Making the Leap from Student to Industry Professional: Introducing the YPC…

By | March 31, 2017

The Young Professionals Committee (YPC) would like to introduce ourselves by showcasing each of the current committee members, telling you a little bit about ourselves and the paths our careers have taken.  To start, I have been the chair of the YPC for 2-3 years.  I work at Thermo Fisher Scientific, which is a supplier to the Life Sciences, including Biopharma.  I have been with the company for about 10 years and have been in the industry for the same amount of time.

Chris Ciampa (r) and fellow YPs at the 2015 Kidney Walk fundraiser in Cambridge.

I joined ISPE during my undergraduate years, as a member of the ISPE Student Chapter at the University of New Hampshire. I was attracted to ISPE since it was a great opportunity to meet and network with people in the industry but also to learn about Biopharma and the many touch points that someone in Biopharma has (including regulatory, suppliers, consultants, etc).

I graduated in 2007 with a B.S. degree in biology and at the time was interested in doing research in a pharmaceutical/biotech environment.  I soon realized that I was not a fan of doing that type of work, and was afraid that I had made a mistake in terms of my career and degree options.  Little did I know that with a biology degree, if you did not want to work in the lab, you could work in sales or as a technical consultant in the industry!  Through a leap of faith, I ended up working for Thermo Fisher Scientific. Their recruiters found me on a job board and saw I was not only interested in lab skills but also in sales and marketing.  So it was literally a leap of faith which has driven the next 10 years of my career!  I still work in the industry but now I directly support customers who perform wet-lab research, rather than doing it myself.

In 2009, given that I had moved beyond the lab and into a business environment, I decided to enroll at Bentley University to get an M.B.A., which I completed in 2014.  My focus was on general management, and I took many courses on collaboration, entrepreneurship, project management and innovation.  I had learned from many experts in the industry that having an M.B.A. plus a biology B.S. was highly desirable and very rare, which is why I made the sacrifice to work full time while earning my master’s.

Through the years, I have remained deeply involved in ISPE.  I have had the opportunity to get involved as a volunteer and have served on many committees, including the Communications and Educational Program Committees.  For the past several years, my main focus has been working with the Young Professionals as the committee chair and I am very passionate about seeing graduating students and entry-level colleagues succeed in the industry!

I am looking forward to helping shape YP events for 2017 and I am open to any and all ideas/suggestions/collaboration.  I am also open to talking with students and Young Professionals who wish to hear more about my career path, and why I chose to get an M.B.A.  Please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn, or send me an email at