Priyanka Patel (BS '11, Bio; PSM '14, Biotech)

Finding direction through a mentor

When Priyanka Patel earned her bachelor’s degree four years ago, it was a bittersweet moment for the young woman who now, working for a New Jersey consultancy, guides global biopharmaceutical and life-science clients on product development decisions and future business strategies.

“I was happy I was graduating,” recalls Patel, “but in terms of the goals I had set for myself, such as my GPA and finding a career, I wasn’t happy. I felt lost and had no idea what I should—or could—do afterwards.”

Fortunately, she quickly got a job as a clinical research assistant with Penn Medicine’s Renal-Electrolyte and Hypertension Division and the Penn Transplant Institute. Then, after discovering she liked being involved in clinical drug and medical device trials, she learned of CST’s Professional Science Master’s in Biotechnology, a two-year program that prepares students to become leaders in biotechnology related fields.

She heard about the PSM from its program coordinator, Associate Professor Seema Freer. “She has mentored me academically and personally through every part of my life. I give her credit for where I am today,” says Patel.

“The PSM definitely changed me,” says Patel, who was promoted to a clinical research coordinator at Penn during the program. “I excelled much more than when I was an undergraduate student and I finally felt like I knew what I wanted to pursue.”

In July 2014, shortly after earning her degree, Patel became an associate with Prescient Healthcare Group in Summit, New Jersey, where she provides regulatory and competitive intelligence for the company’s clients.

Patel also participates in the National Professional Science Master’s Association as the ambassador program specialist and she mentors PSM students. She also recently joined the CST Alumni Board, where she will help expand how Temple alumni can positively impact the lives of CST students.

“I want to get involved and give back because, like me, not everyone is going to be a straight-A student, but that shouldn’t stop them because there are so many opportunities out there,” says Patel. “If I can be half the mentor to CST students that Seema Freer has been to me, I would be very grateful and happy.”

–Bruce E. Beans