MTSU science students explore career options at an...

MTSU science students explore career options at annual Chemistry Fair

Dozens of MTSU chemistry, biochemistry, preprofessional, science and non-science-related majors recently networked with 22 organizations seeking future employees and summer internships.

The annual Chemistry Career Fair occurred Thursday, Sept. 27, in the Science Building’s Liz and Creighton Rhea Atrium.

MTSU students attend 2018 Chemistry Career Fair Sept. 27 in Science Building Atrium.

MTSU students take in the annual Chemistry Career Fair held Sept. 27 in the Science Building atrium. Chemistry, biology, preprofessional and other majors met with recruiters to discuss job and internship opportunities. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Six companies joined 18 colleges and universities in sending representatives to the event, which was a partnership between the Department of Chemistry and the Career Development Center to bring students together with the schools and businesses trying to recruit future prospects.

More than 60 students took the opportunity to establish contact with the organizations. This included 18 biochemistry majors, 17 chemistry majors, 17 biology, seven in preprofessional and three other majors.

Oscar Valenzuela, 20, an MTSU junior from Smyrna, Tennessee, who is president of the MTSU Chemistry Society, called the fair “fantastic,” saying he was excited to learn about bridge programs in pharmacy with Vanderbilt University and elsewhere.

“I met a lot of good programs,” Valenzuela said. “If you are an MTSU senior, you can finish your bachelor’s degree while doing a year of pharmacy school.”

Valenzuela also met with representatives from the department lab services with Kingsport, Tennessee-based Eastman Chemical, including Gabrielle Ashley, an Eastman lab tech and 2015 MTSU chemistry graduate, who performed research with adviser and chemistry professor Andrienne Friedli while Ashley was an MTSU student.

Students network during fall chemistry fair.

MTSU students talk to recruiters from a combined 22 schools and companies Sept. 27 during the Chemistry Career Fair in the Science Building atrium. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Deayrea Martin, 20, a junior psychology major and biology and chemistry minor from Memphis, Tenn., spent about an hour at the fair.

“Many (of the organizations) sparked my interest, and I am going to set up appointments and visit these schools,” she said. “Everything has been insightful and helpful.”

Meharry Medical College, Vanderbilt Health, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee, and MTSU’s Master of Science in Professional Science Program also were among the fair participants.

Technical clerk Melissa Houghton, who helped coordinate the fair, said it was a very successful event.

“We had lots of positive feedback from companies,” she added.

A week before the fair, the chemistry department held a resume preparation workshop. Nationally recognized chemist and Cameron University professor Ann Nalley, also a past president of the American Chemical Society, spoke to students about careers Sept. 26.

— Randy Weiler (

Ilija Zeevis learns more about the MSPS program from Carey Snowden.

Ilija Zecevic, 21, a senior biochemistry major from Nashville, Tenn., learns more about the MTSU Master of Science in Professional Science Program from Carey Snowden, an MSPS graduate coordinator, Sept. 27 during the Chemistry Career Fair in the Science Building atrium. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)