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Opening Doors, Launching Careers via Cell Therapy Manufacturing Roles

January 31, 2023
Career GrowthCell TherapyGlobal Product Development and SupplyPassion
Careers Home  /  Career Stories  /  Opening Doors, Launching Careers via Cell Therapy Manufacturing Roles

Cell therapy represents a new way of treating serious diseases and you can be a part of that innovation. Incredible opportunities exist for those early in their career or interested in a career transition to get their foot in the door at BMS through interesting and meaningful work manufacturing these therapies. If you have a passion for making a difference in the lives of patients, BMS will provide the technical training.

You'll find roles that are critical in supporting the BMS scientists who develop these cutting-edge procedures. It’s a constantly evolving process requiring dedicated and BMS-trained professionals with technical expertise, curiosity and an innovative mindset — like Marisa Chu, Senior Director, Site Manufacturing Operations, and Celica Cantu, Senior Manager, QA Operations. Both are based out of our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Bothell, Washington, bringing their diverse talents to help transform the lives of patients, while also transforming their own careers.

A Personal Experience

Marisa Chu, Senior Director, Site Manufacturing Operations in Bothell, WA
Marisa Chu, Senior Director, Site Manufacturing Operations in Bothell, WA

As a Senior Director and team leader, Marisa started with a background in biology and botany before taking on a role in biopharma quality control. It was early in her career that she was deeply inspired by the experience of a patient being treated for breast cancer.

“I heard a patient talking about the impact treatment had on her family, and how she had all this time with her grandkids. I thought, ‘I want to do that — give people more time with their families.’ That's what I love about this industry. Having that kind of connection makes it worth going to work every day.”

Marisa’s career continues to thrive after transitioning into the manufacturing organization and gaining valuable industry experience in an MBA program. While this drive gave her the foundation to succeed, it was a former colleague who encouraged her to “try something different” and make the move to BMS and cell therapy.

“When I talked to the people [at BMS] and heard their passion for the work and their excitement for what they were doing, I saw how we could make a huge difference. I hadn't been actively looking for a new position, but this felt like something I needed to do.”

Progressing to the head of the manufacturing operations at Bothell, Marisa is responsible for overseeing work that ultimately transforms a patient’s cells into a life-transforming treatment. For her, the opportunity to advance her career has been rewarding. She likens the intensity of learning to being in “startup mode” where one could make a difference very quickly, but also thrive in a supportive work environment.

“BMS as a network has incredible opportunities for networking, education and mentoring. I've met people from outside of Cell Therapy within the BMS People & Business Resource Groups. There's no lack of upward growth here.”

A Strong Start

Celica Cantu, Senior Manager, Quality Assurance Operations in Bothell, WA
Celica Cantu, Senior Manager, Quality Assurance Operations in Bothell, WA

Cell Therapy Manufacturing offers plenty of roles for those transitioning to a new career like veterans, educators and scientists, as well as those just starting out. After graduating with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Neuroscience, Celica worked in hospitals, schools and biotech. In just a few years she’s built up experience in quality assurance and quality control to take the next step in biopharma at BMS.

“I wanted to work for a company whose mission involved putting patients first. A place where innovation is welcomed. When I learned about BMS and its values, I knew it was the right place for me.”

For someone early in her career, BMS has already made a positive impact on Celica’s professional growth, encouraging her to take on more responsibilities and leadership positions. She says it’s reflected in initiatives like the Frontline Leadership Development Program, and as a workplace culture that values inclusivity. “Everyone is welcoming and willing to provide support, which has helped me grow and connect with other leaders across my organization.”

Location, Location, Location

In our Bothell, Washington facility, cutting-edge technologies produce cell therapies for cancer patients, and our teams receive extensive training in a collaborative, connected culture.

Bothell and other BMS manufacturing facilities around the world are continually looking for motivated, high-performing individuals — from various backgrounds and career levels — to help make a difference in the lives of our patients. We invite you to explore cell therapy manufacturing careers at BMS and many other open roles. Should Washington State be a stop on your own career path, be sure to check out current openings at Bothell, WA too.