Great networking happy hour event with the Leadership of Healthcare Alumni. Current students had the opportunity to ask questions about Capstone projects, seek career advice and visualize their potential future career path.
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Winter Quarter 2019 Application Opens September 2018
Current Student Sonam Patni has an Internship with Catalent (formerly known as PharmaTech)
Program Career Advisor Di Saldivar Interviewed Sonam about her Internship:
Where is your internship? Where do you intern and what is your title?
“It was formerly called PharmaTech but now it’s called Catalent . It’s a pharmaceutical manufacturing unit where we partner with different pharma companies like Pfizer. They give the molecule structure to the company and then we develop their drugs. We are in the drug development section where we bottle and send the drugs to their specific locations or the companies, and then they market it.”
How did you find your internship?
“Actually, I found it through LinkedIn. I did apply to a few positions from the jobs you have been sending through the newsletter, and did get a few calls back, but the timing didn’t match, so I had to drop that plan. Where I am now is a very good role for me. I am a technical training and program improvement assistant. I basically look at the manufacturing processes and the production units.
I had do go through three interview rounds. The first one was just a brief overview of my experience and what I want to do in the future. It was with HR, and they asked behavioral questions along with some others. In the second round, I met the director who is my lead on-site, and then there was a third interview with the director and the director’s boss. “
How was that?
“It was cool. It was also on-site. I was thinking ‘Wow! All this happens for an internship?!’”
Have you done anything like this before?
“No, I used to manage hospital operations when I was in India. I was in a healthcare organization in a hospital. So it’s a completely different area, but I am enjoying it and learning a lot.
This is the first work experience I have had in the U.S. It’s a good experience I must say. The work culture is entirely different. It is very open and friendly. You can just go and talk to people and you can ask a lot of questions. That is one benefit! <Laughs> you can just keep bugging them and asking them questions, but they appreciate it. They know that you are interested, so they are willing to help you, and teach you. They really guide you. It’s definitely different compared to what I had experienced in India.”
What are the hours like?
“It’s a full time position. I start at 8am and leave by 5:00-5:15pm. It’s Monday thru Friday for 12 weeks with the possibility of extending the internship. My schedule is jammed pack. I have no free time. I thought it would be a part-time thing like I go in at 9am and come back at 1pm but this is 8-5. And you cannot skip a day because there is a lot of production happening. You have to be in the unit to monitor it, and I’m monitoring the process so I have to be there.”
How are you balancing the internship and the master’s program?
“This is for the summer when I am off, but I did have a two week overlap during finals. I told my lead that I was having my finals, and asked if it would be possible to do a half day. So just for that week I was able to get out at 1pm, go study, and then come to class. They were very flexible.”
Have the classes you’ve taken so far been helpful during your internship?
“Oh yes! Luckily when I joined the program I was able to take the courses with the 2nd years like Process Improvement, Quality Management, and Lean Six Sigma, and it’s all has come in handy. My lead just tells me to do stuff, and if I have not had that background or attended those classes, I’d probably be lost. But because of the knowledge that I have learned, I know what they are talking about.”
Is there anything else you would like to add?
“What I found surprising is that there are a lot of UC San Diego alumni from other different programs like chemical engineering. It’s been a great opportunity to network. And then the rooms, the conference rooms, are named after the college mascots around here like Tritons, and Aztecs. It’s really cool.”
For those who are looking for an internship, what kind of advice would you like to give them?
“There are a lot of opportunities to network. I spoke to a lot of people in the class to gauge the market. I spoke to you, and I’ve been talking to a lot of people. Really, networking is the key.
I basically saw this opening, then I looked at their website, and I googled who worked there. I saw there were UC San Diego alumni so I contacted them, and that’s how they put me in touch with HR. “
Current Student Bobbi Rossiter has Earned an Internship with North County Health Services
Program Career Advisor Di Saldivar Interviewed Bobbi about her Internship:
What is your role at NCHS?
“I’m in the business development department, and what I’m specifically doing right now is trying to find all the social determinates of health for different areas. It’s a lot of data gathering right now, but one of the things that got me excited was when they handed me a project overview. It was like it was coming straight from Professor Dan’s class…I nerd-ed out a bit. They get it though, its project management. It’s exactly the line of work that I wanted to do.”
How did you find the internship?
“Professor Dan Wallis invited Deizel Sarte, an alumnus of the program, to be a guest speaker for one of the classes. She talked about her career at NCHS, and I was interested in knowing more since it’s located near where I live, and I wouldn’t have to drive all the way down to San Diego.
She invited us to follow up with her with any questions we may have, so of course I reached out and asked her a question in regards to project management. I reached out to Deizel, and she put me in touch with their volunteer coordinator. That part was quick and I talked to the coordinator and she explained to me that she didn’t have anything right now but would keep me in mind. I kept on it and checked every month to see if there was any opportunity. Something else that I did was that I went onto LinkedIn and connected with Deizel. I also started researching other people with similar interests, and reached out to a couple of them independently. It was as if the stars were aligned, because the volunteer coordinator reached out to me, and someone I reached out to on LinkedIn offered me an opportunity. I happened to be the bridge between them, because the volunteer coordinator was telling me about an internship that the person on LinkedIn was offering me. It was like the two just kind of converged.
I went in for the interview on a Thursday, and they offered me the internship on Friday. I started the following Wednesday. I interviewed with two people. When I was in the interview I was upfront about my goals to complete the program and my thesis, and hopefully have a full time paying job by the end of the summer. I also shared the fact that there was a brief period where I would not be able to intern due to a previous engagement, but that I was able to start immediately. I think the fact that I was looking ahead at all the things that were going on in my life that would impact my career impressed them. I also believe they liked that honesty.”
What kind of questions did they ask you during the interview?
“It was very similar to a standard interview, but I don’t know why for some reason, I was relaxed. They had me talking about my kids and I never talk about my kids. There was a question that was asked, and somehow my kids ended up being in my answer. But they had a list of questions that were very much behavior based. Something about the dynamic in the room, it was based on the research done on the internship; there is some flexibility when it comes to the relationship between you and your supervisor. Laying out my goals and what attracted me to the future of working there helped them see where my alignment matched theirs.
What I like about being there is that I’m meeting all these people. On my first day, I met the CEO (and I didn’t know she was the CEO until later), and we were just chatting in the kitchen. We were just having a conversation, and she took me to her office and introduced me to her secretary, and invited me to find some time to sit down to ask questions about the company. I am looking forward to really getting to understand what goes on there.”
For those who are looking for internships, what kind of advice do you have for them?
“We have an unbelievable connection with people who are either in the program or have gone through the program. Start there and reach out to them, and see if they know of any opportunities. Just like Deizel connected me to the person who would know about the opportunities where she works.
Make sure your LinkedIn profile looks good because people are looking at it. I could see that people were looking especially when you’re reaching out to them, and they don’t know who you are. They will research you. Another thing with your LinkedIn profile is to talk to a couple of people you have worked with, and ask them to write a recommendation for you or endorse your skills. This helps to add power to your profile.
Definitely start with the resources that are closest to you, your fellow students, and the professors too. They are helpful in pointing you to the resources you need for going forward. You’re going to do a lot of legwork, that is unavoidable, but it’s on you to go see what’s out there. If nothing is out there, present yourself in a positive light where opportunities can be created for you. You never know what it can turn into. No one’s is going to do for you what you won’t do for yourself.”