Rahim Merchant

Student Spotlight

Student Spotlight: Rahim Merchant

Place of Residence

Arlington, Massachusetts

Program

Master of Liberal Arts, Biotechnology Management, 2018

Professional Field

Consultant, Integrated Project Management

Prior Education

Bachelor's degree in biotechnology engineering, University of Connecticut
I decided to earn the degree at Harvard Extension while working full time. I could continue to develop my skills in the industry while augmenting the education I was getting and apply it real-time. This allowed me to truly see the benefit of all the exposure and experience I was getting at the Harvard Extension School.

May 2018

Why did you decide to earn a degree at Harvard Extension School?

With a background in biomaterials and as a scientist by training, I was often working in a lab developing products to better the quality of life of patients. With a degree from Harvard Extension, my hope was to further my scientific skills and broaden my exposure into managing these complex projects and ensure that they come to fruition.

I decided to earn the degree at Harvard Extension while working full time. I could continue to develop my skills in the industry while augmenting the education I was getting and apply it real-time. This allowed me to truly see the benefit of all the exposure and experience I was getting at the Harvard Extension School.

How has this experience helped you in your career or personal development?

This experience will help me in my career by giving me tools and skills to be an effective manager and continue to develop meaningful treatments for humanity. The most gratification I get is when I can see how my work has impacted the quality of life of a patient. My goal as an effective manager is to ensure that my team never loses sight of that goal.

What types of student resources and special options did you take advantage of as a student at Harvard?

I very often took advantage of the Harvard Library resources and especially the Hollis system. I was able to find many articles to aid me through the Harvard Extension program. Even if Harvard didn’t have a specific article I wanted, they made sure to go out, find the article, and deliver it to me in just a few days...impressive!

Do you have a favorite class or faculty member?

Donald Kirsch was my favorite faculty member in the program. He brought a significant amount of industry experience, clearly articulating the challenges in the industry and various management and leadership styles that worked well. He was able to bring insight from various organizational structures and cultures.

Do you have any advice for new students?

Be sure to take advantage of all the opportunities and do not rush through the experience. The time at the Harvard Extension School goes by a lot faster than one can imagine, so make sure to truly enjoy all you can as you go through it.

Describe your Extension School experience in one word.

Metamorphic.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Note: Harvard Extension School no longer offers a graduate degree in the field of Biotechnology Management. 

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