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Molecular Technologist: From Cambridge to San Diego

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In college, I found out quickly that working in the laboratory was my happy place. When the opportunity arose for me to intern with Foundation Medicine in the summer of 2017, I instantly fell in love with the people, the passion and the mission. And I still feel those values shine through four years later.

 

Being Among Innovation At Its Core

I have distinct memories of my first interview with Vera, Director of Laboratory Operations, who still is one of my dearest mentors. During my first internship, the company was gearing up for the FDA approval of FoundationOne®CDx. It was an exciting time of dynamic change and being able to be a part of Foundation Medicine at that time was exhilarating. The second time around, the approval process had just been completed and I mostly worked on lab maintenance. It was inspiring and motivating to be around a company that was at a turning point in transforming cancer care.

What kept me coming back for three internships and eventually a full-time position was the leadership I found here. The high level of genuine support was something I hadn’t felt before. The way everyone approaches problem-solving and encourages out-of-the-box ideas is spectacular. If the answer is “no,” it is always followed by an explanation and determination to turn it into a “yes.” I always feel heard when I share my ideas, and everyone is always willing to help. Being in an environment where excellence in leadership is displayed at its core every day is a privilege. I love working alongside those kinds of leaders.

 

Working Alongside Fantastic Colleagues

One of my favorite parts of the job is my colleagues. Not only are they incredibly intelligent, but they’re kind and passionate. It’s amazing to see people from all backgrounds with different interests coming together for one common goal. Post-grad is difficult for everybody in terms of adjusting personally and professionally and I’m lucky that the community I’ve found at Foundation Medicine has made that transition easier.

One of my favorite memories was during Lab Week in 2019 during Casino Night. Not only was it a fun time with my coworkers as we celebrated all the work we do in the lab, but we raised a lot of money for charity called Family Reach that provides financial support for families dealing with cancer. Another reason why it is memorable is because it showcases that even in our events outside of work hours, we still recognize the important work we do and aim to give back in any way we can.

 

Projects Outside of the Lab

Besides the work I do in the lab, I’m also a part of a couple of programs and initiatives. One is a program that I started similar to an internship for full-time employees, where they spend three months in a different department than their own. Not only do employees get a chance to further their learning, but it encourages interdepartmental collaboration that only further strengthens our dedication to the important work we do. I was actually inspired by my own internship experiences and felt that full-time employees should also get the opportunity to learn in a similar way.

 

A New Journey

Something about me that hasn’t changed since the first day I started at Foundation Medicine is the constant urge to challenge myself. Therefore, I’m extremely excited for my move to the new San Diego lab, as well as my new position as Molecular Technologist II! I knew beforehand that a position in San Diego was a possibility, and now that the time has come to move, I couldn’t be more ecstatic.

I came into Cambridge’s well-established, developed lab in 2017 and being one of the first molecular technologists in San Diego will be something completely different than what I’m used to. I have no doubt that the transition will be challenging, but I’m ready and excited to take it on. Personally, I derive so much value from the work I do and having the chance to transfer that passion to San Diego is a thrill. I’m going to miss the people I’ve met in Cambridge very much, but I’m excited for what’s ahead.

Working at Foundation Medicine continues to give and provide so much for me personally and professionally, and it’s an honor to be able to give back through the important work we do in the lab every day.  

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