Q: Can you talk about how you’ve spent your life since graduating from K?
After graduating from Kalamazoo I spent the summer searching for jobs, golfing, and spending time with family and friends. It was a bit of a weird time, not having homework or class to do, so I was able to catch up on pleasure reading and things. I’m a pretty avid home brewer and I put some of my free time towards reading and experimenting with some recipes I had in the works. In that same vein, I spent a few weeks working at a hop farm to understand a different side of the industry that I’d never seen before. I’m now working in a chemistry lab and keeping busy throughout the week.
Q: What do you do for work (or school) now?
At the moment, I’m doing contract work at Zoetis in an analytical chemistry lab. It’s nice to work there because I feel like the skills I learned from internships and classes are being directly applied to the work I do. Most of the assays are low-tech but I get to help identify active pharmaceutical ingredients on a variety of veterinary drugs and make sure that everything was manufactured correctly.
Q: How did you get into what you are doing?
I was pretty fortunate to get the job that I have between timing and persistence. A friend from high school worked in the accounting side at Zoetis and I ran into him over the summer in South Haven. We talked about post-grad life and he let me know that there was a position open in one of their labs. After a couple of weeks I had an interview and was signed on as a contract worker.
Q: How applicable has your K education been to your post grad occupation?
Kalamazoo’s chemistry department was excellent in preparing me for this job. While the tasks I’m doing aren’t terribly difficult, I feel extremely comfortable on the bench and there seems to be a lot of opportunity to grow into a role that uses some more complex skills that I gained through internships. Ideally I’d be able to use some of my Spanish in the lab, but for the time being, it’s wishful thinking.
Q: Do you know what’s next for Bob Schultz?
I’m going to interview to be hired into Zoetis rather than doing contract work, which would be sweet. If that’s the case I want to start looking ahead to graduate school for an MBA or a masters in chemistry. I just bought some new golf clubs so I’m hoping that I can get on the course again early this spring. Besides that I’m trying to see how to use my Spanish language skills in the community, maybe traveling back to Spain for a bit, and looking to start singing again after a very extended hiatus. Who knows though, I’m just enjoying post-grad life and trying to keep life light for the first time in four years.