Alex Millhuff, William Jewell College senior chemistry major and now-retired swimmer, recently chose what she will be doing after leaving the College. She will be working at Midwest Research Institute (MRI) Global and hopes to start as soon as possible following graduation.
Millhuff came across the open position while searching for jobs online and, after reading more about the job on the company website, she decided to apply. She will be using her chemistry background in medicinal research.
“Specifically, I will be working in a pharmaceutical group that is partnered with the National Cancer Institute, and is currently analyzing the efficacy of certain cancer drugs as well as testing for impurities,” said Millhuff.
Millhuff’s preparation during the application and interview process exemplify the uniquely personal relationships Jewell fosters between professors and students. She also explained another aspect of the College that is unusual in undergraduate education, and that is the ability of STEM students to undertake extensive and impressive research projects.
“My professors in the chemistry department were a big help with this process,” Millhuff said. “We met the day before my interview to practice and discuss how my experiences at Jewell helped me be a strong candidate. In the chemistry and biology departments especially, Jewell students have the opportunity to be involved in scientific research and work closely with professors and laboratory equipment, which is rare at most undergraduate institutions. Jewell students definitely have an advantage because of that.”
Millhuff plans to use this job as a productive gap-year project. This will keep her chemistry skills sharp as she prepares for medical school.
She looks forward to the chance to live closer to Kansas City’s downtown areas after leaving Jewell’s campus. Millhuff doesn’t see this as a long-term living situation, though. Eventually, she hopes to move somewhere with more opportunity for outdoor recreational activities.
Millhuff considers the full schedule typical of the Jewell student experience to have been both a large challenge and to have given her an advantage in the world as well as the workplace.
“One of the biggest, underrated advantages I’ve had at Jewell is being able to be a part of its community,” she said. “Working through rigorous coursework, as well as being a student-athlete and employed part-time, was not always easy for me and I know a lot of students can relate to that. But I was also always supported by classmates, teammates and professors who are what truly made this opportunity possible for me. I think being able to work collaboratively with others will always serve my future endeavors.”
Photo credits to Talia Zook.