Meet Hailey Garma, SFSU and PINC Alum and Scientific Researcher in Genentech’s Development Sciences Rotation Program (DSRP)

14 Oct

My biggest advice when pursuing an internship, career, degree, etc. is to be your authentic self, know you are good enough, and do what is best for your growth.

How did you decide to get a degree in biology? What interested you in making this choice?

My interest in science stems from wanting to understand how the human body works in order to have a better knowledge when understanding medical conditions my loved ones suffer from. When I was a child, my father had a stroke — my family’s frustrations from not fully understanding how my father was affected by this incident and the doctors not having all of the answers is what initially piqued my interest in studying science, I wanted to be able to understand and answer those questions.

Why are you interested in a career in Biotech? What inspires you about this work?

Initially, I thought I wanted to pursue a career in medicine or healthcare; this seemed like the most obvious choice to use my biology degree to help others, more than just my loved ones. However, throughout my college experiences, I realized that I love benchwork, research, and working to answer biological questions. I am interested in a career in Biotech because I find this industry a perfect mesh between day-to-day scientific research and that research being directly related to drug development and impacting the advancement of medicine to help people.

The more I talk to others in this industry, the more I realize that my career journey does not have to be a linear path.

What do you want to do in your future career? What are you aiming for? 

I don’t know. I used to have a set plan. Originally, my goal was to pursue a PhD in neuroscience, in honor of my dad, and then a permanent career in biotech. The further I get in my career, the more possibilities I discover. The more I talk to others in this industry, the more I realize that my career journey does not have to be a linear path.

In your opinion, why should a student at SF State consider a career in Biotech?

Working in Biotech is a great opportunity to discover the potential for scientific research, how your work can impact the world and others, and what kind of research suits you based on your passions or interests, even if this results in a career shift to healthcare or academia. With the enthusiastic and collaborative community in this industry, there is the opportunity to be exposed to a wide variety of research projects and disease areas, whether you are participating in the project, attending seminars, or networking with other scientists. 

Can you tell us something interesting about yourself?

I debated between pursuing a degree in biology or in art. Those are my two greatest interests. Although I did not pursue an artistic degree or career, I still paint, take classes, go to museums, and indulge in it as much as I do with biology in my career now. Having a passion for science and research is important when pursuing a career in this field, but it definitely does not have to be your only interest!

Regarding the SFSU PINC program, are there coding classes you took for your current position? 

The coding classes I took in college for the PINC program do not directly relate to the current work I am doing now. However, because I have that coding background, there are more opportunities for me to integrate myself and my projects in the informatics space. 

How did you find the job at Genentech? Where did you find the announcement, what materials did you have to send, who helped you, how did the interview go. 

In a SFSU science newsletter, I found an announcement for Genentech’s Campus Engagement Day event in fall 2019. After attending this networking event, I searched for summer internships at Genentech through gene.com/careers. During this search for an internship, I stumbled across an application for DSRP, my current position. 

My biggest advice when seeking these types of opportunities is to always keep your eyes open, even if you are […] not exactly sure what you are looking for. My current position is what I was always searching for, without even knowing that a program like DSRP existed. When applying for this position, I was not entirely confident in what I was doing or how to apply, but I was confident in myself. My biggest advice when pursuing an internship, career, degree, etc. is to be your authentic self, know you are good enough, and do what is best for your growth. Keeping these key things in mind, I feel, is what made me successful during the interview process. 

One Response to “Meet Hailey Garma, SFSU and PINC Alum and Scientific Researcher in Genentech’s Development Sciences Rotation Program (DSRP)”

  1. pleunipennings October 15, 2021 at 8:32 pm #

    Reblogged this on SFSU PINC Program Blog.

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