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Business of Bioscience/Bioprocessing Student Spotlight - Mona Chughtai
What better example of a business and science hybrid than a KGI MBS student pursuing the business of bioscience and bioprocessing focus tracks? Mona Chughtai shares her experiences this summer working with Percepta Associates as an Associate Data Analyst in Carlsbad, CA.
Inspired by courses in the first year curriculum, Mona eventually found a fit by blending aspects of two focus tracks. As a math major in undergrad, she enjoyed the math that was incorporated into the introductory Bioprocess Engineering Principles course, and decided that bioprocessing focus track would be ideal for blending her interests in math and biotechnology. Bioscience Business Strategy and Introduction to Marketing were two business-focused classes that sparked her interest in the business side of the life sciences industry. By combining these two foci, she hopes to gain a spectrum of proficiencies that will allow her to contribute to various business functions in the life sciences industry.
After opting into one of KGI's resume books put together for companies seeking summer interns familiar with business and science, Mona was able to secure a position with the life sciences supply company. At Percepta, she is able to implement knowledge from her first year in order to create comprehensive market research reports using programs such as Excel and Visual Basic for Percepta to market to interested life science companies. Mona believes that the experiences she had in her first year at KGI set her apart from other candidates that were being considered for the position.
"Casper's course on market assessment and strategy provided me with great preparation for this internship. When I interviewed at Percepta, they were very interested to hear about my marketing project for the Scripps Research Institute."
Mona accepted the position with hopes that the opportunity would allow her to take an active role in conducting primary market research and analysis specific to the bioscience industry. Throughout the course of the summer, her internship experience has led her to consider looking into marketing and strategy opportunities in consulting firms that have a focus on the life science industry. As for future hybrids seeking advice on finding an internship that fits, Mona recommends multiple resume revisions by KGI's career services as well as peers, and stresses the importance of networking early on. She also offers this note of reassurance.
"While I started my internship search once winter break had begun, I did not receive my offer until after the end of second semester. I guess that shows that even if you start applying for internships early on, you may not end up finding something right away. I would advise first-years not to panic because there are always great opportunities that come by late."
By Christina Lai (MBS '11)