During the summer of 2015 I got an internship at Sanofi, a pharmaceutical company. My job title is Asset Management and Operations Intern, but I did a lot more than just manage some assets.
I had two managers and so I worked on a different project for each of them. The first iwas directly involved in asset management. I took inventory of all the equipment in the scientific labs and update the databases. It required a lot of communication with the scientists, and they aren’t always supportive of “the upstairs business work”. However, through hard work and a positive outlook I got their cooperation and finished the assignment a month early.
The second project is more HR based where I am the contact person for the Boston Hub Pilot Preceptorship Program. A preceptorship is where current employees can apply to work in a different department for 50% of their time for 6 months, thus providing them with new skills, and the department with another person to help out who has a different background. For this project I received, organized, and reviewed all the resumes, I set up multiple meetings and interviews with candidates, and I worked with the selected preceptors to create their work plans and goals for the entirety of the 6 months in their new role.
Beyond those two projects I also worked on the monthly Profit and Loss statements, updated the Organizational Charts, and drank a lot of coffee!
How did you find this opportunity?
I found this opportunity through my father. He has been working at Sanofi for 20+ years. We both knew that Sanofi has a huge internship program and so I knew I was going to apply. However, when my dad found out that one of his past managers was having their own intern he went and spoke to her about me and she said she would keep an eye out for my application.
In the end, it was my experience and resume that got me through the first round of applications and got me an interview, but it was my family connections and the help of my father’s networking that solidified my position. I interviewed on a Thursday morning and the following day they called me to let me know I had the job.
What has your experience been like and what have you learned?
My experience at Sanofi has on the whole been amazing. I have learned a lot about how to work with others and how to step back and ask for help when something is too big for just me to handle. Working in a scientific company I got to see all the work that goes into developing a drug. The scientists are so dedicated to their work that sometimes it was hard to make them see the importance of what I was doing as well. I had to learn to tread carefully in the labs while taking inventory and to do as much as possible before asking for help. I learned that it is better to start off with “I have done 80% of this task and now I need your help with the rest” than to say “This is my task can you help me”. By the end of my summer I was surprised with how much scientific equipment I could recognize on my own!
What advice do you have for other students?
My advice for other students would be to treat every day at your internship with a clear mind. If something didn’t work out the day before that’s ok! Do the best you can and ask for help. Your managers and co-workers know that you’re an intern and they aren’t expecting you to do everything perfectly. Don’t take previous discouragements to heart and don’t be afraid to seek help!