School of Health Professions

Medical Laboratory Sciences students gain insights into what their future careers hold

MLS alumna discusses the profession with a current MLS student.
Candice Laljer, MLS (ASCP CM), discusses the profession with a current student.


Dozens of medical laboratory sciences students attended a recent professional development seminar featuring a graduate of the School of Health Professions’ Medical Laboratory Sciences program.

Candice Laljer, MLS (ASCP CM), earned a master’s in medical laboratory sciences in 2019. She works as an intermediate medical laboratory scientist at the Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson. Laljer encouraged students to be clear with potential employers about their priorities, to consider their preferences for working different shifts and whether they would rather to work in a clinic or hospital setting.

“Always be curious. You want to be evolving and learning,” Laljer said. “You are never going to do the same thing every day.”

Laljer described her routine of ensuring the nine instruments she works with are ready each day —and how she troubleshoots as needed — before handling patient orders, answering calls and questions from physicians and nurses, and running tests, including chemistries, urinalyses and hematology tests.

She encouraged students to seek out ways to learn more about the profession, including shadowing opportunities. “That’s going to keep your mind fresh. There’s not a day in my life in the lab that I don’t feel like I’m learning something.”

The Feb. 10 lunchtime event was organized by the Medical Laboratory Sciences Student Association (MLSSA), which plans to hold professional development seminars each semester.

“It’s nice to hear about her experiences because it helps us be prepared,” said Ellena Pavese, MLSSA president. “It’s a good reality check.”

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