Advice from a Biotechnology Graduate

Student Success Story

David Anderson

Master of Liberal Arts, Biotechnology Management Degree '12

Anderson, who worked at Pfizer as a talent acquisition manager while he earned a degree, encourages all graduate students at the Extension School to take advantage of advising, resources, and student networks.

What did you gain while studying at the Extension School?

One thing I always highlight to potential candidates is the network you develop. I now have a much deeper network of industry professionals. There are also Linkedin groups and members of one of the engineering classes I took get together once in a while. It helps us maintain a strong connection in the biotechnology field.

What is your advice to people who are beginning one of the biotechnology graduate programs?

Time management is critical, and it’s almost never too early to start thinking about your thesis. I found the thesis the most challenging and most rewarding part of my degree.

I honestly didn’t do a good job with time management. In fact, I almost ran out of time with my thesis. It’s hard to juggle your personal responsibilities with schoolwork, and I worked full-time while completing my degree, so time management is key.

Students should remember to work with the Extension School staff. They are very accommodating. It can be intimidating to walk on to the Harvard campus, but if you go in with a positive and can-do attitude, it will help you.

 I got to work with like-minded scientists and evaluate publications. It was very engaging, and I became friends with some of my classmates.

What experience at Extension was particularly memorable?

The proseminar was a really good experience, and it was at the beginning of my time at Extension. I got to work with like-minded scientists and evaluate publications. It was very engaging, and I became friends with some of my classmates.

What does it mean to you to have a degree from Harvard Extension School?

... now I’ve been able to apply the skills I’ve learned in class at my job. It’s definitely made me more successful.

I like the Extension’s mission of outreach to the community, and it’s very rewarding to be part of the Harvard name.

The degree has made me a more well-rounded professional in the industry. I didn’t focus on my business classes when I was an undergraduate. But now I’ve been able to apply the skills I’ve learned in class at my job. It’s definitely made me more successful.

What’s one thing students should take advantage of while here?

I didn't have an appreciation for the resources Harvard Extension School could provide before I began my time here. I quickly became impressed by the amount of opportunities available. The libraries, professors, and staff of the Extension School have all been valuable to me during my education.

The depth of the program continues to impress me as well. And now that I’ve graduated I hope to make it a lifelong mission to stay connected with Extension. It isn’t the end, but it’s the start of a new relationship with the Extension School.

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