Undergraduate researchers get career guidance in summer symposium

Organized by the Brandeis Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, the event brought students together with alumni, faculty and staff

Photo/Mike Lovett

Undergraduate students at Brandeis this summer working on research projects recently spent a day hearing from university alumni and faculty, who showed them their own paths to becoming scientists.

The Summer Undergraduate Symposium on June 25, organized by the Brandeis Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, featured seminars with university faculty and staff, and a speed networking event, where groups of students shifted around tables in the Shapiro Science Center atrium to chat with alumni now active in scientific research.

"It is powerful to see students identify with potential role models," said Anique J. Olivier-Mason, director of education for Brandeis MRSEC. "It's important for them to see themselves as scientists in the future."

Leonard Grazian '17, who is studying physics, mathematics and computer science, said he was encouraged to find out how many different types of skills are desired by companies in scientific research.

"It was interesting to hear about all the avenues that can be taken and the diversity of skills in demand," he said.

For the symposium's guests, the event was an opportunity to give back.

"I wish I had something like this when I was an undergrad," said Daniel Ferullo PhD '09, who is a Senior Research Scientist at the bioengineering company EnBiotix. "It's neat to hear what the students are thinking about."

"I love doing this, these kinds of things can help people find their way," said Vince Panzano PhD ‘13, who is now director of quality assurance at Allurion Technologies. "And who knows -- maybe one will be my boss some day."

The symposium was the first of two events this summer for undergraduate students focused on scientific research. The second is Brandeis Summer SciFest, which will be held July 30.

Categories: Alumni, Research, Science and Technology, Student Life

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