On November 13, 2018, BioMarin in Novato hosted a group of 37 high school girls and took them on a journey to explore what life is like in the cutting-edge biotech industry. The evening started with an introduction by an analytical scientist from Research and Development where she shared her story of how she navigated through an academic career before landing her dream job at BioMarin. The girls then viewed videos of patient stories which helped them appreciate the impact that gene therapies, created by pharmaceutical companies like BioMarin, have on their lives and on the community.
Following the introductory session, the students were taken on a tour of the Manufacturing Department to show them what Quality Labs look like. They also had the opportunity to demo and act out the complex process of entering a “Clean-Room”- this was both funny and intriguing to them as they learned of the effort that goes into maintaining a sterile environment and what it means to protect a drug product.
The evening ended with a panel discussion between the students and a group of eight accomplished women from different departments such as Process Development, Manufacturing Sciences, Technology Development, and Quality Assurance where each panelist shared their personal stories, gave advice on navigating college, and deciding on careers in STEM. The students found the discussion very stimulating and helpful. Some of the key takeaways from the panel were quite inspirational:
“I learned to stay confident and trust myself and I can do whatever I want to! “
“Don’t be scared to take the step you need to take to be successful in life.”
“Many different paths people have taken to get to where they are."
“Never give up on yourself and understand you can do anything.”
Overall, the visit was a great success with most students wanting to attend more events like this in the future.
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