Jenna Nicholson

  • Class of 2016, BA Biochemistry, BS Kinesiology

What have you been up to since graduation?

After graduation, I have had the privilege to live in Boston, Chicago and I now currently reside in Dallas. I was offered a position as a Clinical Research Associate(CRA) with PAREXEL directly after graduation in May 2016 and I am currently with the same company. Specifically, my job requires for me to learn clinical research protocols and oversee multiple sites in the US to ensure they follow research protocols correctly and safely to get new medications on the market. I travel 1-2 times a week to different hospitals and research centers in the US and when I am not travelling, I am working at home completing reports, answering emails and phone calls.

How has being a graduate of Miami Chemistry and Biochemistry helped your career?

There have been a few times where I was given a 150-page protocol on a disease I had never heard of and I had only 1-2 days to learn the protocol and study the illness that was being researched. Even though I wasn’t too happy having to learn a hundred different calculations in Calculus 2 or thousands of mechanisms in biochemistry, those classes definitely prepared me for the amount of effort I needed to put into learning new protocols.

Any advice for those who would like to have a career in science and who are considering a chemistry or biochemistry major?

Originally, I intended on going to medical school and becoming a doctor. The second semester of my senior year, I learned that I didn’t get into medical school and I had 3 months to figure out what I was going to do before I graduated. I ended up applying to multiple jobs and was very thankful to get the job I currently I have now. My advice would be to keep an open mind when things you have planned don’t pan out.