This J-1 intern is eyeing a career-changing year

Matthew Crosgrave, a recent graduate of the National University of Ireland, Galway, has found it easy to “slide into home” both in Boston and in the biotechnology industry as he begins his J-1 year. 

Following many years as a chef in Dublin, Matthew approached our team hoping to obtain a J-1 visa after going back to school to pursue Plant and Agricultural Biosciences with the ultimate goal of a career change. We at Rian, of course, enthusiastically agreed to sponsor his visa and welcomed Matthew to Boston just last month and continue to support him in finding work as he pursues this new path. 

Early into his J-1 experience, he is looking forward to obtaining opportunities in the Biotechnology industry, which is booming in Boston. Matthew is specifically interested in working in food and sustainable agriculture. He is also excited to be spending time in a US city where he can experience a different culture. 

Matthew thinks that Boston will be a great hub for his specific major. His enthusiasm transferred to his application for the visa, where, he says, he went “overboard.” The work he had done beforehand made the application quick and easy for him,  and easy for Rian to accept. This enthusiasm continued when he found out his visa was accepted. He wanted to arrive in the US with a head start in finding an internship. 

One big aspect of this was being prepared for interviews. He acknowledged that the first few interviews were a little bumpy, but after he had completed the initial interviews, he became much more confident in his own experience and ability to present himself well. 

As he’s in the process of getting an internship at a biotech startup company, he thinks the experience of working at a startup will give him a big advantage in the European job market. He noted that this industry is filled with connections, and he wants to utilize them to the best of his ability. He thinks that working at a startup means he will not have one specific role but will be able to learn more through different experiences within the firm.

When discussing the work environment that he’s encountered so far, he notes that many people are “open and willing to help,” which is a major advantage for someone temporarily moving to a city abroad. He has been getting all of his documentation in place and as he fills out his last few forms for his internship, he’s excited about his placement and eager to start work. 

He’s been doing his work at different hotspots around Boston. He loves going to coffee shops and also has been taking advantage of the Boston Public Library, one of his favorite places in the city. He says it’s an amazingly supportive place for all different kinds of people to use in Boston. 

On the personal side, he’s hoping to visit his sister in St. Louis for Thanksgiving   and take in New York City. He’d also like to visit some National Parks out West if time allows. He’s also excited to go to different sporting events and has even inquired about joining some friendly Boston hockey leagues.