Mikayla Marchuk '16

Mikayla MarchukMajor: Biology, Concentration in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology
Hometown: Crystal Lake, IL

Describe your current job role:

I am a Research Specialist at the University of Chicago Genomics Core. Our lab processes nucleic acid samples (DNA and RNA) and generates genomic sequencing data for research and publishing purposes. 

What professional experience(s) did you have prior to your current job role?

I took part in a summer internship in a Histology Lab prior to my senior year at PBA.  

What do you know now that you wish you had known about being a working professional?

I was intimidated to move to a new place and start a job right after graduating, but I quickly came to realize that so many people are in the same boat after college, and change can be a good thing (except for the change from Florida sunshine to cold Chicago winters- I’m definitely missing the warmth). Getting to know my coworkers and getting plugged in at a local church quickly helped me become comfortable here. 

"Don't wait to start applying to jobs until after you graduate."

How did PBA prepare you for the world of work?

Homework and studying taught me how to manage and balance my time, and the laboratory classes taught me proper laboratory skills and techniques that I have built upon since entering the workplace. 

What advice would you give to current PBA students and/or young alumni who are about to start their first professional full-time job?

Don’t wait to start applying to jobs until after you graduate. I applied for my position two months before I graduated, and they waited for me to graduate and move back to Chicago to start the position. Also, ask friends and professors to perform mock interviews with you to help you prepare for future interviews. 

Have you been mentored by anyone in your professional field since entering the workforce? 

No, I haven’t been mentored professionally.

Spotlight posted in March 2018. For current updates from Mikayla, visit her LinkedIn page.