Interning at a pharmaceutical company has provided me with a myriad of new opportunities that I would not have expected. During the first few weeks of my internship, three professors were visiting either for a consulting or for a presentation. My mentor was able to get me into the lunches with these professors. This is an incredible opportunity because these were important, well-known professors in the Chemistry field, and they also do work that I am interested in. Also, this is especially fortuitous because I am applying to grad school in the fall and I plan to apply to the schools these professors are at, so making these connections would be beneficial.
I got to see what a consulting session at a pharmaceutical company was like. I did not know about these beforehand and did not know what to expect. A consulting session is when a professor is brought to the company and meets with various groups/projects to give feedback. Each group, composed of various scientists, presents their current work, giving an overview of the project, the current state and the challenges or obstacles the scientists are facing. The professor and scientists are able to bounce ideas off of each other and ask questions. These consulting sessions were incredibly valuable because I got to see what challenges industry is currently facing. In the sciences, much of the research is driven by what pharma needs so I thought these consulting sessions were valuable in that sense.
Besides the consulting sessions, I also had lunch with a few professors. The lunches were organized so that many of the people invited were usually newer hires so they could have a chance to meet these professors and talk. I also didn’t know what to expect for these lunches but they were surprisingly casual. It was simply a lunch with the professor and some other scientists. The topics discussed ranged from people’s work, the company, chemistry as a field, politics, graduate school, the professor’s group and more. I think these types of lunches and meetings are quite common in professional settings so I appreciated the opportunity and experience of getting exposure to these lunches and becoming more familiar with them. I feel like these experiences will help me in the future as I have more lunches with other professors and later in the professional career.