Discovery Spotlight

Matt Higgs '20, BS Microbiology/MS Molecular Biosciences

Matt Higgs '20, BS Microbiology/MS Molecular Biosciences

Studying in the bachelor’s program in Microbiology at ACPHS is opening doors for Matt Higgs outside the classroom. Through a partnership between the College and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, he was able to secure a coveted summer internship and get his first taste of what it’s like to work in the pharmaceutical industry.

Matt jokes that he was a bit timid on his first day because he “didn’t want to break anything,” but at the same time he was eager to start working.

That’s precisely what he did after being placed on the Quality Control/Technical Resources team with nine other college interns where they quickly formed a close-knit bond. The group was tasked with developing a new method for “container closure integrity” – ensuring products such as prescription medications are adequately sealed.

He cited the critical thinking skills he’s developed while studying at ACPHS as instrumental in helping him to think outside the box to find the best parameters for creating this new application.

As the weeks passed by, Matt was impressed by how kind and helpful the Regeneron employees were to all of the interns. “They’d go out of their way to find an answer for you and help you out,” he said.

For Matt, the experience at Regeneron highlighted the importance of being highly accurate in your work. “If one thing goes awry, that can delay production. Proper teamwork is really what makes a pharmaceutical company run smoothly,” he said.

Looking back, he credits the internship program for helping soon-to-be college graduates like himself gain greater insight into the opportunities available in the pharmaceutical industry and better understand the mindset required to be successful.

Up next for Matt is completing his M.S. in Molecular Biosciences at ACPHS. He plans to enter a Ph.D. program following his graduation.