Name: Sara Guay
Class Year: 2022
Title: Research Technician
Organization Name: Massachusetts General Hospital
1. In one sentence, what does your job entail?
I work together with post-doctoral fellows to conduct experiments related to breast cancer therapeutics and diagnostics.
2. What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you?
My mentor, Professor Findlay, helped me connect to the science industry by guiding me through an independent research project. During my last year on the Hill, a primary investigator from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) reached out to the biology faculty in search of prospective graduates interested in becoming research technicians. I learned this job was a good fit for me by talking to an alumnus of this MGH lab, who also happened to be an alumnus of the Findlay lab. His emphasis on the health of the workplace community convinced me to accept the offer.
3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?
I was involved in undergraduate research with the Findlay Lab where I acted as a research mentor for first years. I aided students as a peer tutor in both Biobuddies and the Writer’s Workshop. As an upperclassman, I served as the Co-President of Students of Color in STEM (SOCS). I also enjoyed participating in the Spring Break Immersion Program as a volunteer during my first and second years.
4. What was your major, and how did it affect your career decisions?
I was a biology major with a concentration in biochemistry. I became interested in careers involving research and medicine by studying these disciplines.
5. What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?
Reading and understanding primary scientific literature is a skill I developed at Holy Cross that I use in my work.
6. What advice do you have for students on campus today?
Do not be afraid of taking a gap year before you matriculate into a professional program. These past 9 months, I have had the space to examine myself and shadow scientists, medical doctors, and physician-scientists. The decisions I make for my future have become informed and clear thanks to this concrete foundation. Additionally, it is important to consider to what extent your identity will be connected to your job. How important is it to you that your profession reflects who you are? People fall somewhere on a spectrum between living for their work and working to live. I believe happiness can be found anywhere on this scale as long as you know what your values are.