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Information Interview as a Way to Learn More About The Job

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As a new student in Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS), it is vital to get information about the field and the opportunities available by studying the field. In order to get helpful information, conducting informational or research interview is important. Practicing such interview by itself teaches professionalism and gives confidence for future communication. The information collected from the interview could also provide idea about the subdivision of the fields within the CLS (Microbiology, Immunology, Hematology, Chemistry, Histology and fluid analysis). The information can introduce to different kinds of recruiting organizations and companies available for future jobs and may inform the flexibility and mobility that exists with them. Moreover, the life experience shared by professionals is a first had information that highlights the opportunities and challenges studying CLS and the profession in the job world. The advice they provide could help to complete our education successfully. Moreover, by taking to such professionals in the field gives an opportunity to establish contact and further networking with them. This informational interview was conducted a part of the course Introduction to CLS, Howard University.

The contact address of the interviewee was given by the course professor. The interview process was started by sending out a brief professional email contain self-introduction and the objectives of the communication. She responded quick within a day accepting my request. The positive and fast reply was encouraging to design the interview questioner and get the interview as soon possible. Then, interview questioner was constructed as soon as possible. The interview was carried within a few days of the initial contact. In the second email, possible dates and time for interview were requested. She provided three alternative dates. The interview was conducted by phone on September 14, 2020 between 3:00-4:00PM. It was started with brief self-introduction and lasted for about 45 minutes.

Purposes of the interview

The interview was conducted with the objectives of a) learning and practicing professionalism; b) deriving experience from the company, background, education, certification, and current and past job responsibilities of the CLS professional; c) assessing some opportunities and challenges existing in CLS profession; and d) obtaining advice for successful completion of CLS program and on how to procced after graduation.

Result of the Interview

The interviewee currently works at Merck. She indicated that it is one of the leading global biopharmaceutical company that thrives to bring medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. According to her, the company has many divisions and committed to increasing access to healthcare through policies, programs and partnerships. It was further mentioned that the company recruits many CLS professionals and quite a number of CLS Howard University (HU) graduates work at Merck. The company also collaborates with HU.

The interviewee works at Global Customer Insight division as HIV liaison officer covering three different states. As she mentioned, in this position, she conducts research and produces quantitively and qualitive data. She focuses on research that addresses important medical needs and helps people living with HIV. She works with partners in the global HIV community to address the HIV complex challenges. She implements high quality, evidence-based, and innovative HIV research and prevention service and helps to reduce disparities in access to HIV care and help improve health outcomes for people living with HIV. Engaging with the community members having HIV and their families very closely and helping them in real life makes the very interesting part of her job. She has very busy schedule. The shift that she made from MLT to HIV liaison appeared to be very interesting.

The career path of the interviewee has been very interesting and reveals the possibilities that exists within the CLS profession. She graduated from HU-CLS program and started as Medical Lab technologist (MLT) at HU hospital. Her interest was Hematology and Immunology. Later, she moved to another company and became a biotechnologist and started working in vaccine development research and marketing. Then, she joined Merck and became executive professional representative at the biotechnology division until she assumed her current position some eight years ago. She remembers that working under hospital setting at HU was one of the exciting times as she was interacting with so many professionals on daily base. The most interesting part of her current job is she deals with people out of the lab and in the real world.

As a graduate of the CLS program of the HU, the interviewee believed that the CLS program at HU is an excellent for having a job or to get to medical school. At the beginning, she was mainly interested in Hematology and Immunology. It was one of the reasons she went to work in biotechnology, vaccine development research and marketing. She couldn’t remember any specific challenges while in school. However, she stated that this field requires a lot of studying, and a great amount of work and patience. She had a good score and was be able to get scholarship particularly in the last years of her study. She encouraged me to work hard and to have an excellent practical background and GPA greater 3.0. This will help particularly to get scholarship while in school and other opportunities after graduation. Moreover, she stressed that in addition to getting the BSc. certifying with professional organization such as ASCP or getting an MBA certificate would expand the opportunity.

According to CLS profession and job outlooks in general, she had no specific recommendation and was hard to say for her if one subdivision of CLS (say for example Microbiology versus Hematology) would be better than other. As she said, it all depends on the interest and hard work of the students. However, she also pointed out that generally the job outlook for Medical Lab Technologists (MLT) is quite good. Even, her company currently recruits more than 20 candidates form HU and 3 of them are going to medical school. The demand for MLT workforce may be more with the outbreak of diseases such as COVID-19. However, she also mentioned that increase in automation may be challenging as well as an opportunity in the field. She believed that all depends on the person himself. Some of the recommendation she made include hard work, acquiring practical skills through the program and experience and attending different events such as job fairs, seminars and talks, communicating and expanding networking with professionals would help to increase the opportunities.

Discussion & Conclusion

The interview was engaging and phenomenal. I saw the success of the CLS program from the rich experiences of my interviewee. As a beginner in the CLS, it uplifted me to work hard and to perform well. From her job experience, I saw that the profession of CLS is diverse and different opportunities are available. I have never imagined that MLT could also work as a researcher and HIV liaison outside the lab. I also realized that hard work and patience are required to be successful in the CLS program. The recommendation made on increasing networking, attending and participating in different events such as job fair was very valuable to me. Her encouragement that I continue to communicate with her has been very supportive and helps me increase my networking in the profession. I am grateful for the information and insight I received from my interviewee. I expressed my appreciation by sending her a thank-you note for her time and support.  

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Information Interview as a Way to Learn More about the Job. (2022, May 24). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 29, 2022, from
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