Grad School Bound Bio-Engineers Wanted

As we previously announced, Ginkgo is looking for new bio-engineers to join the team as either interns or full-time employees. I thought I’d give a special call-out to college seniors who are applying to grad school right now and planning to start next fall.

Everyone here at Ginkgo had a great time in grad school. We were lucky enough to discover the coolest, emerging engineering discipline around and work in an amazing community of folks – the synth bio working group at MIT/Harvard. But grad school is a big commitment: 5-6 years of a prime time of your life. So it is important to choose the right school – and even more importantly the right lab and project – so that you get the most out of the grad school experience.

That’s why we’ve decided to offer 1 year internships to college seniors. A little-known fact is that, once you’ve been accepted to grad school, most graduate schools will let you defer for a year before joining. So if you’re headed to grad school but interested in experiencing the Ginkgo approach to synthetic biology before starting, please let us know.

[Note: College seniors can still apply for summer internships. And you don’t have to be heading to grad school to apply for the 1 year internships.]

I’ll wrap up with two key pieces of advice to grad school-bound folks. 1) Think hard about the type of PI that will work best with you. Young PIs tend to have more time for you but are necessarily focused on making a name for themselves and getting tenure. They often will tend to oversee your work more tightly which is great for preventing you from going off-track but can be bad for letting you explore your own ideas. Older PIs tend to be much busier so it is harder to talk to them about day to day experimental details, but they also tend to be more adept at mentoring different kinds of students and have more flexibility to let you run with projects. 2) Be sure and talk to as many students/post-docs/technicians in the lab as you can (without the PI present of course). You want a good sense of the lab’s strengths and weaknesses before joining and most people will give it to you straight.

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