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Karoll Montalvan Palma in the biotechnology lab on the MassBay Community College Wellesley Hills, MA campus, April 2022 (Photo/MassBay Community College).
WELLESLEY HILLS, Mass. (July 25, 2022) — After Karoll Montalvan Palma of Bellingham, MA, graduated from Brookline High School in 2015, she decided to take some time away from school before continuing her education, so she joined the workforce. “In 2017, I enlisted in the United States Army Reserves while working in different healthcare-related jobs. I discovered I liked working in the healthcare setting, and biotech research piqued my interest. I found MassBay’s biotechnology program and thought this would be a good starting point into the industry, so I decided to enroll,” said Karoll.
In the fall of 2021, Karoll dove into her studies in biotech and biomanufacturing and enjoyed her classes. “I worked full-time at a lab in Westborough while taking classes part-time. Those experiences sparked me to continue laboratory work as a career. With the encouragement of Professor Nirmal Singh in MassBay’s biotech program and assistance from Brenda Egan in the STEM department, I applied to work as a lab tech at Azenta Life Sciences in Cambridge. I was hired in May 2022 and have been working on genetics sequencing. It has been an amazing experience. I can’t believe I’m already working in the biotech field. Working in the lab has taught me so much and I’m able to understand my lab assignments quickly due to what I learned in Professor Singh’s biotechnology classes. In turn, my lab work will help me prepare and be knowledgeable in my classes. I feel as if I’m on the right career track,” Karoll added.
Karoll participated in MassBay’s STEM Mentor Program, which paired her with a local biotechnology professional for career direction and advice. “My STEM Mentor has a great deal of experience in the hiring process at his current company, and he helped me prepare for my interview at Azenta Life Sciences. MassBay’s STEM Career Development Counselor Brenda Egan helped me update my resume and search for relevant biotechnology jobs. I probably wouldn’t have been hired at my job without their helpful guidance and insight. I am excited to already be working in my chosen field prior to my earning a degree. Acquiring my degree will then help me advance my career further and provide me with additional job opportunities.”
Karoll is scheduled to graduate from MassBay in May 2023 with an Associate of Science degree in Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing. Her goals include transferring to a four-year university to earn a bachelor’s degree.
MassBay Community College is the most affordable higher education option in MetroWest Boston, offering a robust portfolio of courses and more than 70 associate degree and certificate programs with flexible day, evening, and weekend classes in Ashland, Framingham, Wellesley Hills, and online. MassBay students receive an unmatched educational value by earning stackable credits that transfer to bachelor’s degree programs, and workforce-ready skills necessary to advance careers in high-demand fields such as health and life sciences, automotive technology, engineering, business, cybersecurity, and the humanities. MassBay’s Associate Degree in Nursing (RN) and Practical Nursing (LPN) programs were both ranked as the #1 Nursing Program in Massachusetts in 2020-2021 by national nursing advocacy organizations RegisteredNursing.org, and PracticalNursing.org. Since its founding in 1961, MassBay has been accredited by several governing bodies and remains firmly committed to its mission of meeting the needs of the diverse local communities it serves. We value the intrinsic worth of all individuals, collectively in pursuit of inclusiveness and prioritize our work towards achieving equity within our community and beyond.