Extending My MBP Internship into a Co-Op

Kelly Murphy (MBP '22) discusses the roles she's had at iBio and how the experience is helping her decide what she wants to do professionally.

Kelly Murphy (MBP '22) did not know what she wanted to do professionally when she started her first quarter in Northwestern Engineering's Master of Biotechnology program (MBP). To be honest, she didn't really know much about the biotech industry in general before MBP. Fortunately, she was open-minded and ready to learn. 

Murphy took that same open-minded approach into her internship with iBio, a biotech company in Texas that uses its proprietary FastPharming system for high-quality, eco-friendly, and high-volume recombinant protein production. Originally, Murphy was going to spend 10 weeks with the company over the summer, but the experience proved so valuable she extended the internship into a co-op and will remain with iBio into December for a total of six months.

As a project management intern in the animal health department, Murphy's worked in regulatory affairs, government relations, and market analysis. Along the way she's had an array of roles and responsibilities that have required both flexibility and learning.

"I really enjoy being in a fast-paced environment and needing to adapt," she said. "iBio is growing very quickly so my responsibilities are often changing based on what needs to be done."

For Murphy, one of the allures of MBP was the holistic curriculum that focused on both the technical side of biology as well as the more wide-ranging view of biotechnology overall, and both helped her develop professionally at iBio. 

"This internship has demonstrated what we have been learning in class and how it is applied in industry," she said. "What I have learned in MBP has been relevant to almost everything I have been doing, both in the technical science and on the business side relating to regulatory processes and commercialization."

As she continues her co-op this quarter, Murphy is still unsure exactly what she wants to do professionally after graduation, but she believes the opportunities she's receiving at iBio and her remaining time in MBP will be foundational in making that decision. 

"I am excited to see what the future holds," she said. "This experience has not only exposed me to areas of interest career-wise, but also helped me to identify some careers that I would not like to pursue. I feel like knowing what you don't want to do is just as important as knowing what you want to do. 

"I am confident that this experience will help me get to where I want to be."

McCormick News Article