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Automation Engineer: from Cambridge to San Diego

Jun, Senior Automation Engineer

The path that brought me to Foundation Medicine, and then to our new San Diego location is what I would describe as a perfect opportunity. It wasn’t a hard decision to move from the east coast to the west coast. My family is located around the San Diego area, and I’m so excited about the future of our San Diego location.  

 

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Family First

Prior to Foundation Medicine, I was working as a vaccine scientist for a large pharmaceutical company. After over five years with that company, I wanted to see what other opportunities were out there to further my own passions and career. One of my former colleagues joined Foundation Medicine and brought the opportunity onto my radar.  

On a personal level, helping my mother through her benign tumor treatments was a significant factor in why I joined Foundation Medicine in January 2019, and another reason why I decided to move out to the San Diego location. She moved to Las Vegas, and I wanted to be closer to her and the rest of my family to help take care of them. The passion really is personal for many employees here and I am honored to be part of the development of a new site that will expand Foundation Medicine's reach. 

 

East to West

Previously I was on the Automation Development team at our Cambridge office, and I recently transferred to the Automation Service & Support team for our San Diego office. I used to do various automation and equipment programming, process optimizations, cross platform integrations, and wet lab experiments while in Automation Development. Now I am helping to get all our equipment in place, performing qualification activities to get the new office prepared for R&D and Clinical production. 

As expected, there are minor differences I’ve experienced moving out to California, especially as someone who grew up in New Jersey. The mindset is slightly more relaxed out here, as opposed to the constant hustle and fast pace that blankets the east coast. Being closer to family is really incredible, and I’m excited for this next step in my life.  

Even though it’s invigorating to be a part of something new, coming into a new site has its challenges as well. Information needs to be circulated to the right people and we have to ensure that everyone is on the same page. There isn’t necessarily a typical day-to-day routine since everything is still developing. That can also make it tricky to plan things. Despite the challenges that a new location can face, it is exciting to see how much growth Foundation Medicine is experiencing on the West Coast. 

 

Warm Work Culture 

The support from leadership during my transition has been incredible, back in Cambridge and on site in San Diego. The people I work with are a large part of what motivates me to come in to work every day. There is a personal touch to working at Foundation Medicine, whether it be in terms of the clients we strive to serve or the employees we work alongside. It truly is a unique place to work, where everyone is accessible and eager to collaborate to contribute to the important work we do.  

I’ve also been empowered to strongly emphasize my self-care during my time at Foundation Medicine. Whether that be getting proper sleep or knowing when to take breaks, it’s fantastic to work somewhere where they genuinely care about their employees’ well-being. The work culture across the company locations is absolutely brilliant.  

 

Continued Dynamic Progression

It’s an exciting time in San Diego. We’re growing every day in terms of personnel, equipment and space. Being a part of that development firsthand is thrilling. Seeing everything come together just makes me more enthusiastic to continue our important work out on the west coast, and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead. 

 

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