Carina Luck

Carina Luck

Carina Luck

Track: Polymer Science
Undergrad: University of Rochester, Rochester, NY- Chemistry
Internship: Arsenal Medical
Current Job Title: Associate Scientist at Pace Life Sciences

What was your undergraduate institution?
I was a Chemistry major and Math minor at the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY.

How did you find yourself at Oregon and what about the program intrigued you?
When senior year rolled around, I was very conflicted with what I wanted to accomplish after graduation. I knew I wanted to pursue some form of advanced degree, but wasn’t convinced that committing to a 5 year PhD degree was for me. I was originally looking at U of O for their PhD program, when I came across the Masters Industrial Program. It seemed right up my alley for what I was looking for in terms of keeping my options open for a higher degree, gaining experience in industry, and having a M.S. degree to show at the end of it. The fact that the program was only a year was also too tempting to pass up. It ended up being a fantastic choice for me, even if it meant moving to west coast after spending my whole life in the Northeast!

What was the intensive summer like for you?
I couldn’t have survived the summer in one piece if it weren’t for the collaborative work with my other classmates. Most days were spent in class together, followed by long evenings working through the homework. The labs were definitely the most enjoyable for me, since I had a fairly strong synthetic background from undergrad, but it was very important to use your strengths and let others help you through your weaknesses. You failed and succeeded as a team, and that was very important to learn early on.

The professional development was fairly useful come time for the interview event. The work on the resumes allowed me to have a fairly large number of interviews, and the interview preparation helped me portray myself confidently to the potential employers. All in all, I’d say the summer was well worth it since I landed the position I had been hoping for since I heard about it.

Where did you do your internship?
I ended up accepting a yearlong internship at Arsenal Medical, a medical device company in Watertown, MA near Boston. They have many different types of products in development, ranging from a foam used to treat severe abdominal trauma, to a bioresorbable stent graft. The project I ended up working on was on development of a novel aneurysm treatment device.

Without giving away proprietary info, what was your internship like? What were you responsible for? What was a typical day like?
There are a large number of 6-month undergraduate co-ops that work here from nearby schools that work in rotations. Since I was here for over a year, I gradually found my place lying somewhere between them and the full time scientists that I worked with on a daily basis. It was very hands on, where I was given full reign of experiments that we would discuss as a team to get done in the following week. For me, this generally meant some formulation work with characterization, some synthesis, and helping the delivery team to prepare for large model deploys of our formulation.

While there were some weeks that involved significant data work up and analysis on the computer, a large portion of my time was spent in the lab. The work was variable and substantial enough where I never really felt like I was bored or that I didn’t have enough work to do. It was a really nice balance between everything.

Did you feel the program prepared you for the internship? In what ways?
On the whole, I would say I was fairly well prepared for the internship. There was still a learning curve, since I was not very strong in anatomy or biology prior to starting my internship, but it was a lot smoother than it would have otherwise been had I not done the program.

How did your internship prepare you for your current position/career path?
My internship was a year long, and will be finishing up at the end of this year when my final course credits are completed. I’m currently in the process of applying to full-time positions in the general medical device field, as I’ve found a huge respect and enjoyment out of it from the past months of working at Arsenal. I’m quite confident that the responsibilities and experiences I gained during my internship will be invaluable at securing my next position.