“Obtaining a master’s degree while working full-time that would further my career was something I wasn’t sure even existed until I found the MBS program,” says Master of Biological Sciences alumna Jenna Palkovich.
“At the time, I felt that my (undergraduate) biology degree was not setting me apart from other peers in my field, and career development was important to me.”
A Perfect Combination
“Since grade school my favorite classes were math and science,” Palkovich says. “I began my undergrad career as a biomedical engineering major, but I quickly realized that, for me, the math aspect of engineering was a limiting factor and the science part was really my passion.”
“The science part” that interested her the most turned out to be medicine and health care, which she was exposed to after taking parasitology and infectious disease ecology courses as an undergraduate. Her first job after college was in a clinical lab, performing infectious disease testing on blood serum and plasma samples. “I enjoyed lab bench work but knew it was not my end goal.”
“Working for one of the best med device companies truly inspires me every day.”
“The greatest part about the MBS program,” she says, “is that there is no rigid required curriculum, which gives each student the opportunity to build their program around their individual career aspirations and interests.”
As Palkovich worked through her chosen MBS courses, she learned more about the health care field, particularly how it relates to medical device innovation. “It sort of all came together for me—the medical device field is an ideal hybrid of my scientific brain, my interest in health care, and my desire for social interaction in professional settings.”
Focused and Inspired
Today, Palkovich is a Quality Engineer at Boston Scientific. “I work in the Post-Market Quality Assurance Group in Cardiac Rhythm Management, trending analysis data in the EP (electrophysiology) business. Our product portfolio consists of cardiac mapping technology, diagnostic catheters, ablation catheters, and capital equipment.”
She remains fascinated by the potential of the medical device arena and enjoys having a direct impact on the quality of Boston Scientific products. “Working for one of the best med device companies truly inspires me every day.”
“I thrive off working cross-functionally with other groups within the company toward a common goal,” she continues. “Collaboration is one of my favorite parts of my job, and my experience in the MBS program undoubtedly improved my ability to collaborate effectively.”
Pro Tips for Students
“Do your research on different programs so that you know what each can offer you, and be sure that your program aligns with your career goals. It’s so important to be confident in your program choice, particularly because it makes the financial burden and time constraints a bit easier to swallow.
Grad school, especially while working full-time, is not a breeze by any stretch, but you will set yourself up for success if you choose a program and classes that truly interest you.”