During her summer at Merck, Stephanie had the opportunity to explore a variety of experiences that would make up an average day working in the pharmaceutical industry. Not only did she get to work through what it was like in a lab via remote collaboration, but she also got the chance to work on data calculations for a Covid-19 vaccine. Stephanie fondly looks back on her experiences working with others both in meetings, as well as in a remote lab setting, adding that, “I usually attended a summer intern zoom series in the morning where scientists from various departments at Merck would talk about some of the projects they had worked on to give the interns a better idea of what each department does! Then, I would meet with the lab I was working with or just my manager to talk about the goals for the week and the tasks assigned to each person in the lab.”
Stephanie credits her time at Ursinus with connecting her with her passion for science, and specifically biochemistry, that led to her taking on her role at Merck over the summer. Not only that, but despite the internship being remote, she was still able to utilize a variety of skills that her time at Ursinus helped her foster: “My experience of doing research on-campus also made me realize how much I absolutely love being in the lab doing research which is why I wanted to do a summer internship in a lab. Even though I didn’t get to use any lab skills I learned at Ursinus during my internship since it was virtual due to the pandemic, the critical thinking skills and the presentation skills I’ve gained at Ursinus helped me out a lot during my internship!”
Overall, Stephanie points to her time on a team and collaborating with others as the most important skill she had practiced over the summer. “My internship showed me how important working with others is, especially in the pharmaceutical industry! There is so much collaboration that happens between all of the departments at Merck, and it would not be possible for the projects to get done without that collaboration. Even as an intern my opinions and thoughts were appreciated and valued,” she says.
Before going into her internship with Merck, Stephanie already had a feeling she wanted to work in a lab setting, but she wasn’t sure if graduate school was the right fit for her. Her time with Merck completely changed that. “After my internship I decided I definitely wanted to apply to Ph.D. programs for Biomedical Sciences. I am in the process of applying right now!” Going forward, she is excited for the future and looks forward to utilizing the experiences and knowledge she attained during her time at Merck this past summer in her future academic and professional careers.
Stephanie’s favorite movie is Tangled!