Lukas Schroeder Life Sciences Alumni
Briefly, tell us about your job. What do you find most rewarding? What are your greatest challenges within this profession?
I am a laboratory technician at JC Wilt Infectious Disease Research Centre. My research project is to screen samples for specific antibodies against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and their role in HIV infection. I find it incredibly rewarding to be involved with research which could lead to new ways to help prevent and treat HIV. One of the challenges I have faced is learning how to analyze the data I have collected through my research.
What experiences and activities helped you to map out your career pathway?
One of the biggest factors that contributed to my career pathway was enrolling in the co-operative program for microbiology. It allowed me to gain invaluable working experience in different laboratories. In my final co-op work term I began the work that would eventually become my current research project today.
As a student, did you see yourself in your current career? What stayed the same and/or changed?
Even at a young age I had an immense interest in infectious diseases so I knew long before I became a university student what career I wanted to get into. Once I entered university I began working towards my microbiology degree right away. During my time at the University of Manitoba, the vision for my career remained the same and focused.
What advice do you have for students who are interested in pursuing a degree in microbiology?
Having a passion for learning new things is important in the area of microbiology. It moves rapidly with new discoveries, technology and newly emerging infections.
What job search advice do you have for students and recent graduates?
Having work experience in a laboratory is crucial. It is something that many employers are looking for. The best thing to do early on in your degree is speak to professors at the University of Manitoba about summer research opportunities. Then, build on those experiences with the co-operative program or honours research project.
Tell us a fun fact about your career path.
At a very young age I would attend open house events at the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML). I was able to meet and speak with many research scientists who worked there and asked them what qualities and experience they look for in new hires. I learned from them that the co-operative program was an excellent way to begin a career in the field of microbiology.