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NIIMBL eXperience Introduces Students to Careers in Biopharma


Last month, five budding scientists explored first-hand the variety of career options in the biopharmaceutical industry through the inaugural NIIMBL eXperience.


Developed in partnership with the National Society of Black Engineers, the NIIMBL eXperience is a week-long immersion program designed to introduce underrepresented freshman students to career possibilities in the biopharmaceutical industry.


Laurryn Sells (Howard University), Ameenah Jackson, Aliyah Ford (Delaware State University), Sadie Doublin (Florida A&M), and Uzochi Uwazuruonye-Anyanwu (University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth) made up the first cohort of eXperience students. From June 10 – 14, 2019, the group traveled to a different host site each day for facility tours, presentations on biopharmaceutical careers, and conversations with employees. Students were selected for the program through a competitive application process.


Each stop offered a new and exciting perspective thanks to the enthusiasm of the hosts. The week kicked off at RoosterBio, where students learned how study abroad programs could prove valuable should they decide to pursue a biopharma career. The students also visited large manufacturers AstraZeneca and Amgen where they toured labs and facilities and gained an appreciation for the large scale manufacturing of biopharmaceutical products. They also spent time at Merck, where they learned about the company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. Not only did the students explore companies but they also visited NIST to gain a sense for how federal scientists play a role in bringing life-saving medicines to patients.


The eXperience was not limited to biopharmaceutical careers. The student also took part in a personal branding workshop led by Arthur Edge, Director of the Healthcare Innovation Special Interest Group at the National Society of Black Engineers and Technology Manager at GlaxoSmithKline. The workshop helped students develop a personal branding statement and practice its execution to potential employers, a skill that will serve the students well in any professional endeavor.


The eXperience program is a prime example of NIIMBL’s commitment to cultivate the next generation biopharmaceutical workforce through education and outreach programs.


Thanks to the tremendous success of the first eXperience, plans are already in the works for the 2020 NIIMBL eXperience. Keep your eye on NIIMBL’s website and social media channels for details this fall.


Is your company interested in being a host? Contact Kathie Young, NIIMBL Workforce Committee Coordinator, at

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