In the GradFUTURES Spotlight series, Princeton graduate students share in their own words about their experiences in one of the GradFUTURES Fellowship programs: the Community College Teaching Fellowship Program, the University Administrative Fellowship Program, or the GradFUTURES Social Impact Fellowship Program.
Where and when did your Fellowship take place?
I received a GradFUTURES Summer Pre-matriculation Fellowships and interned at MilliporeSigma, participating remotely during the summer of 2020.
I am a PhD student in Chemical and Biological Engineering. My research focuses on how bacteria behave in physically complex, viscoelastic environments that are subject to nutrient gradients akin to their natural habitats such as mucus.
What drew you to the GradFUTURES Fellowship and this particular Fellowship?
Prior to starting graduate school, I had never had experience in an industrial biotechnology setting. I chose to participate in the MilliporeSigma internship to gain such experience during an otherwise slow summer of 2020.
Can you share a bit about the Organization and the projects to which you contributed?
I was embedded with the Cell Therapy Processing team within MilliporeSigma. For one of my two projects, I partnered with the research team to perform statistical analysis and design of experiments to optimize the performance of a novel acoustic cell processing platform. For my other project, I collaborated with a product manager to conduct marketing analysis and strategy impact analysis.
How did these experiences help you?
Having projects in both research and development and product management, I was exposed to a broad spectrum of industrial career settings.
Can you share some reflections on the mentorship component of the Fellowship?
I conducted my Summer Pre-matriculation Fellowship on a shortened timeline of just 6 weeks. During that time, I met with each of my direct mentors 1-2x per week and presented my progress to a small team weekly. With all of this team contact, I was able receive consistent and constructive feedback that moved my projects along. I also got to meet with some higher-up managers and hear more about their career paths from academia to industry.
Best advice for Graduate Students considering a Fellowship through GradFUTURES?
GradFUTURES is here to help you! Exploring the many programs and projects they offer are a great way to engage with the professional development resources at Princeton.