Lite YangResearch Assistant II, Harvard Medical School

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

The very first course I took at Brandeis for my Master’s program in Biotechnology was BIOL101A, which piqued my interest in computational biology. I was determined to further my career in the field after conducting a research project with Dr. Stephen Van Hooser in my second year.  Upon graduating, I joined a neurobiology lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and have been working as a research assistant since that time. In this role I translate the experimental and computational skills I learned during my Master’s program and apply them to investigate the genetic traits and epigenetic characteristics involved in painful conditions.

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

As an international student, I initially was intimidated by the job search process. I reached out to the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) in my last semester before graduating and had appointments with them throughout that semester. The staff at CCPD were incredibly helpful. They walked me through the whole process of a job search, interview, and onboarding, assisted with my resume and cover letters, and prepared me well for interviews. The support I received gave me the confidence I needed to face the job search process.

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

The most valuable skill that I use in my current work is coding. I deal with large-scale genomic data at work; coding makes the data analysis much more efficient and scalable. Brandeis offers a variety of courses that allows students to learn to code and to apply it to solve complex biological questions.

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

Expand your network ahead of time and start your job search as early as possible!