A year ago, in January of 2022, I was sitting in my last semester of classes and labs of my undergrad thinking “what am I going to do for the rest of my life?”. I had just spent the past 3.5 years pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry with a semester left. Growing up I wanted to be a pharmacist like my grandpa and maybe even start my own pharmacy like he did. I remember making a presentation in 5th grade about my future career, proudly telling my classmates about what pharmacists did and how they helped people. I loved the idea of helping people, while being more in the “background” and not being the doctor who first sees patients and prescribes them medications. I could be more on the side, dispensing medications while still being an influential part in people’s lives.
Fast forward to my college years, I worked as a pharmacy technician at my local pharmacy through the end of my junior year of college into my senior year. I enjoyed learning all I could about medications, prescriptions, patient interactions, etc, but I did not feel the calling I did as a 11-year-old girl who visited her grandpa at his store. Thus, bringing me to my “what the heck am I going to do with my life” quarter life crisis as a 21-year-old almost-graduate. I knew that if I wasn’t going to pharmacy school, I would have to pursue either more education or work a job in the “industry”, if I wanted a job related to my major. When I thought of “industry” in the science world, I imagined sitting at a lab bench, doing the exact same thing, day in and day out, with no room for creativity or learning.
Luckily, my research advisor introduced me to a connection that was cofounding a startup CRO in Peoria, IL, only an hour from my hometown. I was hesitant at first, imagining the years of lack of creativity and uniqueness I was signing myself for. Once doing some research, aka googling questions such as “what is a CRO?” and “what is bioanalysis?”, as well as looking through the website, I quickly learned that this startup did much more than the same mundane tasks I was imagining. I learned that this company was an essential part in the drug development process and aiding in getting new medications to patients faster. My weariness turned into excitement as I learned the possibility of having a job that 1.) was related to my degree that didn’t require more than a bachelor’s 2.) dealt with the science of pharmaceutical drugs and medications which I was interested in and 3.) was a crucial business in helping people get medications faster, aka being behind the scenes helping real people, which was my dream. It seemed too good to be true. I interviewed, met the team, and was welcomed in as an associate scientist at Veloxity Labs in July of 2022. I learned very quickly that my worries had been untrue as Veloxity was anything from mundane and boring. Working at a CRO, the basis of work is similar but there are so many different things that make each day different. From working with different compounds, matrices, instrument conditions, methods, assay steps, clients, projects, and regulatory status, no 2 days are alike.
Fast forward 6 months later, I am so grateful that I took the step to join Veloxity. Not only have I joined a company that has decades of experience, but I joined a team that is constantly striving to improve their processes and increase efficiency, staying away from the “we’ve always done it this way” mindset. At Veloxity, every person’s ideas matter, whether you have decades of experience or a few weeks.
All in all, my piece of advice to any student graduating soon and wondering what they are going to do as a career is to take the risk. Try it out, you never know what might happen.
If you are interested in a career at Veloxity Labs please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I would be happy to chat with you! Visit our website veloxitylabs.com to learn more about our team!
Associate Scientist 1