Derek_Moates_webDerek Moates had an extensive background in business as well as science, but he didn’t have the industry experience on how the two concepts work together to produce usable products and make a successful company. He found his answer when he entered what was then the newly created biotechnology graduate program in the Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Today he is working at one of the top biotech/communications firms in New York, N.Y. thanks, he said, to the biotechnology program.

“Education, while providing support, combined with real industry opportunities is the key to producing successful students who can hit the ground running without skipping a beat,” said Moates, assistant account executive at Russo Partners, LLC. “Being able to communicate with so many CEO’s in the Alabama biotechnology industry made my transition into the executive world where I deal exclusively with C-level management easier and stress free.”

Moates said he knew he wanted to do public relations for a pharmaceutical company in New York. He said it’s because of this program, he landed his dream job.

“This program has truly changed my entire life and it helped position me to begin an executive level career,” said Moates. “UAB can provide everything it took me years to build through my own determination with this well designed and ever evolving biotechnology master’s program.”

He said students need to take advantage of the networking opportunities while you are in school.

“Attend every activity or function your program has so you can meet everyone to build your network,” said Moates. “This helps with getting your first job when you graduate. But be sure to start applying for jobs early. If you wait till you graduate, then you have waited too late to prepare.”