Bronco Spotlight: Jessica Graves

Photo of Jessica Graves

Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering (Minors in Spanish, biological sciences, chemistry, mathematics), 2018

Current Job Title:

Rotational Development Program Associate (Process Engineer) 

Current Employer:


Describe your current job:

I was blessed with the opportunity to start in a 2-year rotational development program with Pfizer. I will perform three eight-month rotations throughout the site, working as a process engineer in vastly different areas. With this, I will be able to learn what it means to be an engineer in the manufacturing of drug products, both in upstream and downstream processes. Learning where my skills will fit best as well as how the site works together as a whole, serving as one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturing locations. My first rotation is in injectable inspection. My job is very dynamic, working with a team of engineers and inspectors to inspect every vial and ampoule of product. We are constantly working on ways to become more efficient and increase the amount of product delivered to patients. 

What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is knowing how valuable every single role within Pfizer is. Every single person plays a part in creating, making, packaging, inspecting, and delivering life-saving products to patients around the world. The most challenging part of the job is how much there is to learn on what goes into the process, while meeting or exceeding the highest safety and quality standards throughout the process. But it is an exceptionally supportive environment; everyone works together and is always willing to help wherever possible. 

What activities, resources, or people helped you prepare for your career?

The amount of resources available at WMU to help you prepare for your career are abounding. So many faculty and staff members are available to answer questions and provide guidance. Take advantage of all that is offered! Take the initiative to reach out for support and advice, even if you feel you might not need it; you never know what you might learn. These willing sources of knowledge and experiences won't know how to support you or answer your questions unless you ask. Get involved with something you're passionate about. Maintain the mindset of being able to learn from everything no matter what you're doing. Take a holistic approach to your career development. At Western, I learned so many valuable life skills, such as how to approach a problem, how to learn from others, how to connect and form meaningful relationships, how to just enjoy each and every day. Make the most of every opportunity that you encounter or think of. With these skills, I am able to adapt rapidly to any role or position in my career. 

What advice do you have for students looking for their career after college? 

There is more to life than a career. Don't lose sight of that. Figure out how you want your career to tie in to the goals you have for life, and then go from there. There's a reason people who show they're passionate to be there during interviews are much more likely to get hired. 

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