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Solazyme is a San Francisco, CA based company that synthesizes oil from algae, and they have some great job opportunities for new grads.

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“Yo I’m a Raptor doin’ what I can gonna eat everything till the appearance of man. Yo yo yo, see me, I’m living below the soil, I’ll be back but I’m comin’ as oil!” That has to be one of my favorite lines from Mrs. Doubtfire, a movie that I saw dozens of time as a kid. I thought it was funny even though I had no idea what it meant (probably because Robin Williams saying anything is funny). Mrs. Doubtfire was on tv recently, and I saw the scene for the first time in a long time and finally got it. Disappointingly, petroleum doesn’t actually come from dinosaurs, but from decomposed single-celled organisms that existed 10s or 100s of millions of years ago. That means that oil is a non-renewable resource… or at least it used to be. Solazyme is a San Francisco, CA based company that has “pioneered an industrial biotechnology platform that harnesses the prolific oil-producing ability of micro algae.” Yes, they are actually synthesizing real oil that can be refined and used to power things.

Squeaky Wheel Gets the Oil

What Solazyme is doing may sound like a futuristic fantasy, but United Airlines has already flown flights with Solazyme’s algae based fuel. They’re also planning to buy 20 million gallons of the fuel in 2014. Solazyme’s business isn’t just about energy. They also develop products for the Chemical, Nutrition, and Health Sciences industries. You can learn more about each of these market areas here. You’ll also probably want to read up on Solazyme’s technology. If reading that gets you fired up about a future powered by Solazyme, then you’ll want to check out the company’s Careers page. They’re obviously a very science-focused company, but most of their non-science jobs require pretty significant experience (and so do most of their science focused jobs). The one position that stood out to me as possibly being a good fit for a new grad is Fermentation Research Associate. They also allow you to apply for unlisted positions, so you may want to do that if you think you’d fit in for a role that isn’t posted (they do offer internships, so those might be a good guideline for what kind of entry level opportunities could be possible).

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