Delaware / Education

DelawareBio, UD alumni association band together to keep grads in the First State

Early networking could be key to keeping more Delaware grad students in the state once they have their degrees.

Jamie Pedrick (left), Michael Clupper and Nicole Flynn. (Photo by Holly Quinn)

University of Delaware’s Biology Grad Student Association (BGSA) and the DelawareBio Association are collaborating for a month-long series of events, collectively called Network to Success, designed to encourage local graduate students to stay and work in Delaware.

“BGSA holds a yearly career symposium,” said Michael Clupper, Vice President of the student-run organization. “We were looking to do it better, and tap into local resources.”

A meeting with Connect Delaware founder Kevin Cameron at a networking event led BGSA to get connected with DelawareBio, a member-based life sciences organization based in Avenue North (formerly the Astra-Zeneca campus) on Concord Pike in Wilmington.

The series, designed specifically for life science graduate students at UD, Delaware Tech, Wilmington University and Wesley College, includes four events:

  • January 16: Network to Success Boot Camp, 6-8 p.m. at UD’s Gore Hall.
  • January 23: BioBreakfast, 7:30-9:30 a.m. at UD’s STAR Campus.
  • February 4: Graduate Networking Forum (formerly the Career Symposium), 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. at UD’s Trabant Hall.
  • February 20: Science & Technology Career Fair, 3:30-6:30 p.m. at the Executive Banquet Center in Newark.

“We really want graduate students to change their way of thinking,” said Clupper. “Networking should start early — in your first or second year, not [be] put off to the last year.”

Early networking with Delaware life science companies like Ashfield, Incyte and ChristianaCare can also help to retain graduates in the state. “Students are the next generation,” said Jamie Pedrick, Events Manager for DelawareBio. “This is all part of Delaware’s economic development.”

BGSA board president Nicole Flynn sees the collaboration as more beneficial to her fellow grad students that the previous symposium. “I’m looking forward to students feeling like they’ve really accomplished something,” she said.

“I hope it will be a stepping off point for future collaborations,” said Clupper. “Not just a one-and-done, but an ongoing network to strengthen Delaware’s STEM community.”

Current graduate students in the life sciences are encouraged to participate and get to know DelawareBio. Students attending UD, Del Tech, WU and Wesley are all members — even if they don’t realize it — because all of those schools are themselves members.

“The monthly BioBreakfast is always open to members at no charge,” said Pedrick. “Students [from member colleges] can also use the BioDome conference room space as members.”

Grad students with life science majors who are interested in participating in the events can register on the DelawareBio website.

Companies: University of Delaware

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