Interview with Maks – Graduate, Gloucester Biotechnology Academy, Class of 2017
by Jennifer Parkos, Development Director at GMGI; article is from October 2017 Newsletter
Maks, a Gloucester resident and GHS Class of 2016 alumni, is bright eyed and energetic from his 5:30am crossfit routine with his Mom. Sitting in the GMGI offices at 7:30am on a Wednesday morning, his enthusiasm and confidence is palpable as he shares his experiences at his full-time job at Rogers Sciences, a 9-year old life sciences company located in the Cummings Center bio-tech incubator (North Shore InnoVentures) in Beverly.
GMGI: How’s the job going?
Maks: Its going really great. I love being in the lab. The work is very interesting and I feel like I am part of something that will offer people hope. I am working with six of the most common types of bacteria and evaluating the impact our product has on cell regeneration – as a potential cure for cancer and bacterial infections in open wounds. It’s pretty amazing.
GMGI: Before the Academy did you ever think this would be your path?
Maks: No. A year ago, I was working in a warehouse with no real direction. I was doing OK and it was a job, but I didn’t feel like what I was doing mattered. I thought the best thing for me to do was to join the military. Maybe that would give me purpose. I went through the questionnaire and the physical and was ready to sign up when my Dad showed me a clipping in Gloucester Daily Times about the Academy. I figured I would check it out and am so glad I did.
GMGI: How was your experience at the Academy?
Maks: Really great. Being in the lab all day and actually doing the work was key for me. I am a hands-on person and it motivated me every day. It was hard because I kept my job at the warehouse so I was at the Academy from 8:30-2:30, then went right to work and got out at 11 and in bed at midnight then up early the next day to start all over again. It was a tough six months but so worth it.
GMGI: And your internship experience?
Maks: I felt really comfortable because I knew how to do what was expected of me because of the hands-on work in the Academy lab. It was a small operation and the people were all great, friendly and helpful. In fact, the owner of that company referred me to my current full-time job!
GMGI: You sound like an expert research scientist Maks! How do you feel?
Maks: It’s pretty incredible. Just a few weeks ago I was sitting at my brother’s lacrosse game and my grandfather was there all bundled up because he just had a treatment of photodynamic therapy for skin cancer. I sat next to him and started telling him about the work I am doing and how there are new options out there. He told me how proud he was of me. THAT really made me feel awesome!