The Scientist Mentoring and Diversity Program is an outreach program created by the International Center for Professional Development (ICPD).  The program allows 24 ethnically diverse graduate students who wish to pursue a biotechnology career to connect with industry members for networking opportunities, training workshops, and collaborative career planning.  

Life Technologies is a supporting sponsor of the International Center for Professional Development and supports their vision to provide mentoring, professional development training and industry networking opportunities for graduate students and early career scientists and increase diversity among scientists with careers in the biotechnology industry. 

Andrew Fontes and Shoulian Dong represented Life Technologies at this year’s Scientist Mentoring and Diversity Program 2012 event.  The first few days of the event representatives met with the talented students of the program which interests ranged from cancer research to chemistry. Andrew Fontes recounts meeting with his mentees and discussing and planning their future career plans in the biotechnology field.

He said, “It was a great opportunity to reach these students and decipher misconceptions of the biotechnology field and tell them what it is truly like. I enjoyed having engaging and eye opening conversations with the candidates and would definitely do it again. I also realized how beneficial having a diverse work place can be to a company. I am looking forward to continuing these relationships and aiding my mentees in their future endeavors.” Shoulian had a similar experience of cultivating a great relationship with his mentee at the Scientist Mentoring and Diversity Program. Shoulian shared his positive experience at the event, “I assisted my mentee by reviewing and helping him with his resume and interviewing skills. We also have monthly mentoring sessions to discuss his future.” Like Andrew, Shoulian enjoys giving back by mentoring these students. Both recommend that others should look into becoming a mentor for the Scientist Mentoring and Diversity Program. Not only does one get to bestow their experience and knowledge to these students it is a great way to give back to others.