Jason Betz

Jason BetzJason Betz is hard at work examining catfish. In particular, he’s looking for traces of a kind of antibiotic that’s given to farm-raised fish to keep them healthy, but which can cause problems if ingested later by fish-eating humans. So it falls to Jason, his Alvernia chemistry degree in hand, to make sure the drugs have filtered completely out of the creatures’ systems before they find their way to your dinner table.

It’s all part of the new job Jason landed just two months after graduating from Alvernia with Adpen Laboratories, a Jacksonville, Florida, R&D company that analyzes food, pharmaceuticals, and other products to make sure they’re safe.

Jason is thrilled with the job, though he was initially a little surprised he got it, since jobs at his level typically go to college grads with at least a year of full-time work experience under their belts.

But Adpen was impressed by the kind of education Jason got in Alvernia’s classrooms and chemistry labs, impressed by his internship with a Reading pharmacy, impressed by his experience working with advanced science instruments, and impressed by the independent research he did on substance abuse. So they hired him.

“In chemistry, it’s all about your lab technique,” Jason says. “At Alvernia I learned how to do chemistry properly and efficiently. I learned to work at a quick pace and think ahead. I was always thinking, what’s the next big step?”

Jason isn’t sure what the next big step in his career will be, though he expects grad school is in the cards down the road. For now, he’s already ahead of where he thought he’d be only a few months after graduating, and that suits him just fine.

“I’m just happy where I am right now,” he says. “This is a good experience.”

Did you know?

A National Leadership Council for Liberal Education and America's Promise study found that participating employers and recent college graduates agreed on the necessity of out of the classroom experiences. The study emphasizes the importance of providing students with important knowledge and skills but also experience putting that knowledge and skills to practical use in "real-world" settings.

Did you know?

Seventy-six percent of participating employers put "teamwork skills and the ability to collaborate with others in diverse group settings" at the top of their list of desired capabilities in new employees, according to a National Leadership Council for Liberal Education and America's Promise study. These are among the skills fostered by real-world learning experiences.

Did you know?

Service learning is a method of providing personal and academic development through work with established nonprofit organizations in the community. It is an avenue to introduce students to a professional environment without the extensive commitments of an internship.

Did you know?

Service learning provides ideal real world learning opportunities. According to SmartBlog on Leadership, doing volunteer and service work for a non-profit organization that is connected to your major or academic program of study helps develop leadership skills, expands your perspective of the world, allows you to discover new skills in a safe environment, and develops a larger network of real world contacts to draw upon once you graduate.

Did you know?

Service learning can take you outside of your comfort zone, giving you an opportunity to work with new challenges, people, politics and interpersonal dynamics. It also offers new perspective on priorities. Hanging out with people who have had different life experiences encourages you to tackle challenges from different angles. Julie Zolfo, founder of Make Success Matter said that she volunteered for six weeks at the schools in New Delhi, India.

Did you know?

"Alvernia's Career Development Center works with students to find avenues for employment, internships, co-ops, career exploration, resume development, and graduate school options. Center staff help students assess their options and identify their own "brand" to complement their life after Alvernia.

Did you know?

A recent career fair at Alvernia attracted more than 55 employers who were seeking to hire employees, co-ops and interns for their organizations. Career fairs like this one are fertile ground for students seeking real world learning opportunities and to reap the benefits of such as employers look to to hire staff members who have honed their skills and abilities via practical experiences in real situations.

Did you know?

Since its inception, Alvernia has offered real world opportunities with an emphasis on service and careers that help those in need. Field experiences in areas like criminal justice, social work, nursing, occupational therapy, health care science and teacher training among others provide our students with rich learning opportunities to test drive what it's like to work in that profession.

Did you know?

In a recent American Association of Colleges and Universities survey of 302 employers, 79 percent said institutions of higher learning should emphasize helping students apply what they learn in real-world settings, and 66 percent said that completing an internship or community field project would help prepare students for success.