Research Scientist, Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Can you describe your career path and how it has led to your current work?

As an undergraduate student I was employed at my college as a student assistant in the lab stockroom where I was required to set up the teaching labs for biology and chemistry courses. I actually found this job very rewarding since I was able to apply some of the concepts I was learning in the classroom. After college, I spent one year working as a Research Assistant at a biotech company where I developed several lab skills that were extremely helpful in graduate school. Additionally, having worked as an instructor for an after-school program for elementary students where I coached students on basic scientific concepts, has taught me how to explain complex ideas in a simple way. I believe each of these experiences has allowed me to learn and develop the necessary technical skills for graduate school and my current work.

What skills from your Brandeis degree have you found most valuable in your current work?

Aside from all of the excellent training I received as a graduate student in the labs of Sue Paradis and Avi Rodal, Brandeis truly produces exceptional communicators. A significant part of my current role requires that I interact cross-functionally between different teams and I believe that Brandeis has equipped me with the proper skills to do that successfully.

What services and/or resources did you use while at Brandeis for your career search?

About six months before graduating, I met with the program administrator for the MCB department who served as an Advisor on the Career Development for the Sciences Committee. We would go over my resume and cover letters together and tailor them to specific job postings that I was interested in. About two months before graduating, I reached out to the Brandeis Center for Career Development where we looked over my resume and discussed other approaches to finding a job. Additionally, I also spent a significant amount of time on LinkedIn, discussing career paths with professors, and reaching out to friends for their advice.

What advice do you have for current students as they embark on their job search?

I would suggest students focus their efforts in honing their skills which will make them into competitive applicants.