August 31, 2020
The cleanroom at Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing in Lee, Mass. Several MCLA alumni currently work at BSM in manufacturing, quality assurance, and project management.
As Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing (BSM) in Lee, Mass., has grown, many MCLA alumni have grown there, too.
Founded in 2014, BSM provides small scale sterile manufacturing services, analytical method development, and stability studies for pharmaceutical and biotech companies that are looking to put new life-saving and life-enhancing therapies into clinical trials. This year, BSM broke ground on a major expansion project that will enable the company to broaden its mission, increase its production, and serve more clients.
“The expansion will come with a lot of growth in a lot of different areas,” said Jim Donnelly, BSM’s HR recruiter. That expansion and increased capacity means more jobs in the Berkshires—jobs that do not only expand STEM in Western MA, but jobs that also offer management and experienced positions.
Several MCLA alumni currently work in manufacturing, quality assurance, and project management. Although STEM degrees, including chemistry, microbiology, and engineering majors, are preferred, business-oriented majors can support administrative roles, and sometimes there are open positions in offices like HR and accounting. “People who have a liberal arts education or a business background could be a great fit for that,” he said.
Besides education or related experience, what makes someone a good fit at BSM? Because so many people are involved on single projects, “the one word that always comes to mind for me is collaborative,” said Donnelly. “That’s one thing we’re always looking for, someone who can come in and work as part of a team.”
BSM Master Scheduler Becky Cohen ’04 joined the company in 2019. A North Adams native, she is appreciative that BSM regularly hires locally. “It has been rewarding during to work for a company that plays a direct role in the testing of vaccines and treatments for COVID-19,” she said. “I look forward to developing and advancing my career in biopharmaceuticals, where I can continue to build relationships with companies that are developing drugs making a huge impact in the health care field and ultimately in patients’ lives.”
Tannya Romero ’18 majored in biology at MCLA with a pre-med concentration. She began as an intern, and was recently promoted to lead associate in BSM’s manufacturing department. “My science knowledge was a basic background that helped me take the step to apply for an internship at BSM,” Romero said. “I continue gaining valuable skills at BSM. After my graduation, I wanted to stay close to home and spend some quality time with my family. It’s been amazing to be part of BSM; I enjoy been part of the team and I am fortunate to work along great people.”
Donnelly has visited MCLA in his recruitment efforts, tabling at career fairs and during career events in the campus center. “We love getting candidates that are local,” he said. “I have been very impressed with the students, their interest in our company, and the questions we get. They’re very engaging—MCLA is a good resource for us.”
Are you an MCLA student, alum, or faculty member? Do you want MCLA to share your story? Please email Creative and Brand Strategy Manager Francesca Olsen at Francesca.Olsen@mcla.edu.