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Battling Cancer Around the Clock with Cell Therapy and Amelia Gutierrez

August 30, 2022
Career GrowthCell TherapyInnovation
Careers Home  /  Career Stories  /  Battling Cancer Around the Clock with Cell Therapy and Amelia Gutierrez

Amelia Gutierrez Perez was just 14 when she knew what she wanted to do for a living–work in bioscience and battle cancer. She had just lost her best friend to the disease, and the passing of her friend sparked a fire inside her that still burns to this day. Now, as a Scientist in BMS’ Quality Control Analytical Testing Group, Amelia works with CAR T technology to help fight cancer on a molecular level.

“BMS is leading the way in CAR T cell therapy,” Amelia explains. “It's an amazing process, because you are using the patient’s own cells. Yes, you can actually manufacture a cancer therapy based on a patient’s own cells.”

Life at BMS

Amelia Gutierrez Perez, Scientist, Quality Control Analytical Testing, CAR T Cell Therapy
Amelia Gutierrez Perez, Scientist, Quality Control Analytical Testing, CAR T Cell Therapy

After nearly two years at BMS, Amelia is still in love with her workplace. She feels trusted, valued and appreciated—feelings that often make the difference in an employee choosing to stay with an employer for the long-term. And from the way Amelia talks about her employer, there is no doubt she’s in this for the long haul.

“The management is always encouraging, trusting in you, providing new opportunities to learn and grow,” she says. When your management trusts in you, you say, ‘Wow. I'm valued. Management is giving me more responsibility because they know I can do it.’ That's very important in a workplace.”




The Flexibility of Off-Shift Work

Amelia does all her work for BMS in an off-shift role, working from 4:00 PM to 2:00 AM four days a week. Operating outside a typical 9 to 5 day offers other perks that aren’t always obvious, like lighter traffic and being able to run personal errands during the day when businesses are open. And a ten-hour shift four days a week means three-day weekends to relax and recharge.

“For me, it’s perfect because I take Pilates classes in the mornings, and that allows me to get exercise, relax, run errands, and then go to work happy. At 10:00 AM, I can do whatever I want until 3:00 PM, when I get ready for work. This schedule allows me to enjoy a work/life balance and do other things important to my personal life during my days,” she says.

We’re All Human

Another thing Amelia appreciates about BMS is how it helps employees reframe their approach to learning. When working within the cutting-edge field of CAR T cell therapy, one cannot harbor a fear of failure. BMS looks for learning opportunities wherever they exist. It encourages employees to learn and collaborate. That’s a refreshingly different approach that helps Amelia feel valued and trusted.

“This is new and evolving science,” Amelia says. “But, at BMS, errors are learning experiences which help us move the science forward.”

Growth and More Career Opportunities

And learning experiences have led to regulatory approvals and growth within the BMS cell therapy division. That means transforming more patients' lives and opening up more career opportunities within this groundbreaking field. "When I came to BMS in 2020, we were processing a very limited number of patients weekly in clinical trials," Amelia explains. "In 2021, we achieved a milestone with FDA approval for commercial manufacturing. Now we have significantly increased capacity since I started, and my team has grown exponentially.”

When asked, Amelia gushes about her employer. She truly enjoys her experience and career at BMS.

“I'm in love with BMS. I'm just in love with our company. I think it's amazing,” she says. "The benefits are very good. And if you talk to anyone within BMS about the culture, they'll agree. The inclusivity and diversity, how accessible management is–it's a great place to be." All that, and she gets to do what she’s wanted to do all her life. That’s a dream job come true.

Discover your own passion for doing important work for an employer that supports your career. If you have experience working with small molecules, there are off-shift career growth opportunities in cell therapy that deserve your attention. Explore open roles at BMS today.