Net­working with entre­pre­neurs and alumni, fourth-​​year chem­ical engi­neering major Ravi Patel said, has trans­formed his edu­ca­tion and opened his eyes to end­less opportunities.

Attending the Health Sci­ences Entre­pre­neurs annual student-​​mentoring event as a freshman laid a foun­da­tion for his suc­cess. Since then, Patel has sparked an interest in entre­pre­neur­ship and com­pleted a co-​​op this spring with GE Water and Process Tech­nolo­gies in Burlington, Mass.

These inter­ac­tions have given me expo­sure to new ideas,” Patel said. “It’s very valu­able hearing the sto­ries alumni tell. I won’t be starting a com­pany tomorrow, but they will be there to help mentor me when I get to that stage.”

Patel was one of nearly 100 people who attended the Health Sci­ences Entre­pre­neurs Sev­enth Annual Men­toring event, which was held last month in the Curry Stu­dent Center ball­room and cospon­sored by the Bouvé Col­lege of Health Sci­ences and the Woburn, Mass.-based lab­o­ra­tory ser­vices firm United Esoterics.

Stu­dents net­worked with entre­pre­neurs and alumni and lis­tened to a panel of speakers dis­cuss the diverse range of ven­ture oppor­tu­ni­ties in the health sci­ences sector.

Christo­pher Ford, BA’73, chairman and cofounder of Amer­ican Renal Asso­ciates, Inc., mod­er­ated the panel. Ford, who worked for 25 years before starting his own com­pany, encour­aged stu­dents to turn their inter­ests into new and exciting busi­ness opportunities.

You all have it in you to become a suc­cessful entre­pre­neur,” he said. “You just need to believe in your­self and go for it.”

Pan­elist Cristina Csimma, PharmD, MHP’91, for­merly the vice pres­i­dent of drug devel­op­ment at Vir­dante Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and prin­cipal at Clarus Ven­tures, chal­lenged stu­dents to embrace the con­stantly changing busi­ness landscape.

Look at the economy over the last few years. Look at the changes in health care in the last three to five years,” Csimma said. “There’s going to be more of that. So all these might be chal­lenges, but they’re also oppor­tu­ni­ties for you.”

Visit www​.alumni​.neu​.edu/​h​e​a​l​t​h​s​c​i​e​n​ces for more details on HSE and to view the recording from the event.