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Business of Bioscience Alumni Spotlight - Chivas Wakuta
A professional science masters program that boasts a curriculum of business and science coursework sounds glamorous but what kinds of biotech job opportunities await KGI students after graduation? Chivas Wakuta, a recent graduate with the class of 2010 shares how he leveraged his focus on the Business of Bioscience to acquire a position with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in Tarrytown, NY.
Tired of sore hands from pipetting all day, Chivas turned his interest to the business side of industry. In his time at KGI, Chivas was heavily involved in student government and worked as an Admissions Graduate Assistant while maintaining a balance with his recreational interests in film club, international food club, and the rock climbing club. Upon graduation, he was able to obtain a Project Associate position in Program and Portfolio Planning with the life sciences company where he interned the summer before his second year. Chivas credits his experiences and networking opportunities during his time at KGI with his post-graduation success.
"At KGI, I was taught to look at the big picture, and not just the science, which is what program management is about. [What I've learned at KGI] has made for some amazing conversations I've had with others in the company. Having this knowledge base has opened up a lot of networking opportunities within the company."
As a proud Regeneron employee, Chivas has no plans of ever leaving the company during his career development. However, he is considering the prospect of moving across business units internally to obtain expertise in various fields as he gains further industry knowledge and establishes his career in the pharmaceutical industry. For the upcoming second-years, incoming first-years, and anyone seeking a career in the biotech industry, Chivas offers this piece of advice.
"Don't ever forget the science! It's what this industry's based on, so don't think that moving into the administrative side will require less scientific involvement/knowledge."
By Christina Lai (MBS '11)