Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Paige Halas and I am a senior Biochemistry major and French and Francophone Studies minor at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. In high school, I took biology and chemistry simultaneously and was fascinated by the connections between the two subjects. This experience inspired me to major in biochemistry in college. I am interested in pursuing a career in biotechnology and am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be exposed to the industry through my internship at Roche. Outside of work, I enjoy dancing, ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, and traveling.
What is your current position and what do you do?
I am the intern for the Quality and Regulatory group at Roche Sequencing Solutions. I am directly working with Quality Systems and provide support to the group’s implementation of a Quality Management System to the new Roche Sequencing Solutions business area.
In which Roche location are you currently working? What can you tell us about that location as a work environment?
I am working at the Roche Sequencing Solutions site in Pleasanton, California. I love living in the Bay Area. I grew up in Northern New Jersey and moved to Northern California when I was in high school, so I am still relatively new to the area. I love that Northern California has so much to explore such a short distance away; from the beach, to the snow, and the many great cities and towns in between! The Bay Area is a great place to work due to the innovative people and organizations that call this area home.
Why did you decide to choose Roche for your internship?
I was exposed to Roche from a very young age. My father has worked for Roche on the Pharma side and I grew up attending many Rising Stars at Roche events. I remember going to work with my dad at the Roche Nutley campus and being amazed by what a difference Roche made in patients’ lives. As I have learned more about my interests, I found that I want to pursue a career in Research and Development. Although my dad has been working for Roche Pharma, I did not know anything about the Roche Diagnostics business area until I applied for my summer internship at Roche Sequencing Solutions. I chose Roche for my internship because I wanted to gain exposure to the biotechnology industry, learn about the diagnostics business area, and find my own place at Roche.
How would you describe your internship?
I would describe my internship as enriching. This experience has allowed me to utilize skills learned in my coursework as well as develop new skills. I have been given many responsibilities that benefit the Quality Systems group as Roche Sequencing Solutions continues to grow. Additionally, the Summer@Roche internship program allows interns to work on their career development which has given me a better idea of what role I want to have in improving the lives of others.
What do you like best about your experience so far?
My internship experience has been great; however, I think my manager and team have made this internship an exceptionally positive experience. My manager has been supportive of me in my projects within the Quality Systems group, as well as assisting me in my personal development. My team is full of people who are always willing to help and share their knowledge. We have a lot of fun together and it has been a great environment to learn in.
What advice would you give future students who want to join us?
I would advise future students who want to join Roche that the Summer@Roche program provides you with so much more than just an internship. Aside from your job specific projects, Summer@Roche allows you to engage in development opportunities such as job shadowing, career workshops, and mentoring opportunities which are useful for discovering your own interests in industry.