How did you get your current job? -and/or- Why did you choose this graduate program?:
After graduating from Messiah, I started looking for employment in biotech. I eventually got into contact with a few recruiters in the area, with their help I found some openings in an area that fit my background and interests. I applied to and eventually accepted a temp position in R&D at Lonza. After working as a temp for a few months, I was brought on as a full time Lonza employee.
What does your typical day look like- what responsibilities do you have?:
I work in an R&D group doing product development for endotoxin detection assays and associated products. On any given day I am likely planning experiments for execution, or in the lab executing those experiments. When not planning and/or in the lab I am most likely analyzing the results from past experiments and preparing presentations/summarizing conclusions. I'm currently working on new endotoxin detection products; my colleagues and I are responsible for the complete development of that product from concept up until the point it is transferred to manufacturing. A significant part of this is defining all critical product parameters and collecting data to support them or creating methods of meeting those parameters.
Why did you choose this degree at Messiah College?:
I chose biochemistry as a high school student simply because I was interested in both biology and chemistry and no other major offered the specific combination of courses I wished to take.
How did your Messiah College degree prepare you for this career?:
The opportunity I had to work with a professor my Junior and Senior year on research projects was immensely critical in my securing an R&D job in industry. In my coursework, being taught to think scientifically has been important and is a skill I use on a daily basis. In upper level chemistry and biochemistry courses where the students had more freedom over the small details of the lab portion of the class was also important and helped to reinforce both that critical thinking ability as well as course material.
Is there any specific advice you would offer someone pursuing or considering this degree?:
Take advantage of any opportunity you have to work in lab. If your professor has office hours, go and ask questions.