Internships are an important instrument for career growth and development of young men and women in the US. Annually, US employers offer more than 1.5 million internship positions, including summer internships and longer term positions. According to statistics published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), half of surveyed employers cite internship experience of new graduates as a key factor in their hiring decisions and 63% of paid interns receive at least one job offer following their internship.
Since its founding in 2003, PROMETRIKA has provided paid internship positions to about 30 young women and men in a variety of disciplines, either directly or through relationships with colleges and universities. Historically our interns have been mostly from Massachusetts institutions including Boston University, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Smith College, UMass Lowell, and Emerson College. While a majority of our interns have been graduate students working toward their Master’s or doctorate in biostatistics and other public health disciplines, we have recently expanded our program to include undergraduate students in a variety of disciplines such as biological sciences, mathematics, and computer science.
This year we were particularly fortunate to have five students join us as summer interns, bringing to our company the enormous energy, enthusiasm, and joy of learning characteristic of their age. PROMETRIKA strives to assign meaningful, project-oriented tasks to our interns, to ensure they learn skills they can bring back to the classroom and into their future careers. Ms. Gina Boccuzzi, a brand new graduate of Wentworth Institute of Technology who returned to PROMETRIKA again this year for her second summer with us, commented, “Both of my internships did an excellent job of building on my classroom knowledge. I had taken two intro SAS classes as electives that gave me really good base of knowledge to begin with here. I was able to expand that knowledge several times over during my internships. Because I am a Computer Science major, there were limited SAS classes available to me; after exhausting those, the internship was a great way to continue my learning.” Ms. Natalie Mosher, a student at Smith College, said, “As a Math major with a background in Biology and Chemistry, seeing a real world application of Mathematics to biology and chemistry has been extremely rewarding. While I know that I am interested academically in these subjects, it can be hard to gauge from a classroom experience if working in these fields will be rewarding. It has been great to see how rich the field of biostatistics is and has increased my interest.”
Our Leadership Team has hands-on involvement in the internship program, and of all our interns are mentored by management level staff. The orientation for our interns includes a comprehensive overview of the clinical development process, regulatory and compliance principals, and introduction to tasks involved in conduct, data collection, analysis, and reporting of clinical trials. Ms. Karan Smith, a student at Boston University, says, “This internship has complemented my classroom experience by introducing me to the clinical side of drug development. In the classroom, I am mostly exposed to preclinical development through research papers and lectures. Now I have a better idea of what happens beyond the lab.” Ms. Aime Russell, now a freshman at UMass Lowell, added, “My favorite thing that I learned at PROMETRIKA is what it is truly like in the medical business realm. I think it is very beneficial that I see it in action before I actually jump into that field for the next few years.” Interns are provided regular access to highly experienced staff and subject matter experts to address their questions and provide them with needed guidance. Mr. Jake Adler, a student at Wentworth Institute of Technology said, “Because of my mentor throughout my internship, I found that my favorite thing I learned was how to work as a team. As the saying goes, ‘teamwork makes the dream work.’ I figured out that working with others can help enhance the problem solving process. Through teamwork at PROMETRIKA, I further developed my communication skills, which will be helpful in the future.” Interns are also provided training in software and other tools to enable them to make significant contributions to important internal and client deliverables, and to prepare them for their future careers.
Another exciting addition to our program this year was our participation in Project Onramp. This is a collaborative, industry-wide initiative working to connect high achieving college students from low-income backgrounds with rewarding internships in the life sciences industry. Project Onramp launched in January of this year and has surpassed its goal to place 50 Massachusetts students into summer internships. PROMETRIKA is so proud to have been a part of the inaugural year of this initiative, and looks forward to continued collaboration in the coming years.
While working at PROMETRIKA, our interns are encouraged to take part in the company’s social gatherings and learning opportunities afforded to all staff. Ms. Boccuzzi commented, “While the knowledge I have gained here is invaluable, my favorite part of PROMETRIKA is always the people. Everyone here is always so pleasant, happy to answer questions, and lend a helping hand. I have made great friends here, who I missed while I was back in class last semester and was so glad to be reunited with when I returned.” Interns are also encouraged to make presentations regarding what they have learned and showcase their contributions to the entire company. Finally, as our interns leave the company to go back to their respective academic programs, we remind them that PROMETRIKA is here to help them develop their careers further. Historically, many of our interns have joined PROMETRIKA’s team after graduation.
Internships are truly the ultimate win-win for the company and the student. Our interns gain experience, new skills and confidence. They develop their professional network, carve their path to a successful career, and are compensated financially. We at PROMETRIKA get access to a new talent pool of individual who may, eventually, join our company. We also give our staff the opportunity to teach and mentor young people, which benefits the mentor as much as the mentee. The best way to keep one’s knowledge fresh and updated is to teach it to someone else. Additionally, our young colleagues augment our expertise with their savvy of efficient utilization of emerging technology. Finally, the best gift that these new team members give our company is their contagious enthusiasm and love of learning.