My name is Taha Saifullah and I will be graduating in December of 2013, double majoring in Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry while having completed the courses on the pre-med track. After the completion of seven semesters at University of Massachusetts Amherst, I can say without a doubt these years have flown by very quickly! Having majored within the College of Engineering and the College of Natural Sciences, I can see that UMass Amherst has so much to offer and is a great college to attend.
Over the past couple summers at UMass Amherst, I have had two engineering internships and one shadowing internship. My first engineering internship was at NEX Performance Films in Quality Assurance as an 8-month co-op student. Here I worked full-time in the lab conducting rheological testing to determine the physical and analytical properties of polymers and plastics. The other engineering internship was at Procter & Gamble as an Operations Process Engineer Intern. At P&G, I optimized the consumption of water into formulations while also optimizing the equipment on one of the lines to run at maximum efficiency. All my opportunities for internship work in my field of interest were through emails send out by both the College of Natural Sciences and the College of Engineering so take advantage of the opportunities that mentors at each of these colleges are placing forth for students. Also, make it a point to attend the career fairs put on by these colleges; there are some very prestigious companies looking for biochemists in the industry. Both these internships were challenging but also very helpful in my mental development and transition from college to the real world and I would highly recommend taking the time during the summer and working at an internship to gain experience in your field of interest.
While majoring in both Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry, I’ve noticed that the labs in both are very informative and exciting. For me, working in these labs are some of my highlights at UMass Amherst. For those looking to go into Biochemistry, I would highly recommend the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major; the classes are very informative, the labs are very exciting, and the mentors are kind and willing to help out along the entire college journey!