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How could I decide what which extracurricular activities or internships are most beneficial for biotech engineers Also, I wanted to know if networking would be important for a career in biotechnology, if so how could I do so? #Spring23?

I'm a junior in highschool and I was really struggling with what activites I should pursue that would be best for biotechnology. I'm graduating next year so it seems I don't have much time left so I really need to hurry and decide. Also, I've heard networking is really important in a lot of careers, is that also true for biotech engineering?

Thank you comment icon Agreeing with the fabulous suggestions from Jeana, I'll add that what's most important is doing the best in whatever endeavor, or whatever school, you decide to pursue. Not everyone has the same opportunities and choices available. A better gauge is what you did, not where you went, or the activity in which you engaged. Dale Donchin

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Subject: Career question for you

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Robert’s Answer

As a biomedical engineer for many decades, I’d recommend asking your school’s guidance counselor to help you find nearby organizations that specialize in one or more of the following areas. Yes, networking is important: Perhaps your parents could also help you meet with people they know in these field for possible interviews, insights, or internships. You may also consider contacting those companies’ Human Resources departments and let them know your true interests. Here are the biomed fields I think will be important in the near future.
• Minimally Invasive Surgery (incorporating electronics, mechanics, fluidics, optics, IT, and more)
• Robotics (integrating electronics, mechanics, fluidics, optics, IT, and more)
• Artificial Intelligence (involving IT, Deep Learning Platforms, Robotic Process Automation, Text Analytics, Natural Language Processing, and more)
• Advanced Imaging Technology (combining electronics, mechanics, optics, radiation, applied & quantum physics, and more)
• Innovative Sensors (similar to robotics, with additional input from electro-chemical and electro-optical engineering fields)
Best of luck, Jayden!
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Reema’s Answer

It's wonderful that as a high school junior, you're already thinking about your future in biotechnology! Here are some friendly tips on choosing the best extracurricular activities and internships, and understanding the value of making connections:

Biotechnology Extracurricular Activities
Science Clubs and Competitions: Joining clubs like the Science Olympiad or Biology Club, or taking part in science fairs and competitions, can deepen your knowledge of science and give you hands-on experience.
Research Opportunities: Keep an eye out for research programs at nearby universities or online that offer internships for high school students. Programs like the Summer Science Program (SSP) or Research Science Institute (RSI) can be very helpful.
STEM Camps and Workshops: Get involved in biotechnology or general STEM camps and workshops. These can offer concentrated learning and chances to meet professionals in the field.
Volunteer Work: Give your time at hospitals, research labs, or health-related non-profits. This can give you a sneak peek of the medical and biotech fields and looks impressive on college applications.
Coding and Robotics Clubs: Biotechnology is becoming more and more dependent on data analysis and automation. Learning coding (Python, R) or joining robotics clubs can be very beneficial.
Environmental or Health Initiatives: Get involved in environmental clubs or health awareness initiatives. These experiences can be relevant as biotechnology often intersects with environmental and health sciences.

Biotechnology Internships
University Labs: Contact nearby universities or colleges for internships in their biology, chemistry, or biotechnology labs. Even if they're unpaid, these internships can offer valuable experience.
Biotech Companies: If there are biotech companies in your area, ask about internship opportunities. Many companies have programs for high school students.
Medical Facilities: Interning at hospitals, clinics, or other medical facilities can give you a glimpse into the use of biotechnology in healthcare.
Agricultural Research Centers: If you're interested in agricultural biotech, look for internships at agricultural research centers or related companies.

The Value of Networking in Biotechnology
Networking is vital in biotechnology for several reasons:

Learning Opportunities: Networking lets you learn from seasoned professionals and stay in the loop on the latest advancements in the field.
Mentorship: Finding a mentor can offer guidance, help you find your career path, and open doors to opportunities.
Job Opportunities: Many job vacancies are filled through referrals and networking rather than traditional job postings.

How to Network in Biotechnology
Attend Conferences and Workshops: Take part in biotech conferences, workshops, and seminars. These events are great for meeting professionals and learning about new advancements.
Join Professional Associations: Groups like the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) or the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) offer student memberships. These can offer networking opportunities and access to resources.
Online Networking: Use platforms like LinkedIn to connect with professionals in the biotech industry. Join relevant groups and take part in discussions.
Alumni Networks: If your school has an alumni network, connect with former students who are now in the biotech field. They can offer advice and potentially offer internship opportunities.
Mentorship Programs: Look for mentorship programs specifically for students interested in STEM. Programs like the American Chemical Society's Project SEED can be helpful.

Action Plan
Identify Interests: Pinpoint specific areas within biotechnology that interest you the most (e.g., medical, agricultural, environmental).
Research Opportunities: Explore local opportunities for clubs, internships, and volunteer work. Use online resources if local options are limited.
Build Skills: Concentrate on developing relevant skills such as lab techniques, coding, and data analysis.
Network Actively: Attend events, join professional organizations, and use online platforms to build a network in the biotech community.
Seek Guidance: Talk to teachers, counselors, and professionals in the field to get advice tailored to your goals.

By carefully choosing activities and actively networking, you'll be well on your way to a successful career in biotechnology.
Thank you comment icon I appreciate this, thank you for the advice. Jayden
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Jeana’s Answer

Hi! That's awesome that you are thinking ahead. You have more time than you think but I understand your needs. I am not in the biotech industry; rather in cybersecurity but here are my suggestions:

### Suggested Activities
1. **Science Clubs and Competitions**: Join any science-related clubs at your school. Participating in science fairs or Olympiads can provide hands-on experience and look great on college applications.
2. **Internships and Job Shadowing**: Look for internships or job shadow opportunities in local labs, hospitals, or biotech companies. Even a short stint can give you valuable insights into the field.
3. **Online Courses and Workshops**: There are many online platforms offering courses in biotechnology. Websites like Coursera or Khan Academy can be great resources.
4. **Volunteering**: Consider volunteering at hospitals or research labs. Places like these often need help and it’s a fantastic way to get a peek into the industry.
5. **Research Projects**: If possible, get involved in a research project, either through your school or independently. Even simple experiments can teach you a lot about scientific methods and critical thinking.

### Networking in Biotech Engineering
Yes, networking is incredibly important in biotech engineering, just as it is in many other fields. Building a network can help you discover job opportunities, mentorship, and collaborations. Here are some ways you can start building your network even before college:

- **LinkedIn**: Create a LinkedIn profile and start connecting with professionals in the biotech industry. Follow companies and join groups related to biotechnology. This has been invaluable to me in cybersecurity.
- **Attending Conferences and Seminars**: These events are excellent for meeting like-minded individuals and industry experts. Even virtual events can be beneficial. These events are also very motivating and can help set your goals and mindset.
- **School Events**: Don’t underestimate the power of attending school events, guest lectures, and career fairs. These can be gold mines for networking.

Remember, it's not just about who you know but also who knows you. Making connections now can open doors down the line and provide the support you need as you navigate your career path. Who knows, you might even find someone willing to mentor you and someone for whom you would like to walk in their footsteps!

If you have any questions or need further guidance, feel free to ask!
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