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Job Openings  

For questions about professional staff positions, contact:

Katie Penquite

Senior Manager—Talent Acquisition & Workforce Planning

Have questions about our paralegal opportunities? Please contact:

Jane Klenck

Paralegal Manager

Julie Oswald

Paralegal Manager

Related Industries:

Healthcare Life Sciences

A conversation with Arianne Rodriguez

Describe your career trajectory.

I am the first member of my family to earn a bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Latinx and Hispanic people have been historically marginalized and are currently underrepresented in the STEM workforce. This is due to systemic barriers, which prevent continuing education in STEM. I was fortunate to have encouraging science teachers in middle and high school who provided me with opportunities to further my interest in science. Additionally, during undergrad at Saint Mary’s College in Indiana, a women’s-only institution, I was able to participate in a paid internship that made securing research experience (a must for graduate school applications) financially possible. My professors encouraged my love for science and nurtured my confidence and tenacity, without which I would not have survived graduate school. 

The Ph.D. involves a lot of hands-on research. However, my favorite part of the Ph.D. and of science in general is thinking about results, experimental design, and how the data relate to what we already know. As someone who is insatiably curious, and after I completed my Ph.D., I looked for an opportunity outside of academia that would allow me to work on multiple projects at once and explore the business aspect of science: how we commercialize innovation. My interests – intellectual property, biomedical startups and the pharmaceutical industry – led to my career as a scientific advisor at Husch Blackwell.

Why have you chosen to make your career at Husch Blackwell?

My Husch Blackwell predecessor studied with me at Northwestern, so by the time I began my career transition I already knew about the scientific advisor position and the firm. Eventually, Husch Blackwell did post a scientific advisor opening and I applied. Serendipitously, on the same day, I attended the Chicago Women in Intellectual Property (ChiWIP) event where I met and spoke with some of the firm’s women attorneys. One of the women I met took a copy of my resume to the hiring attorney to ensure it was reviewed, and the rest is history. I am forever grateful to the supportive women’s organizations that helped me to transition from academia to law, including ChiWIP and Chicago Women in Bio.

How does Husch Blackwell support your well-being and unique identity?

I value being in community with my colleagues who share my identities. I co-chair HB Unidos, which serves our attorneys and business professionals who identify as Latino/Latina/Latinx or Hispanic, with Catarina Colón and am a member of HB Women. These employee resource groups (ERGs) provide community and seek effective ways to advocate for their members’ needs while helping the firm to foster an engaged, diverse and equitable team culture. Previously called affinity groups, ERGs like HB Unidos provide a safe and comfortable space for similarly diverse people to share their experiences, concerns, dreams, pursuits and successes. These ERGs bridge the gap for many of us who are first-generation professionals in navigating a fast-paced and complicated world, while providing friends who constantly support us.

Do you serve any nonprofit organizations that assist Latino/Latina/Latinx or Hispanic communities?

Northwestern University’s Science Club is an after-school program that encourages middle schoolers’ interests in STEM by teaming them with scientists for science programming and hands-on experiments. Through this program, I mentor at Little Village’s True Value Boys & Girls Club of Chicago, whose demographic is mostly Latinx and Hispanic. I’m where I am today because of those who supported, guided, inspired and mentored me. I am so grateful to them, and I try to pay it forward through the Science Club by providing the same for the next generation.

Key Contact

Job Openings  

For questions about professional staff positions, contact:

Katie Penquite

Senior Manager—Talent Acquisition & Workforce Planning

Have questions about our paralegal opportunities? Please contact:

Jane Klenck

Paralegal Manager

Julie Oswald

Paralegal Manager

Related Industries:

Healthcare Life Sciences

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