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Q&A with Marla Glean, MS Biotech

Headshot of Marla Glean
What is your major, and when are you graduating?

I’m a graduate student pursuing a Master’s in Biotechnology, and I will complete this program by December 2022.

Why did you decide to enroll at Northeastern University and pursue an advanced degree in biotechnology?

While researching graduate schools, Northeastern stood out due to its location in Boston, a hub for the biotechnology industry. The diversity of concentrations was also an appealing aspect because it aids in answering the question, “What can I really do with my degree?” The concentrations depict the versatility of the industry since one can transition to various specialties or even another sector.

The co-op program and the university’s emphasis on experiential learning also aided in my decision to come here.

Tell us about your experience in the program so far.

This is my second semester in the program, and it’s going well. The science courses are comprehensive as they’re filled with many important concepts, that coupled with examples of real-world applications, will prepare me for the next steps in my career. In addition, my lecturers have been very approachable and supportive, contributing to my rich learning experience.

Did a COS faculty or staff member help you excel in this program?

My academic advisor, Christa Dhimo, has been amazing since the first day I spoke to her during orientation. She is very supportive, knowledgeable and gives excellent advice and feedback.

What has been your favorite course in your program? Why?

My favorite course has been “The Biotechnology Enterprise,” which I completed during my first semester. This course emphasized the business side of biotechnology, going beyond the laboratory. It highlighted the processes necessary to bring the biopharmaceutical products to market to meet patients’ needs. At the end of the course, I had a deeper appreciation for the business aspect of the industry. It also helped hone my critical thinking skills, especially while participating in the discussion posts.

How will your MS in applied biotechnology enhance your professional career?

Earning this advanced degree will help equip me with the necessary knowledge and skillset to excel within the industry. The co-op opportunities will allow me to understand various companies and help determine my career path. In addition, this MS degree ensures that I’m well-rounded as I join the network of biotechnology professionals. Finally, it will prepare me for any part of the industry I decide to pursue to improve the lives of others that I have long envisioned. I’m excited to see where this journey leads!

What are your post-graduation plans?

Post-graduation, I hope to gain some more training before returning to my home country to share my knowledge and help advance the biotech industry in the Caribbean and inspire others to pursue a degree in this field.


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