Arick Forsyth, UMass Lowell '19, Genentech

'Branching out all the way to California has taken me out of my comfort zone, and as a result accelerated my learning'

Meet Arick Forsyth, a rising junior and chemical engineering major at UMass Lowell who learned the ins and outs of the biotech industry this summer as an intern at Genentech in San Francisco, Calif., a company that develops treatments for cancer and other diseases. Arick spent his days managing a project to introduce new equipment into the manufacturing process and assess how different departments would be impacted by the change.

“I've learned a lot more from this internship than I ever could have expected,” he said. “Being a project manager has taught me a lot about time management and how to work with people of very different backgrounds and interests. I've learned how to engage my audience by focusing on what is important to them and explaining difficult concepts so that anyone could understand. I've also learned to be curious and ask as many questions I can while I'm here. There is so much to be learned in an industrial environment that can't be taught in academia.”

Arick also had the chance to meet with patients who were saved by some of Genentech’s products and see the effects of the company’s work.

“Learning the impact that a company can have on real patients and their families has taught me to take pride in my work and to give my best effort, because our work may end up saving lives,” he said.

Arick said UMass has helped him in various ways, from sharpening his networking and teamwork skills to teaching him engineering concepts that helped him understand the work he’s been doing at Genentech. After graduation, the Acton native hopes to build on his experience and become part of a team developing innovative cancer treatments in biotech.  

“I highly recommend this experience to anyone interested in the biotech industry,” he said. “Branching out all the way to California has taken me out of my comfort zone, and as a result accelerated my learning. I want to let other UMass students know that experiences like these are possible for everyone, and it's worth trying at least once.”

Connect with Arick Forsyth on LinkedIn