O’Neill Student Spotlight

Name: Kelly Anderson Connect on LinkedIn

Organization: Qiagen intern 

Position: Molecular/Diagnostics/Public Health  

Location: Germantown, Maryland 

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Can you tell our students a little bit about yourself?  

Hi! I’m Kelly Anderson and I’m a junior studying Healthcare Management and Policy and I’m from Chicago, Illinois. I’m very interested in the health policy side of the major which was my draw towards this internship with Qiagen as I was able to work in the private sector while also being able to see the relationship between the private and public sector with the public health aspect of the internship.   

What about this organization made you compelled to intern for them? 

Qiagen is a private global diagnostics company, that contracts with governments around the world to support outbreak research. What interested me about this company was their expansiveness. It’s based in Germany but has offices all around the world. A lot of my work was looking at disease outbreaks throughout lower-middle income countries, and determining how we could better serve those countries to address these diseases that weren’t commonly present in the U.S. I liked working for a company where I could see how I could work in one place and address issues all around the world. My internship was in Maryland, but one of my supervisors was in Switzerland and he worked work with the W.H.O so I was able to see how this organization worked. I also loved the idea of working for a private company in a position where I could serve the public. It challenged me to understand that private and public work are not mutually exclusive, their distinction is much more blurred. I especially loved seeing that relationship on a global level.  I was able to see how this company could serve a vast array of countries from low-income nations to the most developed nations in the world. 

What skills were most important in your role? 

Communication and collaboration were the biggest skills for me as I was in a team of six interns, and I felt like it was very important to understand how to delegate skills and how to communicate with people that I might not know well. I also thought it was important to be able to collaborate with other people on tasks that I was assigned as I’m typically a person who likes to have control. It was also interesting to develop the skill of learning what people’s strong suits are and how to best serve a project with a lot of different strengths and weaknesses being utilized.  

What is your advice for completing a successful internship? 

I think that humility is essential, knowing that it’s going to be a big learning experience. One of the biggest things about internships is the workforce is very different than what you’ve been trained to do for the last 18-20 years with schooling. Being open to learning in a new environment and being open to shifting your perspective on things is very important as well as being able to take advice and constructive criticism from your peers and supervisors. 

By Erinn Drone
Erinn Drone Assistant Director of Career Services