The Engineering Professional Master’s Program hosted six graduates of the Rice Department of Bioengineering Professional Master in Bioengineering (MBE) program for a virtual alumni panel on June 26.
One Rice MBE program focuses on Applied Bioengineering, the other on Global Medical Innovation which is aimed at medical device development and production.
Jane Grande-Allen, the Isabel C. Cameron Professor of Bioengineering, moderated the event on Zoom. Tomi Adetiba (MBE ’13), Abigail Brooks (BS ’16, MBE ’18), Hanelle Fares (BS ’15, MBE ’16), Tara Hogoboom (MBE ’14), Vaishnavi Ramesh (MBE ’15) and Bin Xu, Ph.D. (MBE ’12) participated in the discussion.
A common theme among the panelists was the versatility of their Rice MBE degrees and the unique opportunity for hands-on experience in Rice laboratories and in the world-renowned Texas Medical Center. Adetiba shared how her MBE translated across many industries, from medical device design and production, to academia, to the oil and gas industry. She is currently a senior performance improvement consultant at Ernst & Young.
Students fulfill their MBE coursework in the BioScience Research Collaborative (BRC), located adjacent to the Rice campus and the Texas Medical Center. In addition to housing the laboratories of Rice bioengineers, neuroengineers and bioscientists, the BRC fosters cross-institutional collaborations.
When looking for an MBE program, Ramesh said: “Rice had their MBE program, which provided a good balance with kickstarting your professional development, but also the medical device innovation class that taught you about product development over the course of the year. The proximity to the Medical Center made it easy to reach out. It set the stage for getting a quick understanding of what happens in industry.”
Fares, who was a Rice undergraduate before starting the Medical Innovation program, is pursuing her MBA at Harvard while interning for the venture capital firm DCVC. “I’m thankful for the Rice MBE program because it was enlightening to realize there is more to building a good product than the bits and bolts of it,” she said. “I’m constantly reflecting on the principals that I learned during my master’s.”
The panel closed with words of advice for students considering a Rice MBE. Hogoboom, who says she now has a “dream job” with Medtronic, recalled that keeping an open mind gave her greater flexibility as she forged her career path. Xu, who went on to obtain his Ph.D. after his time in the MBE Applied Bioengineering program, said, “My experience at Rice emphasized if you like it, pursue it, and don’t give up.”
This virtual event was organized by the Rice University Engineering Professional Master’s Program. Explore more professional master’s alumni outcomes, find program information and stay connected for future virtual events by visiting epmp.rice.edu