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Hands-on training provides skills employers are looking for

Karleigh McEwen
Bioscience Technology 2017
Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology 2019

If you know that you need a post-secondary education but aren’t sure what you would like to study, follow Karleigh McEwen’s advice and ask lots of questions.

“I would encourage anyone looking to find their career to do lots of research and ask as many questions as they can,” she said. Spoken like a true scientist, which is probably why Karleigh was interested in the Bioscience Technology program at Holland College.

“As a high school student, I was always interested in the sciences and scientific research. The bioscience industry had recently begun to grow on the Island and was being showcased in the media more frequently. My interest and initial attraction were sparked by reading about the companies.

“Holland College was not my first choice, but after gathering information on what employers would be looking for in a new hire, I decided it would be the perfect fit because of the smaller class sizes, hands on experience, and on the job training.”

Now Karleigh is a process development lab technician for BioVectra Inc., a contract development and manufacturing organization that specializes in manufacturing active pharmaceutical ingredients and intermediates for pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

“I assist senior staff members with research and development projects. This involves performing various lab scale experiments and purifications using many different techniques. The group I work in was very welcoming. They have made my first full-time job fun and enjoyable. They also readily share their knowledge with me. I’ve learned a lot from them in my short time with the company.”

Holland College and UPEI offer a joint Bachelor of Science degree, which Karleigh decided to pursue. The technical lab-based content is covered at Holland College in the Bioscience Technology diploma program while UPEI covers the theory.

It was the perfect blend for Karleigh. She was offered a position with Biovectra just a few days before her graduation from UPEI.

“The Bioscience Technology program provided valuable hands on experience that complimented my two years of academic study at UPEI very well. I do not think that I would have been as strong a candidate for jobs without the hands-on experience and on the job training that I received at Holland College,” she said.


For more information, please contact:
Sara Underwood, Media and Communications Officer
Tel: 902-566-9695
Date: March 05, 2020