Project On-Ramp Connects FSU Students with Careers in the Thriving Local Biotech Industry

Project On-Ramp Connects FSU Students with Careers in the Thriving Local Biotech Industry

Sep 20, 2023

It's a dream come true for any recent college graduate–landing a good job right out of school in a thriving industry that provides ample opportunity for career growth.

That has been the experience for FSU's Jornell Abadia '23 thanks in part to Project OnRamp, a program that connects students from historically underrepresented backgrounds with paid internships in the booming biotech industry.

Abadia, a first-generation college graduate with a degree in marketing and a minor in business administration, is a digital marketing associate at MassBio, which hired him immediately after the completion of his internship with the company.

He credits his advisor and mentor Dr. Sandra Rahman, Professor of Marketing, with helping him land the internship that resulted in his current job.

"She worked with me from my first year through my senior year and really played an active role in helping me succeed," says Abadia. "She also put me in touch with Career Counselor Emily Abel, who helped me apply to the Project OnRamp program."

Framingham State has been closely involved with Project OnRamp since it first launched in 2019–in fact, alumni Cristina Foster '21 was the first intern in the program's history.

The initiative is run by five leading life science organizations—MassBio, MassBioEd, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, MBI, and Life Science Cares—which connect passionate, high-achieving four-year college students with paid internships of up to 12 weeks. Across the state, leading companies collectively reserved more than 200 internships for Project OnRamp students drawn from local colleges and universities, up from 50 when the program first launched.

"I have high hopes for FSU's expanded participation in this program," says Abel. "Overall, FSU had six students intern through Project Onramp this past summer - the most of any participating state university."

In his current role at MassBio, Abadia is responsible for all e-mail marketing, monitors social media channels, and creates content. He is also instrumental in the creation of Bioversity, an innovative workforce development initiative spearheaded by MassBio. Bioversity carves out new avenues for career progression within the life sciences industry, specifically targeting individuals who have been historically underrepresented. Additionally, he plays a supportive role in media relations and communications, handling press and media interactions on behalf of MassBio.

"I am gaining a wealth of knowledge and skill sets that will significantly benefit my career growth," Abadia says. "The culture at MassBio is exceptionally welcoming, and I am looking forward to my continued journey with one of the world's leading life science organizations led by a phenomenal CEO."

About Framingham State University

Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,000 students with 58 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a State College and University (SCU), Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.