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I learned that what I did outside of the college classroom is much more important and paved a lot of opportunities for me after graduation. Acquiring real world experiences through internships and research fellowships made what I was learning in the classroom come more alive and it made me more marketable in the workforce after graduation. My participation in college organizations (such as the chemistry fraternity, orchestra, queer alliance club, etc) enriched my life, giving me fond memories of my youth and introspectively learning more about myself as an individual and integral member of the global community. I wish I knew in high school that the learning experience was beyond the classroom setting and that it's best to develop a passion for learning than just to earn a degree. The passion for learning can help you navigate the constant change in information and knowledge.

Ryan Susa '00

University of Hawaii at Manoa, Rochester Institute of Technology, & Johns Hopkins University

BS in Biochemistry
Pursuing Master's in Biotechnology Enterprise & Entrepreneurship

Ryan Susa (PCHS '00) graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a bachelor degree in biochemistry and spent more than 5 years in bioscience research at prestigious universities before pursuing a career in the biotechnology industry. He has spent more than 8 years working at various molecular diagnostics companies as a global product trainer and field application specialist. He resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and is currently a full-time employee at Grifols (a pioneering company developing convalescent plasma treatment for COVID-19) while studying part-time at Johns Hopkins University to pursue a Master's in Biotechnology Enterprise & Entrepreneurship.

Other Advice/Information

When I was a student at PCHS, I participated in the Close Up Foundation program where I spent two weeks traveling to Washington DC, Williamsburg VA, Philadelphia PA, and New York City to learn about US history and government. I am forever grateful for the PCHS teachers that organized that trip because that program ignited my passion to travel as much as possible and to explore the world around me beyond the confines of Hawaii. It also influenced my choice to go beyond Hawaii and the west coast for college to expand my comfort zone and gain enriching experiences.

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