Kara Eliadis '05
Kara Eliadis, a Bolton native from the Minuteman Class of 2005, was a Biotechnology career major, a member of the National Honor Society and cheerleading team, and participated in SkillsUSA. Kara graduated from the University of Massachusetts Lowell with a degree in biology. Kara works as a Lab Operations Specialist at Alkermes, a pharmaceutical company focusing on complex diseases and mental health. Previously, Kara was a cancer bioscience research intern for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals; a scientist at Cyprotex U.S. in Watertown, a pharmaceutical research company; and a field service engineer for Agilent Technologies in Lexington, an analytical instrumentation company.
Q. Why did you choose Minuteman?
Someone did a presentation at my middle school when I was in seventh grade. There was so much about Minuteman that appealed to me, and the more I got to learn about the shops, the more I was interested in doing the hands-on learning. At first, I thought about majoring in Automotive, but I went through Freshmen Exploratory and it opens up your options. I chose Biotechnology because I always wanted to do forensics; I always enjoyed watching shows like CSI.
Q. What did you appreciate most about Minuteman?
Because of my experience at Minuteman, I excelled in my college labs especially. I thought we did a lot of messing around and having fun in shop, but when I got to college I saw just how much I learned while having all that fun. I could do tasks in labs that my partners would struggle with. I didn’t make those simple mistakes. I was able to focus on the hard science and not the simplistic aspects of it.
When I went on job or internship interviews, I listed my biotechnology certificate on my resume, and employers would always ask me how I attained one. They were always impressed when I explained how Minuteman worked.
Q. What do you like most about the biotechnology field?
The variety. There’s so much more in this field than I could have imagined. In my first post-college position, I enjoyed doing projects from start to finish independently. I realized that lab equipment would often break down, either from misuse or needing maintenance, and I grew into a position as a field service engineer. I could work hands on with the equipment but also use my brain and my background in biology. It’s a position I didn’t know I could have. The opportunities are endless, especially here in Boston.
Q. What advice would you give to current or prospective Minuteman students?
Try to find something you’re interested in and learn life skills around it. As a Minuteman student, you’re going to be a step up from others, even if you don’t choose your major as your “forever career.” You don’t need to have it all figured out. All the skills and experiences you gain at Minuteman are invaluable.
I also recommend getting involved in activities. I participated in SkillsUSA, served as Skills Parliamentarian then Historian, and did cheerleading for three years. It was a great to spend afternoons with your friends and share common interests. In 2004, the boys’ basketball team won the division championship and we got to cheer on the Celtics’ court at the TD Garden; that was really exciting.