Meet Andrew, Microbiology Scientist at Roche Pleasanton
What is your current position at Roche?
I am currently a Scientist within the Microbiology group of the Infectious Diseases Research department based in Pleasanton, California.
How did Summer @ Roche internship help you grow professionally?
During my three internships, I was learning something new every day. The first couple weeks were the busiest, from extensive networking within the department as well as the intern class to becoming an expert on a new project in a short amount of time. My internships have allowed me to work on projects ranging from platform feasibility to reagent evaluation to assay design. The combination of these experiences has given me a unique perspective for someone entering industry, where I have seen snapshots of all of the parts that go in to an assay. Without these internships, I would not be who I am today.
Describe your transition from an intern to a regular full-time Roche employee.
The biggest jump was entering the first internship after being in academia. Those first few months were where I got my first glimpse in to life in industry. Through networking, mentoring, and my group I quickly learned how to work in a professional environment. The following internships helped to refine my understanding of what being a full time Roche employee was and the expectations required, so that when I did finally graduate and make the transition, it felt like a natural progression of my career development.
How would you describe the culture and work environment at Roche?
I have found the culture of Roche to be incredibly warm and welcoming. One of the reasons that I returned the two summers (and now as a full time employee) was the culture exhibited by those who work here. During internships in academia, I was constantly reminded that I was just an intern. Many people were inaccessible or not open to ideas or suggestions. When I joined Roche, I was blown away by the respect and trust afforded to me by everyone. I never felt like I was just an intern, my contributions were valuable and meaningful.
What has been the most rewarding experience you had at Roche?
There is not one single most rewarding experience to me aside from the internship program as a whole. It is very diverse, and helps foster great time management skills. We as interns had to balance our day to day roles within our departments along with attending informal intern activities (lunches etc.) and formal intern activities which ranged from attending presentations by senior management to giving back to the greater Bay Area community through volunteer work. Additionally, the end of summer poster presentation allowed us to reflect on our summer of work, create a scientific poster, and present it at a company-wide symposium. Through this presentation we were able to network and proudly display the body of knowledge that we had created in three short months.
What would you advise students who want to join our Summer @ Roche program?
I would advise any future students that this is not any old internship. There is a whole host of information that is available to someone if they have the drive and are proactive about their personal and professional development. They must be passionate about what they do and be ready to work hard, as their work will have meaning and it will end up affecting patient’s lives.