After graduating from Baylor in 2006 with a bioinformatics major and chemistry minor, Jeremy Jay went to the University of Tennessee to complete his master's degree and is now a PhD candidate in computational biology. One day, he sees himself back in a college classroom as an instructor, but not before he sees what life is like outside the academic world.
"I want to work in the industry for a while," Jay says. "Ideally, I'd like to work for a non-profit company, maybe doing research. Eventually I'd like to teach bioinformatics at a university, but I think it's important to be able to bring real-world experience into the classroom."
Jay got a taste of real-world experience as an undergraduate. The hands-on research he did at Baylor set him apart from his peers at Tennessee, where he also works at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He is looking forward to an internship he will have at Jackson Laboratories in Maine during summer 2010.
"The resources here are great, and my Baylor education allows me to know how to use them," Jay says. "I feel like we were introduced [at Baylor] to real-world tasks and got real experience while doing our group research projects and internships."
While Jay isn't ready to get back to the classroom immediately, he does have advice for those interested in pursuing bioinformatics majors. "Do your own research projects. Do an internship. Get as much experience as you can," he says. "You will make yourself more marketable. You can do anything."