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VGCC Biotech students participate in virtual career fair

person in a lab

Students studying biotechnology at Vance-Granville Community College recently joined their counterparts from a handful of other colleges in a career fair that was tailor-made for the current state of social distancing and video-conferencing.

On May 14, nine VGCC Bioprocess students participated – from their homes – in the first in a planned series of Virtual Career Fairs organized by the BioNetwork, part of the N.C. Community College System. Representatives of several North Carolina biopharmaceutical companies talked with students, including Biogen, Catalent, KBI, Guerbet, Merck, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer and Seqirus, along with staffing agencies like Adecco, Manpower and Spectraforce.

“This innovative event represented an outstanding partnership of Vance-Granville staff, the BioNetwork and the private sector,” said Stewart Lyon, who heads VGCC’s Biotech programs, based at the college’s Franklin County Campus. “Although the full results are still being tabulated, we know that our students were able to speak with an average of 6 employers during the event, and one student spoke with 13 potential employers!  Some participants have also confirmed that they have received invitations to formal job interviews from the event.”

VGCC not only made this opportunity available to students, but also helped prepare them ahead of time, so they could present themselves in the best professional light. Lyon, VGCC Director of Career Services Linda Fletcher, and BioNetwork staff all helped review the students’ resumes before the event. In fact, having an “approved” resume was a requirement for students to participate. Lyon and Fletcher continue to offer such services to students, to help them secure good jobs after they complete their studies.

Enrollment for the Fall 2020 semester is going on now for the Bioprocess Technology program. VGCC offers a Bioprocess Technology certificate, which can be completed in as little as six months (combining online coursework with labs meeting only once per week); a diploma program, which takes about one year, and the two-year Associate in Applied Science degree. All these options are eligible for federal financial aid to qualified students.

Lyon also points out that students have options to continue their education beyond VGCC, particularly through new transfer opportunities. Students seeking four-year degrees can transfer to North Carolina Central University and East Carolina University through special articulation agreements.

For more information on VGCC’s biotech programs, contact Mr. Lyon at lyons@vgcc.edu or 252-738-3632. Prospective students are also encouraged to check the college website, www.vgcc.edu , and the Facebook page – facebook.com/vancegranville – this summer for announcements on upcoming Biotech information sessions.