Following last year’s successful event, BCLA hosted a Biotech Career Workshop for the BUGS (Bridge Undergraduate Science) program organized by our core sponsor, The Bridge Institute at USC. We organized a Career Workshop where we invited three speakers from entirely different educational backgrounds to give the high school and undergraduate students insight into their career paths. In the introductory remarks BCLA’s Development Lead, Hammond Sun, emphasized the importance of being aware of the options and requirements for different career paths in the scientific field. He went on to introduce our speakers, Marie Rippen, Angel Gonzalez, and Arthela Osorio and promptly gave the stage to Marie, CEO of Lab Launch.
As a child, her dream job was to become a dolphin trainer, a vision that evolved over time to studying core science subjects in middle and high school. She decided to acknowledge her interest in the sciences by getting a B.S. degree from CSU Long Beach and a PhD from USC, after which she started working at Lab Launch and is now the CEO of the organization. Intrigued by her journey, the BUGS students asked a plethora of questions and engaged in a discussion about the differences between academia and industry. In addition, Marie answered questions on what should students do in the early years of their career to make sure they stand out from the crowd and achieve their personal and professional goals – Marie’s’ advice was to engage in internships, networking and extracurricular activities. Next up, BCLA Social Media Associate Angel Gonzalez gave some insight into his job as a Microbiomics Researcher at Zymo. He explained how his background in biochemistry with a minor in bioinformatics helped him in his career, but placed emphasis on the importance of soft skills in the work environment. Angel also mentioned how important it is to be aware of the current trends of the workspace and which fields in sciences are growing in demand to establish a successful career in the future with plenty options to choose from, something which he by pursuing an interdisciplinary degree. Lastly, Arthela Osorio from ThermoFisher Scientific talked about her job as a Technical Applications Specialist, her day-to-day job activities and roles and responsibilities. Arthela also gave a list of resources which helped her in her career and informed the students about opportunities available at her company.
We wish all the BUGS students the best of luck in their careers and hope the workshop was helpful!