Working at Amgen: Understanding My Skills

This internship has been my first work experience outside of academia. In prior blog posts, I mentioned my nervousness about my internship not having a complete overlap with my major. My nervousness faded quite quickly with the support of my manager, team and fellow interns. I was made aware from the very beginning of the importance of interdisciplinary work. As a Biological Sciences major, I did not think I would have much to contribute to Quality Compliance, especially due to the virtual and non-lab based setting. My manager encouraged me to embrace my background as a Biological Sciences major to help contribute to my projects and our daily Work Center Team (WCT) meetings. One of my projects focuses on gathering the correct data and materials (Standard Operating Procedures, TRNQs, etc.) for audits and inspections among different departments and specialties. Contacting staff in these different departments to finish this project has given me a greater insight into interdisciplinary work. Though the Quality department focuses on leveraging proper process implementation in all areas, they require support from departments such as Process Development, Manufacturing, Regulatory Affairs, Facilities and Engineering and more. All of these departments are connected to support each other’s and ultimately the company’s outcomes and goals.

I have had the pleasure to get to chat with interns every week, some of which who work in Quality with me, but others of whom work in Finance, Manufacturing and Process Development. These are areas that I had not known much about, especially in the Biotechnology Industry and have learned so much these past 9 weeks. In a virtual setting, many employees and interns have been even more eager to get to know each other better. Many of us go out of our way—even more than we would in person—to ensure we can get to know as many people at the Rhode Island site as possible. All staff, ranging from directors or interns, have made it clear that there should be no hesitation to ask questions and we can always send them a message to connect. This openness and willingness to communicate with others, especially in the virtual environment, has made it very easy for me to meet and learn from so many new people.  

I have increased my ability to communicate more effectively with people in a more professional manner. I learned the terminology that is used to help me be concise in my explanations and conversations. Working in Quality means that the best process in all aspects (product quality, efficiency, cost effectiveness) must be standardized. I am continuing to develop problem solving skills in regards to continuous improvement for the “best process”. Another transferable skill that I continue to develop is situational awareness. When work seems to pile on for team members, it is important to know what must be prioritized and what can be discussed during our meetings at a later date. I have increased technical skill knowledge through the use of certain software and applications that Amgen (as well as many other companies) uses, such as CDOCS, LMS, SmartSheets and Webex.

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