Midpoint Reflection: Amgen Internship

Though working for a Biotechnology company is a new experience for me, I have been able to apply what I have learned at Pitt to my work at Amgen. I was nervous when I first started this internship as I feared I would not be prepared but having the skill set from inside and outside of the classroom activities at Pitt increased my confidence and changed my approach to my projects.

Working for a Biotechnology company interested me as I knew I would gain a stronger understanding of this new and important field of science. I chose Amgen for this reason and continue to learn so much about Biotechnology which continues to grow my interest in studying Biotechnology further.

The goal of all my projects are to ensure high quality work in our deliverables, which have not changed since the start of my internship, so that there is a streamlined process which is followed for the various types of task, especially for the Quality departments at Amgen as that is their specialization and focus. My first project focuses on ensuring the master spreadsheet is accurately updated with the right information, including Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) across different functional areas and departments in preparation for audits and inspections. My second project focuses on creating answer keys for training materials that employees across all departments use. The third project focuses on workforce planning and streamlining the process for specific tasks to ensure efficiency. I am awaiting the finalized proposal for the fourth project but I have been told it focuses on Quality Compliance, which is the team I am a part of. The overall question that must be answered for each project is if the quality of work occurring within the site and company is meeting the standards set in place.

With the projects that I am working on, there are many similarities when being compared to my career at Pitt. The approach that I use when tackling these projects parallels to how I approach my coursework and research work. It is incredibly important to stay organized and make a schedule to not fall off track. It is also important to take responsibility and not hesitate to ask questions when there is uncertainty. My manager has encouraged me to ask questions, which has increased my confidence in reaching out to people outside of my team and department. With the support of my manager, I have gained an even stronger understanding of work in different groups—even those that do not pertain to Biological Sciences—within Amgen. This is similar to that of going to office hours and reaching out to faculty and mentors that are not in the Biology Department.

I am excited for the remaining six weeks of my internship. I look forward to applying what I’ve learned at Amgen to my experiences at Pitt. Upon starting this internship, my major expectation was to learn more about Biotechnology. Since then, I’ve gained a deeper understanding in Biotechnology and how the pharmaceutical aspect (through many departments from Finance to Process Development) supports new technological developments. Even with a virtual setting, I also had the opportunity to virtually tour the Rhode Island site, where I am an intern, which has given me a stronger understanding of company operations.

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