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Tatiana Mendez ‘15

Research Technician, Cancer Research Lab, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine

Pine Manor College, Biology Major and National Science Foundation BioScholar

East Boston High School, Boston, MA

Clinical Career

“Pine Manor has the right environment and the right faculty. It is not just a school, it is a family. Pine Manor opens doors for young biologists like myself.”

Life after Graduation

“I have a job that arose directly from my internship. I completed my senior internship at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in the Clark research lab with Dr. Addy Alt- Holland. My senior internship opened my eyes to the broad field of Biology. There are many different roads that I can take and I thought I had it all figured out before then. I have changed my mind a million times about what I will choose when I go back to school, but that is what a senior internship is about! Learning what you like and dislike is key to figuring out for yourself.

I am still in the lab at Tufts. I am a Student Technician. I am trying to get as much experience as possible. I plan on going back to school in either that fall of 2016 or the fall of 2017. I work in basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer) research. I grow cells, engineer tissues, and I am in charge of running all of the media samples that we collect from our experiments in the NMR spectrometer. This machine tells me what my cells are using to grow and what they are not using.”

How PMC Helped Me

“Pine Manor is the Place To Be.”

“I wanted to go to a small school, a school that paid attention to each student’s needs and learning styles. This is something that I did not get going to a high school with 1400+ students. Also the campus was so relaxing and beautiful. Having a liberal arts focus helped me become a well-rounded person. When you are in the sciences, it is good to have other knowledge and skills as well. You never know where your degree might take you. Also it was fun taking classes that brought me out of my comfort zone. For example, Shakespeare class.

If I had a question there was always someone there to answer. I got amazing help on my CV from multiple faculty members. They were always steering me in the right direction and if I did not know the next step, they helped me find it by asking questions and pointing me in the right direction.

My career aspirations change every day. Today I want to run my own lab one day. Do I know what kind of research I want to do? No. But that is what I am figuring out day by day. I would not be where I am today if I had not gone to Pine Manor College. I met the head of my lab at Pine Manor when she came to give a lecture. My adviser Dr. Susan Bear helped me contact her a few years later and here I am: exactly where I wanted to be. You learn so much and it is not just in the biology classes. You learn how to interview, how to make a CV, how to find a good internship, how to job search and most importantly, how to make your own decisions.”