Breaking into the Data Science Industry: Muneera Cadersa Shares Her Co-op Experience at Pfizer

Muneera Cadersa
Muneera Cadersa completed a Drexel Co-op with pharmaceutical firm Pfizer at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Muneera Cadersa is a senior data science and math major with minors in software engineering and MIS at Drexel University's College of Computing & Informatics (CCI). At CCI, Cadersa has served as an Undergraduate Dean’s Ambassador and as coordinator of the college's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council.

It was during the COVID-19 pandemic when Cadersa was working at Pfizer on a second Drexel Co-op that she found enthusiasm could counteract the pitfalls of a stressful work situation.

"As long as you’re passionate about what you’re doing and you’re able to work with your team regardless of the challenges that you face, you will definitely make the most out of your co-ops," she said.

At Pfizer, Cadersa was a real-world data project manager working during the pandemic's peak. Pfizer's vaccine had been released, and it had turned its attention to releasing oral medication Paxlovid™.

“One of my biggest tasks was to actually work with health care vendors all across the globe to collect data, analyze, and use machine-learning techniques to identify how well the COVID pill was performing,” she said.

Her advice for aspiring data scientists is to not wait for opportunities in this competitive field. “Create them for yourself,” Cadersa said.

Parents, students and prospective students have asked Cadersa if she would change her decision to go to Drexel. Her response?

“I don’t think I would have gotten the same opportunity in terms of academic research, leadership and experience somewhere else. Drexel has really helped me shape who I am today and I’m very grateful for all the opportunities to grow and learn and be a part of such a rich community here in Philadelphia,” she said.

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