Biotechnology Transfer Student Taking Classes While Working Full Time in Research Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Meet Erin Faight
Job Title: Research Assistant
Employer: Lupus Center of Excellence at West Penn Allegheny Health System
Pursuing: Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology (capstone program)
Previous degrees earned: Associate of Science in Biotechnology from Community College of Allegheny County, 2011
Expected graduation: May 2015
College Activities: Competed in Fifth Annual Business Plan Contest
Hometown: Revloc, Pa.
High School: Central Cambria High School
Currently living in: McCandless Township, Pa.
Hobbies/Interests: I was a photographer before going back to school and I still enjoy picking up my camera and taking photos once in a while.
Why did you decide to transfer to Point Park?
It was a tough decision to go back to school because I really enjoyed my job and didn't want to leave. However, I became interested in the biotechnology capstone program because it offered night and weekend classes which allowed me to continue working full time while furthering my education. Small class sizes also helped in my decision to go to Point Park. I just really wasn't interested in going to a large school with a hundred people in a class.
What do you like so far about Point Park's biotechnology program?
I have just taken a few classes so far, but I have been very pleased with Point Park in general. The process to get started was surprisingly very easy, and my advisors have helped me a lot to register for classes. I took my developmental biology class online and my professor, Dr. Diane Krill, was really helpful. Sometimes the test times conflicted with my work schedule so she worked with me to find an appropriate time that was convenient.
How do you effectively balance your time between work and school?
I am only taking a few classes at a time and I have learned to be good at time management. My son is in second grade and when it is time for him to do his homework, I sit down and do mine too. It can be kind of tough at times, but I get weekends off at work so that gives me a couple of days of good study time. The doctors at the Lupus Center understand my situation and are flexible. If I need to leave early for class for any reason, it's not a problem. A good support system helps as well. My husband and family really pick up my slack at home during the school semester.
What are your future career goals?
I will probably continue on with school and earn a master's degree, but ultimately I would like to stay in research. Research has been a challenge, which I like very much. Every day you are presented with a new question, and that makes the job stay interesting. You are not just doing the same thing day in and day out. I have really enjoyed helping to answer the questions posed at the Lupus Center, and would like to continue to do so.