Inaugural MBiotech Networking Evening
On Thursday, August 17th, the Master of Biotechnology Program (MBiotech) at the Institute for Management and Innovation (IMI) hosted its inaugural MBiotech Networking Evening, hosting 55 students and 30 industry professionals and alumni for an evening of career advice, connections and celebrations. MBiotech is one of six professional graduate programs offered through IMI, an interdisciplinary institute focused on solving the worlds wicked problems through advanced research and teaching. IMI’s partnerships focus on finding solutions to the most urgent social, environment and economic challenges facing our world, and MBiotech’s vast network of partners and alumni harness innovation and provide advanced leadership to do just this, specializing in the biopharmaceuticals and digital health technology spaces.
On Thursday, the U of T Faculty Club was filled with enthusiastic voices, sharing career stories, reminiscing about past studies and partnerships, and creating new professional relationships. Professor Cynthia Goh, acting Director of the program, engaged the audience, with students and alumni taking turns sharing anecdotes and memories.
Alumni spoke about how impactful the Biotech program has been for their careers. Pete Bastedo, MBiotech ’09, spoke about the impact of Professor Ann Armstrong’s course and materials some 14 years after he graduated. Bastedo is the CEO and co-founder of Lumerate and he shared that the high-level leadership learning he experienced in Professor Armstrong’s course contributed to his skills in becoming a mentor and leader, running a firm that has grown from two to sixty employees. Other alumni shared their career trajectories post-MBiotech, including some who moved on to acquire a PhD and rose through careers in the biopharmaceutical and digital health technology sectors.
Throughout the evening, students shared tables with alumni and partners from many companies across the industry. At Table 3, Danyelle Liddle, Medical Director at MEDUCOM Health Inc., fielded questions from students about her career pathway, her route to leadership, how her unique background helped her to advance professionally, and gave advice on finding one’s calling. She shared with them the importance of exploring what truly interests you, being open to the breadth of opportunities that they will face, and the willingness to dive in with genuine interest and enthusiasm. She also spoke about healthy workplace culture, what true leadership looks like, and left the students feeling energized and optimistic about their upcoming internships. Similar conversations and advice were shared around the room at every table, and MBiotech is grateful to all our professionals and alumni for sharing their time and advice.
The students, for their part, relished the opportunity to make so many professional connections, and to celebrate their accomplishments thus far in the Program. Class representatives Owen Treleaven and Gretta Olivares Beteta, among others, spoke about feeling welcomed with open arms to their new cohorts, feeling immediate connection to their classmates, and positive atmosphere in the classroom, and the professional connections forming that evening. Visiting professionals in attendance praised the students’ professionalism, depth and quality of questions, and engagement.
MBiotech extends sincere thanks and appreciation to all the attending guests and students, and looks forward to making this an annual tradition!