Recent UA biology alumnus John Conger plans to take his teamwork skills from the advising office to the research lab. The Spring 2021 graduate will be pursuing a PhD in pharmaceutical science with a concentration in pharmacognosy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In the meantime, he’s serving as the advising intern for the College of Arts and Sciences during the 2021 Bama Bound orientation season.
Helping students “get their dream schedule” is nothing new for John. For the last four years, he has played a role at orientation, from Avanti Orientation Leader to Peer Advisor. Now John supports the College’s academic advisors and directly supervises the A&S Peer Advisors. As a team, they help first-year and transfer students register for their first semester at UA.
After completing his PhD program, John plans to work for Pfizer or AstraZeneca in their R&D department as a natural products scientist. While the advising internship doesn’t directly align with his career goals, John asserts the communication and leadership skills needed in the advising office will make him a stronger team player in the research lab.
John has some advice for students pursuing an internship: “Regardless of how it aligns with career or professional goals, don’t be afraid to send that initial inquiry email. Get some information about the specific lab, organization, or position you are applying for and work to build your résumé so you can be the most competitive applicant possible. Every experience you have completed, no matter how big or small, has aspects that make you a stronger and more professional applicant, so shoot your shot!”
Find more internship resources on the Experiential Learning website.