MD Anderson Cancer Center - UTHealth
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Mentoring/diversity program a great networking opportunity for Graduate School students

February 01, 2018
Tracey Barnett

When master’s student Jose Ortiz-Vitali was looking for an opportunity to explore the scientific industry field, he approached the Graduate School’s Office of Development for help. There he discovered the Scientist Mentoring & Diversity Program (SMDP) in Biotech, a one-year, career-mentoring program that pairs diverse students and early career researchers with industry mentors who work at medical technology, biotechnology and consumer healthcare companies.

“I had been looking for opportunities like this related to industry careers, so the timing was perfect,” said Ortiz-Vitali.

With help from the career development office and his mentor Radbod Darabi, M.D., Ph.D., Ortiz-Vitali was able to submit an application and was awarded a scholarship to the competitive program, which included a five-day training session in San Diego to learn about career opportunities in industry, career development coaching, and admittance to a major industry conference.

 “The fact that this program pairs you with a mentor that is a part of industry is amazing,” said Ortiz-Vitali. “What I learned from SMDP is that anyone from any background can make it into industry, and diversity is key to bringing together the right minds to push an idea forward. Most importantly, is networking. Industry is all about healthcare and life science on a global scale, so networking is invaluable to not only getting yourself into industry positions, but also within the companies themselves to provide and promote the best product for consumers.”

This year’s SMDP Biotech training session will be held June 2-6 in Boston. Application deadline: Friday, March 23. Click here to apply. If you need assistance with the application or need help finding career development opportunities, please contact Sina Safayi, Ph.D., assistant director of career development.

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