Wha tshould students know?

Robin Nicole Dewey snobunni at mail.netacc.net
Thu Mar 14 16:02:37 EST 1996

My two cents on this issue as well:

Academics don't prepare you for work. They prepare you to take exams and 
to do rote memorization.

GMP and GLP guidelines are a good thing to learn and stand out on a 
resume. You can go to any library at a university and find FDA books on 
these subjects.

Learn how to you the instruments in a laboratory. You would be surprised 
how many people do not know the proper way to use a spec (how to blank 
it!), or a centrifuge (it needs to be balanced!) or a pH meter (it needs 
to be calibrated first against standards!) I found that the local 
community college has a degree program that taught me better that\n the 
school I started out at, which is one of the top scientific schools in 
the country! (I won't bad mouth that school, but I do highly recommend 
the Biotechnology program at Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY, 
headed by Dr. Kathy Lawton. Want more info e-mail me.)

Take as many laboratory instensive courses as you can. Keep the notes. 
Many things  that I learned in my micro course did not make sense at the 
time, but after looking back on it I can see what we were trying to 
learn. Read magazines and journals to keep up to date. Much of the 
technology changes frequently. Many biology supply companies put out 
catalogs that are better than textbooks! (My personal favorite, 
Pierce). And the one thing I find college student often say is "I want to 
do research in _________" Well, you do reseasrch in whatever area the 
comany that hires you tells you to do. Even a great deal of doctorates 
can't pick and choose what research they do.

Of course, none of this is fullproof. I became a victim of corporate 
downsizing earlier this week! But it is a growing field, and if you stay 
competitive, and don't rely on what the universities teach you, you'll do 

Sorry for being long winded! Any comments, feel free to e-mail me.


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