On February 11, 2017, several female leaders from the biotech industry volunteered at WIB-Southern California’s Young Women In Bio Jr. Mentoring Event through the BE WiSE (Better Education for Women in Science and Engineering) program. BE WiSE is open to middle and high school girls interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning experiences through out-of-school activities. BE WiSE events are organized in collaboration with San Diego County’s research, industry, and academic institutions to increase young women’s opportunities and knowledge of STEM fields of study.
During this YWIB event, professional volunteers representing areas of the biotech industry including drug discovery, clinical development, regulatory affairs, human resources, and legal affairs shared their educational backgrounds, work experience, current responsibilities, and daily work routine with about 20 BE WiSE participants.
After Barbara Troupin gave an informative introduction on drug discovery, volunteers broke into groups based on their job function. This arrangement enabled students to ask volunteers questions about topics such as internship opportunities and courses of study for them to follow now to prepare for science careers. Internships at local biotech companies for high schoolers are uncommon, as they are offered mainly to college students. However, educational and networking events like those provided by BE WiSE and YWIB allow students to better prepare for science careers and meet people who could help them “get their foot in the door.”