The "Business" of Health and Safety: Alumna shows business students the global side of analytical testing



By Andrea O'Neill '06

Mariam Sarkessian '17 credits her many experiences as a Bloom student for her professional success with Eurofins and is now helping fellow Huskies begin their climb in the analytical testing industry. 

A group on a bus.
Bloomsburg University students enroute to the Eurofins facility during a Husky Career Road Trip.

Eurofins provides "testing, inspection, certification, audits and support services to the pharmaceutical, food, environmental, agriscience and consumer products industries." Sarkessian is one of many Bloom grads who work at the company in a multitude of capacities that range from recruitment and chemistry to human resources and project management. Now a Senior Sourcing Specialist, Sarkessian has been managing purchasing and supply chain for Eurofins since she graduated and says that it’s Eurofins’ global role in testing which attracted her to the company, and its supportive company culture that keeps her there.

"We improve quality of life by making it safer and healthier, and I'm grateful to be part of that mission," said Sarkessian. "We do things with quality and excellence, which has positioned us as global market leaders. I'm proud to still be with my first company after five and half years."

Sarkessian says her experiences at Bloomsburg, both in and out of the classroom, prepared her for this position. As a Business honors student carrying a music minor and keeping up the responsibility of multiple clubs and volunteer experiences, Sarkessian felt prepared for the vendor relationships, contract negotiations, and pricing decisions she navigates on a daily basis.

"It comes down to time management [and] in an industry that has such an impact on people’s lives, even a few minute delay can have a critical impact," explained Sarkessian. "The soft skills you learn from dealing with the different stressors and expectations as a student prepare you to do things as quickly, efficiently, and correctly as possible."

As a relatively recent grad, Sarkessian has the unique perspective of being an experienced professional while still close to her days as a student. She has used that experience to help fellow Huskies get their foot in the door by sharing her advice and experience to students as an Alumni panelist and hosting a Husky Career Road Trip with the BU Global Business Association that she helped found in 2016. The trip included a Eurofins facility tour, a presentation about the company, and a conversation about how Eurofins functions within the international business environment.

"I do anything I can to give back," said Sarkessian. "I find it most valuable…to tell students what to expect. It's one thing to learn in the classroom and another to apply in the "real world."  

At Eurofins, Sarkessian says that time management, communication, and confidence to apply one’s transferrable skills are essential to differentiating oneself as a young talent.

"Show off your soft skills just as much as your hard skills," advises Sarkessian. "Knowing how to make people feel valued and creating mutually beneficial interactions, being able to communicate your ideas in a way that an audience understands, or the ability to be flexible and balance priorities during a changing workday are all important.”  

A girl talking to a group.
Mariam Sarkessian'17 speaks to students during a Husky Career Road Trip to the Eurofins facility


Sarkessian said she appreciated how students who attended the Husky Career Road Trip listened, asked questions, and even shifted their perspective on their own ability to make a difference in a large company such as Eurofins.

"The Eurofins culture praises excellence and hard work,” explained Sarkessian. “The students were hungry to learn and ambitious. I am very proud of their curiosity and encouraged them to expand their horizons, not only across Pennsylvania, but the United States and the world.”