This summer I am working as a chemistry intern at a pharmaceutical company. The past 2 summers I have stayed in Michigan doing research. I knew that I wanted to get industry experience this summer and get exposure to a different side of research. I am very familiar with academic research and I was looking forward to a new environment and perspective in an industry setting. Not only is a diverse set of experiences beneficial to expand my knowledge and improve my resume, but an industry position would allow me to see if industry is something I wish to pursue in the future.
I applied to multiple well known pharmaceutical industry positions online. The internship application process was different and because of that, I had to prepare in a slightly different way. In the past, I had mainly applied to university programs that had a slightly different process. The internship application process was more corporate and because of this, I had to take some new steps. Because of my internship, I went to the career fair for the first time and talked with some company representatives and scientists. I thought this was a valuable experience and I think that attending the career fair and talking with one of the representatives definitely helped my application and allowed me to be offered an interview.
As a part of my preparation, I also revised my resume and wrote cover letters, which was another new task, but I am glad I got the experience of writing cover letters. Applying for industry positions also revealed to me the importance of networking and connections. Michigan has alumni at many different pharmaceutical companies. The company I wanted to work for the most thankfully has strong connections and good relations with Michigan, and we have a representative at the company who works with recruiting. The representative sent an email to the PI of the lab I work at letting them know about the internship program and encouraging students to apply. I was able to send my information to my PI, who sent it to the representative who forwarded it to a scientist in charge of hiring interns.
I heard back first from my top choice and was fortunate enough to be offered a position fairly quickly. I’ve heard great things about this particular company, that it is a great place to work and there is great chemistry and science going on, so I was extremely happy and excited to be offered a position. I’m really looking forward to my internship.