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Learning Beyond the Classroom

There are many opportunities for Biology Majors at Merrimack College to learn about and apply biological principles outside the classroom through internships, summer research opportunities and experiences in professional laboratories, in the work place and/or field. Please check out our internships/career links page. 

The Department also partners with the O’Brien Center for Student Success.  Their staff offer a wealth of resources, including career fairs and panels, researching employment opportunities, on-campus interviews, and extensive one-on-one advising to help you identify your interests, explore your options, and pursue your employment or graduate study goals.  Current students can login to Advantage, and search and post full-time, internship and co-op positions, register for events and access on campus interview schedules.


The benefits from participating in internships, co-op programs and work experiences are enormous, and include:

  • Gaining practical, on-the-job experience
  • Development of professional and personal confidence, responsibility, and maturity
  • Understanding of the realities of the work world
  • Acquisition of human relations skills
  • Opportunity to examine a career choice closely and make professional contacts
  • Opportunity to test the ideas learned in the classroom out in the work place
  • Opportunity to make contacts with potential employers
  • Enhancement of classroom experiences
  • Learning what careers to pursue or not to pursue
  • Development of skills that are difficult to learn and practice in the classroom
  • Possible earnings to help offset college expenses

Click here for guidelines on gaining academic credit (BIO 4095) for internship experiences and/or scroll down this page.

What Merrimack Students Have Done


Gabby Angelini ’14 spent the first part of her summer studying abroad in Italy. The second portion she spent as one of two interns for Pfizer, the world’s largest research based pharmaceutical company. Pfizer gave Gabby a stipend, and allowed her to work on projects with high impacts for the department. Gabby’s main project, which she is continuing this semester, is to uses basic cell culture techniques and digital PCR to determine the instance and the source of low-level mutations.  When asked how it felt to be an intern at Pfizer, Gabby responded, “Initially I was very nervous to work at Pfizer because all I knew was that it was the largest pharmaceutical company in the world. I was very afraid I was going to mess it up, but once I got there everyone was so welcoming and willing to help me out that all my anxieties disappeared. Working at Pfizer was such a positive experience, from the lab experience to the warm team-like atmosphere. After interning at Pfizer, I have decided that I want to pursue a career in industry.“ Gabby’s internship has also excited her interest in pursuing a Master’s degree in molecular or cellular biology. 

Lloyd Hoehle ’15 has spent a significant portion of her semester gaining valuable experience as an intern for Pfizer, the world’s largest research based pharmaceutical company.

Throughout Fall 2014, Biology and Spanish Honors student, Lloyd Hoehle ’15 spent much of her time conducting research with Assistant Professor in Chemistry, Dr. Jimmy Franco. Seeing her potential, Professor Franco encouraged Lloyd to apply for an internship at Pfizer. As the fall semester wound down, Lloyd finished her application and shortly after was accepted to the internship.

Since then, Lloyd has been devoting twenty hours per week as an intern for Pfizer within Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics, and Metabolism (PDM). Describing her projects as “advanced” and “innovative”, Lloyd has certainly been enjoying her experience so far. In the future, she hopes to gain experience in a clinical setting and eventually apply to medical school.

For more information about Pfizer and the PDM focus area, visit or

 Biology Internships for Academic Credit

To receive academic credit for their experiences, students should enroll in BIO4095 Biology Internship (4 credits). The biology internship is an intensive work/study experience co-supervised by the Internship Coordinator at Merrimack College and a mentor in the work place. Students are placed according to interest in a variety of public, private or non-profit work settings, including: biomedical, pharmaceutical and/or biotechnology laboratories and facilities; medical, veterinary and/or dental clinics; and environmental and ecological positions. Prerequisites are typically junior or senior standing as a biology major and consent of the Internship Coordinator. FYI, the internship does not fulfill the departmental upper level elective requirement. View detailed guidelines on gaining academic credit for internships

For more information, contact the Biology Department Internship Coordinator:

Dr. Mark Birnbaum
Professor of Biology
Room 352 Mendel
tel (978) 837-5276

To search for potential internships and work opportunities, check out our Internship Page.