Ghislaine entered the Biomedical Scholars track of the Master’s Degree program as a stepping stone between the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. While working full-time as a Research and Development Technician at Infineum, Cruz earned a concentration in Pharmacological Sciences which she credits for preparing her for position as an Associate Scientist at Pfizer. The fundamental MBS courses provided her a strong, broad base from which she used the electives to dive deeper into pharmacokinetics and dynamics, drug development, clinical trials, and regulation. In Cruz’s own words “I loved the electives. They were very valuable”. Cruz also added that the education gained during the MBS has helped in opening doors into different areas within the pharmaceutical industry. With the breadth and depth of knowledge gained from the core course, laboratory rotations, and electives, Cruz is able to engage in a large variety of discussions at her position in Pfizer.
In addition to academics, Cruz urged that the student organization, Alliance for Career Advancement (ACA) was critical to her successful transition into pharma. The ACA hosts events exposing graduate students to a wide array of biomedical career paths. Through these events and the extensive network of Rutgers alumni, Cruz learned about various companies and roles in pharma and eventually connected with an alumnus working at Pfizer. This connection unlocked an opportunity to interview for her position at Pfizer and showcase her expertise. “I’ve found that networking is extremely important in finding a job in the field you want”, says Cruz. “It’s hard to stand-out in a pile of 100 cover letters. Networking through the ACA helped me be seen.”
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