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Feeling Valued as an Intern: Collaboration at Its Finest

Ellie, Software Engineering Intern

Coming into my internship at Foundation Medicine, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. When I reflect back on my time at Foundation Medicine over the last ten weeks, I come away with way more than I could have ever predicted, including significant experience, meaningful connections, and fond memories. 

 

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First Impressions

As a Software Engineering Intern, the first surprise I was met with was the two weeks of onboarding. We had one week with all of the interns where we all learned about Foundation Medicine’s four core values (patients, innovation, passion, and collaboration) and the important work that the company does to transform cancer care for patients. Following that initial week, the Technology team had a second week of onboarding where we learned about the different and complex software and team processes. I’m so glad Foundation Medicine took the time to invest in all of the onboarding because it really made me feel like a part of the company and its mission from the beginning.  

 

Impactful Work

One of the projects I’ve been working on is in collaboration with nine other Technology interns. We developed the idea of a notification system for patients to get updates throughout their sample testing journey. Together, we will pitch the plan to our leadership and are excited to hear their feedback. Developing this new process has been extremely rewarding, and I’ve gotten to know some fantastic people along the way. 

I didn’t necessarily expect to work with people across the company during my time here, but Foundation Medicine emphasizes collaboration on all levels. The amount of interdepartmental partnership was unexpected, but thrilling. Getting to work with people who I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise and learn from them has been a privilege. Not only has this experience highlighted the importance of working with others, but it also left me understanding that no matter what your field is, teamwork across departments is an essential pillar for success. In the professional world, you’ll have to learn how to work with different kinds of people for various tasks and projects. This experience was a great taste of what that could look like for me personally in future roles. 

Foundation Medicine truly values their interns, and that’s shown not only through the important and impactful projects and responsibilities they give us, but also with the way they’re always excited to take time out of their day to help. Everyone is always willing to answer my questions and has been welcoming and informative.  

 

Final Reflections

I came into this internship having little professional experience with software engineering and development. However, I leave this summer with a clearer idea of not only what the field looks like outside of a classroom setting, but also how my work can make a positive impact. This opportunity has made me realize that this is what I want to do in my career.

Interning at Foundation Medicine has been a truly wonderful experience. If I could tell future interns anything, it would be to enthusiastic and ready to work, learn and collaborate. Along with the work aspect, be ready to meet passionate people who genuinely care about the unique skills you can bring to the conversation. I felt valued here and was able to share my ideas freely while not being afraid to ask for help. 

I also would strongly encourage taking the time and space that Foundation Medicine gives you to learn. The work done here is critically important, and though it may be tempting to jump in and start something, it’s crucial to take the time to absorb all the details. Lastly, don’t ever be afraid to reach out. Every employee here is happy to chat with you and answer any questions among their busy days. I’m so fortunate to have been able to spend the summer for a company where I really felt like I was making an impact.   

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