"Cornell students dream bigger dreams."

--Frank H.T. Rhodes, Cornell University Commencement, May 28, 1995

Monday, July 28, 2014

44. Sanjoy Biswas

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Agriculture and Life Sciences


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sanjoy73

Tell us about what you're doing with your life.

Been in Philadelphia since graduation and have worked in various roles at GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals since 1997. Currently I'm an internal auditor for the company and am responsible for evaluating risks throughout our R&D organization. One of the perks of the job is being able to globetrot to our many facilities around the world. 

Extracurricular-wise I've been very active in the local music scene promoting North Indian Classical music thru a non-profit that I've run since 2006. Last year I helped organize the Raga Samay Festival showcasing 24 hours of Indian Classical music, which hasn't been done in the past 30-some-odd years in North America.

I've recently become a shutterbug since the birth of my son Anikh, who keeps my wife Mita, and I very busy and always laughing. We're currently getting him to learn how to sing "Eye of the Tiger" before he starts pre-school in the Fall.

What was your favorite class at Cornell, or the one you found the most useful?

Hands down, for me it was Cell Biology Lab. Taught me enough molecular biology skills to hit the ground running as soon as I started graduate school. That in turn translated into my first research job in the Dept. of Microbiology at what was then SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals. I continue to be employed by the industry (and hopefully for some time to come!) and have that lab course to thank for getting my foot in the door.

What advice would you give to a student starting at Cornell this year?

Join a club, organization, or activity on campus that reflects something you're passionate or just want to learn more about. It may very well become an oasis for you when the academic stress is kicking into high gear! You'll form valuable relationships, carry unique experiences, and have something more to show on your resume. And speaking of resumes, start building your professional network...NOW!

What extracurricular activity or hobby from your time at Cornell was the most meaningful?

Cornell Concert Commission for sure! Taught me invaluable lessons in teamwork, organization, leadership, etc. I picked up a lot of audio and lighting expertise along the way both in CCC and with Cornell Productions by running shows on and off campus. As a result, that helped me when I came to Philly as a stage hand for concerts in town, as a DJ for private and corporate gigs, and running PA for various shows (including my own wedding!)