biotech lunch and learn studentsOn April 26, 2017, the Center for Career and Workforce Programs partnered with Skyline College’s Biotechnology Department in hosting a special “Lunch and Learn” session to engage Skyline College students beyond the classroom to learn about the many innovative and high-wage career opportunities first-hand from industry.  Andrea Vizenor, Director for the Center for Career and Workforce Programs, invited author Toby Freedman as the special guest speaker. Freedman is a life science recruiter and career development expert.  She is president of Synapsis Search, a company focused on research and development and business recruiting for small and emerging life science companies.

Freedman facilitated a career conversation on the life science industry and shared an overview of her book “Career Opportunities in Biotechnology and Drug Development”. This book is an essential guide for science graduates and medical, business, legal, high tech or engineering pathway students.

In this session Freedman provided a comprehensive day-to-day look of the industry and her systematic overview of careers ranging from services, research and development (R&D), operations, and commercial operations – showing students that there are more careers in the biotechnology and drug development industry beyond lab work and research. In addition, Freedman spoke on workforce readiness skills necessary to successfully enter careers in this industry such as educational requirements, soft skills and resume and job search advice.  Exciting topics also discussed included biotechnology and drug development resources, salary and compensation, trends, and potential career paths beginning with entry-level jobs and beyond.

The “Lunch and Learn” participants consisted of students currently enrolled in biotechnology courses along with other life sciences students. Those who attended also had the opportunity to participate in a book signing, network and receive personal advice with Freedman.  Students were highly engaged and excited with the opportunity to build their network and gain such valuable insight.

A special thank you to Professors Dr. Nick Kapp and Dr. Kevin Davis for their efforts in recruiting students to attend and the guidance and support they provide students as they look to approach the workforce and their transfer options in the Biotechnology field.

Additional sessions will follow to expand the support students receive in resume writing, internship opportunities and job placement.

For more information about this event please contact Andrea Vizenor, Director for Career and Workforce Programs, at

Article by Elizabeth Taban | Photos by Claudia Paz