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MassBay Biotech Student Lands Lab Position

After Karoll Montalvan Palma of Bellingham, Mass., graduated from Brookline High School in 2015, she decided to take some time away from school before continuing her education, so she joined the workforce. “In 2017, I enlisted in the United States Army Reserves while working in different healthcare-related jobs. I discovered I liked working in the healthcare setting, and biotech research piqued my interest. I found MassBay’s biotechnology program and thought this would be a good starting point into the industry, so I decided to enroll,” said Karoll.

In the fall of 2021, Karoll dove into her studies in biotech and biomanufacturing and enjoyed her classes. “I worked full-time at a lab in Westborough while taking classes part-time. Those experiences sparked me to continue laboratory work as a career. With the encouragement of Professor Nirmal Singh in MassBay’s biotech program and assistance from Brenda Egan in the STEM department, I applied to work as a lab tech at Azenta Life Sciences in Cambridge. I was hired in May 2022 and have been working on genetics sequencing. It has been an amazing experience. I can’t believe I’m already working in the biotech field. Working in the lab has taught me so much and I’m able to understand my lab assignments quickly due to what I learned in Professor Singh’s biotechnology classes. In turn, my lab work will help me prepare and be knowledgeable in my classes. I feel as if I’m on the right career track,” Karoll added.

Karoll participated in MassBay’s STEM Mentor Program, which paired her with a local biotechnology professional for career direction and advice. 

Karoll is scheduled to graduate from MassBay in May 2023 with an Associate of Science degree in Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing. Her goals include transferring to a four-year university to earn a bachelor’s degree.

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