The Presbyterian College Office of Career and Professional Development hosted Science Career Panel last week for chemistry and biology majors to explore their future.
The panel featured science professionals – four of whom are PC alumni – representing a wide variety of manufacturing organizations including automotive, pharmaceuticals, textiles, chemical additives, flooring, and tires.
Kim Lane, director of career development, told students there are many fields open for chemistry and biology majors outside of academia and health care. Reflecting those options were panelists:
- Amy Lindler, director of analytical research and development at Pharmaceutical Associates Inc.
- Halle Price, environmental specialist at BMW Manufacturing
- Alec Turner, a scientist working in product development at Pharmaceutical Associations Inc.
- Blake West ’20, a research and development specialist at Milliken and Co.
- Morgan Rowden-Hash ’17, assistant manager of operations for environmental monitoring at Nephron Pharmaceuticals
- Jade Warnock ’17, research and development microbiology analyst at Nephron Pharmaceuticals
- Maria Whitaker ’15, semi-finished material development engineer at Michelin North America
Lane asked alumni panelists about their experiences at PC that have helped them professionally.
“One of the most valuable things that happened to me at PC was my research,” Blake said. “It helped me get my foot in the door.”
Rowden-Hash said time management is a key to success.
“Managing our time between out classes and jobs – I think that really set us up for success,” she said.
Lane also asked the panel about skills that employers are looking for.
“Enthusiasm,” said Lindler. “That you want to show up for work for this company every day, and you’re enthusiastic about the work you do. It will help you move up in your career.”
Whitaker said teamwork is also important.
“Teamwork was huge,” she said. “You have to be able to work with people who are different from you. You have to be able to adapt and work well together.”
Whitaker also pointed out the importance of internships in career development. As a result of her internship at PC, she accepted a job before commencement.
“That’s the reason I got my job,” she said. “I applied for Michelin’s internship program, and I was surprised to get it. I had a job without having to do a single interview or any search, and I love it.”
West had similar feelings about his internship experience at PC, citing assistance from Lynn Downie in the office of career and professional development.
“She got my internship that started my career,” he said.
The panelists also had advice for uncovering job opportunities. Networking is an important tool for job searching, and panelists pointed out that this event was for PC students to begin building a network.
“I wasn’t even looking for a job; it was really my network that got me this job,” West said. “The network is really important.”