I remember the first day of my first job – it was terrifying! Even though this was a few decades ago, I can still remember it as if it were yesterday. I had not done a traditional internship before, so I had no idea what to expect. Some of the things you take for granted – like what to wear, how to show up, what's for lunch – aren't obvious and you're left with your head spinning as you try to navigate a new and exciting world.
Now, I lead an amazing team dedicated to making the best possible experience for our large group of 600+ interns. We're giving them the opportunity to experience, learn and navigate the culture and environment of Regeneron together. When I think about the Regeneron internship program, I am so proud knowing the positive impact this will have as people launch into their careers.
Those early-stage career opportunities are crucial for inspiring and nurturing talent. At Regeneron, we do this in a variety of ways, but a marquee approach is our summer internship program for undergraduate and graduate students. This is where my team comes into play: we strive to develop a compelling, engaging program and work with colleagues across the company to recruit and develop top talent into stellar interns. In fact, this year we are hosting interns across Tarrytown, NY; Sleepy Hollow, NY; Rensselaer, NY; Basking Ridge, NJ; Dublin and Raheen, Ireland; and Uxbridge, England. What makes our internships so amazing is the hands-on nature — whether you're side-by-side with scientists in our labs, or working directly on other projects impacting Regeneron's future. On top of all of that, we have a jammed packed “Knowledge” series, which gives our interns a front row seat to senior leaders and cutting-edge work we are doing, giving interns an opportunity to hear directly from Regeneron innovators and the patients impacted by our work.
Recently, two interns in our Corporate Communications & Citizenship department — Jenna Luper and Melody Zhou — met with interns around the company to hear about their experiences. They've helped me share this snapshot of Regeneron intern life and what inspires them to pursue STEM careers.
Meet the Interns
Max: Massimo (Max) Fante is a rising junior studying Biological Sciences at Cornell University. This is his fifth summer interning at Regeneron; he's interning with the Genomic Engineering and Technology team this year.
Shayla: Shayla Sanchez is a rising senior double majoring in American Studies and Psychology at Cornell University. Shayla is interning with the Social Impact team.
Amer: Amer Masalha is a current MBA student studying at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. This summer, Amer is working as a Business Leadership (BuiLD) intern at the clinical informatics unit at the Regeneron Genetics Center (RGC).
Ciara: Ciara Eighan is an undergraduate student studying Biopharmaceutical Chemistry at the National University of Ireland Galway. She is interning in Raheen, Ireland at our Industrial Operations and Product Supply (IOPS) facility.
Why intern at Regeneron?
- Max: In high school, I participated in various science competitions, including the Regeneron Science Talent Search. My mentor for my project was Regeneron scientist, Andrew Baik. While he was my mentor for my project, I was able to communicate and collaborate with many talented and inspiring scientists with similar interests to mine. The rest is history: Andrew is now my manager for the Regeneron intern program and I'm able to contribute more to his team's research.
- Shayla: I discovered Regeneron through my time participating in Yonkers Partners in Education (YPIE), where I was part of a Regeneron-sponsored science research program. While working on my research, I also learned about Regeneron's social impact initiatives. When I was looking for summer internships, I came across Regeneron and was like “Oh my gosh, Regeneron” and remembered how great of a company it was. I was always interested in the science field and healthcare, but I wanted to approach it in a way that was community focused.
- Amer: Back in medical school I came across some of Regeneron's medicines, particularly the one for eye diseases. Later, I saw the company everywhere in the news for its efforts fighting infectious diseases like Ebola and, of course, COVID-19. I started to follow the company and learned about the RGC. The concept of matching genomic and health data to accelerate drug discovery is something I have been super curious about. RGC is giving me the opportunity to contribute and learn more about genomics and data analysis.
- Ciara: I applied for an internship with Regeneron because of their great reputation here in Ireland. Regeneron is a great company with many benefits and advancement opportunities for employees. The idea of working in a multinational company, while also enhancing my scientific knowledge, really appealed to me.
What have been the highlights of your summer at Regeneron?
- Max: I love all the networking events and the diversity of people and interests here at Regeneron. There are so many people from many different locations with different interests and it is great to see the various things everyone brings to the table. There's value in talking to these different people who share the same interests as me and people who have different passions. These networking events also provide me valuable opportunities to communicate with scientists and young, passionate students, like myself.
- Shayla: One of my favorite parts of interning here is the flexibility Regeneron offers you to learn. You have a specific role but if you want to learn other skills or something new, you're given the opportunity to do that. For example, I'm on the Social Impact team but I was able to meet with the Product Communications team because I was interested in their work. All I had to do was ask my manager Najla Husseini if there was something I could do to learn more about working in that area. Everyone here wants to help you discover your personal interests and encourages you to learn skills inside and outside your role.
- Amer: By far the Lunch and Learn sessions here at Regeneron. For me, it's a great opportunity to chat with inspiring leaders not only at the RGC, but also across the company. It's something I am very excited about as we get the chance to understand the big picture in terms of the company's past, present and future. In terms of the intern culture, it is super welcoming, supportive and fun. I attended my first baseball game at the Yankees stadium as part of a team building event for the BuiLD program interns and associates. It was so much fun!
- Ciara: My favorite things about interning at Regeneron are both the people and the surroundings. Regeneron is full of friendly faces and everyone is always willing to lend a helping hand. The facilities are second-to-none and the philosophy of continuous improvement creates a positive culture amongst employees.
What advice do you have to students considering careers in the sciences?
- Max: Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. Learning to communicate your passions to scientists is a great skill. Even if you make mistakes, you are still making great contributions to the scientific community.
- Shayla: Put yourself out there and don't be afraid to look for opportunities. Don't think that you are not as capable or worthy as someone else. If you're somewhere, you're meant to be there. Do not underestimate your abilities or compare yourself to your peers.
- Amer: It's critical to stay up to date. The field of genetics has been evolving at a fast pace in recent years both in terms of technologies and new discoveries. I suggest that you closely monitor the relevant press releases and literature reviews and continuously reach out to leaders from the field.
- Ciara: My main word of advice for any aspiring scientists would be to take every opportunity that comes your way. A great career is built on the foundations of experience and connections. Also, ask questions! There is no better way to learn something new than to ask.
These four interns are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our intern talent pool. We are thrilled to have motivated, capable interns on-campus and working remotely this summer, ready to jump into Regeneron projects to further our mission of making important medicines for people in need.
Learn more about our internship opportunities on our Careers website. I can't wait to see what the future holds for these driven individuals and look forward to seeing who else joins us next year.