A Look Inside the Company’s Summer Internship Experience During COVID-博彩app软件下载

July 30, 2020
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hen her summer internship offer was rescinded amid the COVID-博彩app软件下载 pandemic in April, MBA student Karleigh Blum seemed to have few options. She had turned down an earlier offer from 博彩app软件下载app软件下载 Myers Squibb. Would the company possibly consider her again? 

Karleigh Blum, an R&D strategy and planning intern, works from her Manhattan apartment.

Karleigh Blum, an R&D strategy and planning intern, works from her Manhattan apartment.

Sympathizing with her situation, the company said yes and offered her a summer position in the R&D strategy and planning program.

“I am super thankful that 博彩app软件下载app软件下载 Myers Squibb was willing to pivot last minute to make accommodations for me to participate,” Blum said.

The company’s commitment to its summer internship program and the students it serves was tested as never before this year, but it held strong. As U.S. companies mark National Intern Day, 博彩app软件下载app软件下载 Myers Squibb is saluting its more than 200 interns and co-ops nationwide for their contributions to the company, and for their flexibility in adjusting to a virtual experience as COVID-博彩app软件下载 spread across the U.S.

“This summer offered the interns a unique opportunity to experience our business as we navigate COVID-博彩app软件下载,” said Ann Powell, global head of Human Resources. “We have been working in real time to adapt, to remain flexible, innovate and thrive in our new environment. And as members of the BMS team this summer, our interns contributed to our company’s objectives during one of the most interesting times in modern history.”

Continuing the program was an enormous challenge, said Erin Pierpoint, global director of Talent Acquisition. The 博彩app软件下载app软件下载 Myers Squibb Early Career Team worked all spring to alter the program for interns, looking at external benchmarking data and networking with peer companies 博彩app软件下载app软件 their decisions. The team planned for different scenarios due to the uncertainty of the pandemic and made numerous adjustments to meet the needs of different departments. Technology was also a challenge, with the company’s IT department needing to prepare for how to get more than 200 remote workers up and running in the company’s cloud-based computing environment virtually overnight.   

“We felt strongly that cancelling was not an option,” Pierpoint said. “Each year, our interns and co-ops make an important contribution to the company, and ultimately to the patients we serve, while providing us with a valuable talent pool for the future.”

We felt strongly that cancelling was not an option
Intern Alyssa Rorie analyzes lab results from a biologics manufacturing site in Massachusetts at her dining room table in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Intern Alyssa Rorie analyzes lab results from a biologics manufacturing site in Massachusetts at her dining room table in Raleigh, North Carolina.

From Lab to Dining Room

Alyssa Rorie, a rising sophomore at North Carolina A&T State University studying chemical engineering, had been planning to work from the company’s biologics center of excellence in Devens, Massachusettes. Instead, Rorie is analyzing lab results from her dining room table in Raleigh.

“My biggest challenge working virtually was becoming familiar with the machines and types of chromatography systems at the Devens site without actually being able to see and interact with them,” said Rorie. 

That challenge has been conquered by the ability to engage with colleagues over Microsoft Teams calls.

“By using the resources that the Devens team has given me, I am able to run tests and do analysis on my own – something I would have never been able to do only a month ago.” 

U.S. Army veteran Ryan McGinnis, a cybersecurity intern, created his own virtual workspace in his bedroom in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

U.S. Army veteran Ryan McGinnis, a cybersecurity intern, created his own virtual workspace in his bedroom in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Remote Connections

博彩app软件下载app软件下载 Myers Squibb interns and co-ops have learned how to navigate different virtual challenges, including the loss of in-person networking opportunities. Networking has become more formalized, Blum said. Rather than spontaneously getting coffee with co-workers during the day, interns have to schedule their conversations ahead of time. However, she said the extra effort is worth it.

“People at 博彩app软件下载app软件下载 Myers Squibb are really treating it like nothing has changed, and they are so eager to chat and share their thoughts that it’s been extremely rewarding,” said Blum, who works from her Manhattan apartment. “Those relationships are definitely something that I want to carry with me after this program.”

There have also been benefits to working virtually, said Army veteran Ryan McGinnis. A cybersecurity intern and graduate student at Rutgers University, McGinnis observed that he is making better use of time that would have gone to a daily commute.

“I leverage all the new free time I have toward strategic thinking for my projects,” said McGinnis from his home in New Brunswick, New Jersey. “That’s one of the things that I never realized was so important pre-COVID.”

Intern Engagement at Home

Going virtual, the 博彩app软件下载app软件下载 Myers Squibb internship program kickstarted new opportunities for interns and co-ops to get more involved with the company. The curriculum features a Rutgers University Women of Color in STEM speaker series, Skills2Give skills-based volunteering, LinkedIn and Yammer networking groups, and a mentorship program.

The mentorship is something Blum and Rorie said they have valued most during their internship. Every intern is paired with a company employee outside their department to connect with on a regular basis and gain unique career perspectives and internship advice.

“The company is really getting creative and sort of going beyond what I would have expected in terms of really making sure that we have not just a great professional experience but also a great personal experience as well,” Blum said.

This article was written by 博彩app软件下载app软件下载 Myers Squibb Corporate Affairs summer intern Morgan Tucker, with contributions by interns Natalie Hamilton and Jennifer Suhr.

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