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Utah Life Sciences News & Events

MIP Welcome Event Gives Students Opportunity to Meet Life Sciences Companies

February 7, 2019

On February 7, BioUtah industry partners participating in the Medical Innovations Pathways program welcomed new students at a special “Welcome Event” at Granite Technical Institute. The event was geared to help students learn more about Utah’s life sciences companies and prepare them for their on-site job shadows. Work-based experience that links classroom learning to real-world application is required to earn the MIP Certificate upon graduation.

The “Welcome Event,” attended by students, parents and educators, allowed industry partners to get acquainted with students and learn more about their career interests. They also heard impassioned testimonials about the value of the MIP program from Keyana Besendorfer, an MIP alumna currently working for Stryker, and Kena Jacobsen, a student currently enrolled in the MIP program.

Representatives from the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development was also in attendance, underscoring the strong partnership between industry, education and government that continues to successfully drive the MIP program.

“I really enjoyed being able to talk directly with the students and share my passion about working in a field that makes a difference in people’s lives,” said Dmitriy Pastarnak, Associate Manager, Quality Chemistry at Edwards Lifesciences, who will be supervising students during their Edwards’ job shadows. “Ultimately, we want them to join our team, so it’s important they get a close look at the work we do and gain an appreciation for the life-changing technologies we produce,” added Craig McCaffrey, President of Biomerics.

Industry partners, BD, Biomerics, Edwards Lifesciences, Merit Medical, Nelson Laboratories, Sorenson Forensics, Stryker, Teva Pharmaceutical and Varex Imaging are hosting a series of job shadows for students. The program offers students the choice of a medical device manufacturing track or laboratory track.

The MIP program, now in its third year, has expanded from Granite School District, where the initial pilot program was launched, to Alpine, Canyons, Davis, Jordan and Tooele school districts. “We’re excited to offer this exceptional opportunity to our students,” said Maren Hansen, CTE Coordinator for Davis School District.

“These job shadows are valuable for both students and industry,” noted Jake Willis, Project Portfolio Manager at Nelson Laboratories, and MIP Industry Chair. “Students get to see the work we do and whether this industry might be a good fit for them. At the same time, industry gets to help students expand their horizons, understand our world of innovation, and gain a sense of the great career paths we offer.”