Production Chemist in the Blood Products Department at Sigma –Aldrich Corporation in St. Louis. My position entails isolating and purifying proteins from a variety of sources using natural extraction techniques. I start with a wide range of raw materials and purify my protein of interest using various types of chromatography and filtration. When I am not directly processing a product, much of my time is spent assaying materials in an analytical lab environment. My department produces more than 100 different types of products providing a great deal of diversity from day to day.
I’ve had an innate interest in science since I was a child so when it was time to consider colleges/universities, the most important aspect for me was scientific resources. Mizzou’s professors, labs and equipment provided me with a top-tier education that made me the scientist that I am today. As a Mizzou science major, you get a great deal of exposure to a wide range of processes that future employers are looking for in an ideal candidate.
The biochemistry curriculum at Mizzou is challenging, but it allows you to distinguish yourself from other majors and candidates. My professors not only required comprehension of the material but also the ability to apply that knowledge in a variety of situations. I was thoroughly prepared for my position today, and the concepts that I learned over the course of my degree continue to re-emerge.
Overcoming the Biggest Challenge:
The biggest challenge I faced at Mizzou was the difficulty and complexity of the classes. The cost of higher education is consistently increasing. Therefore, it is important to major in a degree that challenges your true capabilities. A great deal of time, effort and discipline are required to graduate with a degree in biochemistry, but I can assure you that the rewards will pay off in the end.
Many biochemistry majors are unaware of the opportunities that are available to them within industry with a B.S. degree in Biochemistry. Mizzou was able to organize multiple opportunities that allowed me to meet with biotechnology companies in my area and begin to assess those companies that I would be most inclined to work for. I would advise any student to take full advantage of the networking connections that are available through Mizzou to get a head start on your postgraduate employment.
I truly enjoy my position within production at Sigma Aldrich and anticipate a long career within the corporation. It’s incredibly rewarding to be surrounded by a group of people who share my inspiration and curiosity for scientific discovery. Eventually I hope to transition into recombinant protein expression or research and development in order to expand my experience within different areas of the company.