Tell us a little bit about the work that you are currently doing.
I’m a first year Translational Science PhD student working in the DiGiovanni lab. My dissertation project has not been fully decided yet, but I’m really interested in personalized medicine and my research will revolve around elucidating the mechanisms of cancer and seeing how modulating the underlying pathways impacts disease state.
Why did you decide to get this MAS degree?
I had been working in the biotech/pharma industry for a few years and knew I wanted to continue my education. My undergraduate degree was in Molecular & Cell Biology and I thought it would be beneficial to get a Master’s degree in a slightly different discipline. I was intrigued by the objectives and curriculum of the program and thought it could open up new opportunities for me. The fact that this program was designed for students who were working full time so I didn’t have to put my career on pause was definitely a factor in my decision to apply.
What did you like best about the program?
I appreciated the small class sizes because it helped me to make meaningful connections with my professors, guest lecturers and classmates. My cohort had a very diverse group of students with different professional backgrounds and it was really interesting to hear their perspectives on various issues. Working in the pharmaceutical industry while attending this program was an added bonus because it gave me the opportunity to see the concepts taught in class be applied in a real world setting.
What skills are you using that you learned in the program?
Project management skills, interpersonal skills, risk management… the list goes on! I’ve honestly drawn upon something I learned from every course while I was still working in industry.
How did you (or do you plan to) leverage the program to further your career?
While I was attending this program I was working at a small pharmaceutical company that was starting a phase 2 clinical trial. Because of this program, I was offered the role of the unblinded representative for a phase 2 clinical trial they were initiating. I impressed them enough on that trial to be offered the role again for a clinical trial investigating a potential treatment for COVID-19. Now I have some clinical trial management experience under my belt, which could open up other opportunities for me in the future. Through this program, I gained valuable insight into the complexities of drug development, FDA regulations and post marketing challenges and I can’t wait to finish my PhD and get back into industry to put it all to good use!
What would you like to tell someone who is considering the program?
Take advantage of all that this program has to offer! You get out what you put in, and time management is a key piece in being successful in this program. It’s hard work but it’s totally worth it!