Internship at Merck
One of the goals of the Parents Council is to bolster the College’s effectiveness in career development. Jane Harrelson P’13, an executive director at Merck in Philadelphia, was one of five Parents Council members who recently helped secure internships or jobs for Washington College students. In 2011, on the recommendation of his chemistry professor and advisor Anne Marteel-Parrish, Harrelson hired Sean Harrison ’12 to intern within the drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics division she leads. He is now pursuing a degree in pharmaceutics at Virginia Commonwealth University.
“The knowledge and experience gained, together with contacts made, can be a real advantage in the highly competitive job market. Each summer, Merck and Co. provides qualified students with the opportunity to work in research related to some aspect of drug discovery development,” said Harrelson.
Harrison’s project at Merck focused on advancing the use of mass spectrometry, a technique used to both quantitate drugs and understand how the drug is chemically changed or metabolized in the body.
While the internships are advantageous for students, they also benefit the company, Harrelson says. “We want to actively encourage, help train, and eventually recruit the researchers of the future. Diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and HIV represent areas of unmet medical need requiring more scientists who can continue the search for new treatments and maybe even cures. With this in mind, I have been extremely impressed with the science program at Washington College and the quality of its students.”