R&D Chemistry, Albemarle
Melissa grew up in Greenwell Springs, Louisiana where she graduated from Central High School in 2003. Inspired by her high school chemistry teacher, Melissa chose Chemistry as a major when she attended LSU. She was an undergraduate researcher in Dr Gilman’s Lab. She started with Chem2900 because, at the time, she had not completed the requirements for Chem3900. She says, “working in the lab on a daily basis helped me gain an understanding of chemistry, rather than just textbook learning.”
After having little luck at career fairs that seemed focused on engineering students, Templet found the LSU Career Services site. She applied for a job that sounded interesting and was chosen for an interview. In January 2008, she got an offer for a BS Chemist position at Albemarle Corporation and moved to South Carolina. She was relocated to South Haven, MI, in December 2009. Today, Melissa says “using the career services was the best decision I made.”
Templet is now a Senior R&D Chemist and works in an analytical chemistry laboratory. Her job is to help with all analytical related activities such as method development, method validation etc. for custom production of clinical “active pharmaceutical ingredients, APIs” and intermediates. She says, “I get to work on many different projects and see them scale up from the R&D lab to the pilot plant.” Melissa loves her job and calls herself “one of the lucky ones,” explaining that she wouldn’t have found a job without the career center.
Her advice to current LSU students is to “take advantage of all the services offered on campus. Also, internships are a great idea. Most companies prefer candidates that have had internships during undergrad. The opportunities are out there, I just never went after them and I regret that. I think an internship would be a great learning experience … [students who come to intern at Albemarle] get real life lab experience in the field and I think it would help students determine what they are interested in and where they would want to take their career.“