a Certified Professional Résumé Writer) discussed strategies for presenting oneself professionally, from résumés to personal statements.
- Having recently earned their Bachelor’s degrees from BMB, Ruby Chiang (now at Sanofi-Genzyme), Ankit Gandhi, M.S. (inviCRO), Matthew Johnson (EMD Millipore), and Jayson Stoner (EMD Millipore) shared their experiences looking for jobs, interviewing, and working in the Boston area.
- Dr. Bruce Abedon (NutraGenesis), who graduated from the department in 1987, described his journey from Ph.D. training in plant genetics to his current position at a nutraceutical company.
- Dr. Brad Pearse (Magenta Therapeutics) earned his Ph.D. from Dr. Dan Hebert’s lab and discussed his work on antibody-based drug design.
- Fortunately for us, Patrick O’Neill, M.S., M.B.A., and Dan Wagner, M.H.S., M.B.A., (both of Connecticut Innovations) connected with BMB through a networking event; they shared their perspective as venture capitalists with scientifically-focused portfolios.
- Dr. Lisa Rapp (a BMB graduate who is now the Biotechnology Program Chair at Springfield Technical Community College) and Dr. Becky Miller (a current BMB faculty member) communicated their passion for teaching.
Several of our guest speakers are return visitors, and the following individuals have also generously donated their time during previous semesters: Pan Du, A.L.M.; Dr. Julia Dvorko, M.B.A.; Donna Falcetti, M.B.A.; Kevin Magalhaes; Dr. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan; Dr. Dmitry Samarsky; Dr. Larry Shumway, J.D.; and Dr. Donna Beer Stolz. Thank you!
Guest speakers bring the richness of their experiences to the course. Reflecting the value of these visits, a recent student noted, “I really appreciated the seminars and speakers!” In fact, after completing the Real-World Biochemistry and Molecular Biology course this fall, over three-quarters of students surveyed reported that they had found presentations from the guest speakers to be “very helpful” (55%) or “helpful” (22%) to their professional development.
We thank all of you for your willingness to support our current students as they, too, begin to pursue rewarding careers!