JENNIFER BAIRAM ’18, a junior in the Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS) program, was eager to get real-world exposure to potential career paths in the pharmaceutical industry. The BSPS mentorship program gave her the opportunity she wanted. It pairs students with alumni who are well established in their fields, says Erin Edmonds, BSPS experiential education coordinator.

Bairam was matched with Jeff Cehelsky ’87, vice president of clinical operations at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, Mass. “I couldn’t ask for a better mentor,” Bairam says. “We talk about the industry and his work, regulations for clinical trials or drugs that are in production.”

Mentors commit to being in contact with their students at least once a month, and many do much more. Bairam shadowed Cehelsky at Alnylam’s headquarters during winter break. “It opened my mind and definitely has me thinking a little differently about my career,” she says.

Student demand outpaces the current number of 17 mentors; Edmonds ultimately hopes to recruit 50. As she says, “The mentors have been excited to participate because they can see the impact on students in real time.”

Read the full story on URI Today.

Photo credit: Images by Jess

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