Careers in the biotechnology field are diverse, from working in biological research to quality assurance, medical or health-related fields, to tracking down criminals or identifying victims of crime. For Bhavita Patel, biotechnology led her to help companion animals with cancer.
Bhavita, who will graduate from Fleming’s Biotechnology – Advanced program in 2017, completed her internship at the Mona Campbell Centre for Animal Cancer at the University of Guelph in August. She said Fleming faculty connected her with the opportunity. “My program coordinator Ashvin Mohindra suggested Mona Campbell Animal Cancer Centre,” said Bhavita. “I found that they are doing really interesting work, with so many clinical trials to treat different types of cancer in companion animals.”
At her internship, Bhavita was responsible for data management related to clinical trials, which includes: assistance to the National Institute of Health – Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium (COTC), inputting confidential patient medical information into the Cancer Central Clinical Database, tracking regular visits, physical examinations, and consent forms of COTC trial patients. She also assisted with maintaining supplies for sample collection, auditing and compiling photographic images and surgery information, and more.
“I had more than six years of experience in a laboratory, but I have never done this type of data management before,” said Bhavita. “This is my first project that I am not doing in a lab; it is a totally new experience for me. I have learned many new skills while working with the ICCI (Institute for Comparative Cancer Investigation) team, including attention to detail, auditing patients’ surgery data, budgeting, and maintaining accurate confidential medical records.”
Bhavita said she chose the Biotechnology – Advanced program at Fleming College because she had heard positive reviews of the program and wanted to further her education in the field. “I thought it was a really good program for students who are interested in learning about different types of diverse subjects,” she said. “I studied different types of subjects in this program, which is really helpful for students to decide their career later. They can go into any field and there is a variety of options available for them because they have knowledge about all various types of courses.”
She also appreciates the faculty support at Fleming College. “The faculty for this program are warm, friendly, kind and helpful,” said Bhavita. “They are available for guidance and help whenever required. They are making every effort to secure our better future. Apart from providing us with vast, inordinate academic knowledge, they have also supported and guided us with our placements.”