By Lily Brickman, 23andMe Communications Intern
23andMe’s second official internship program included 28 interns across a number of teams and in a variety of different roles.
Our interns this year come from universities all over the country and are at varying points in their education and careers. The program is run by Maddy Choate and Steven Sellers from 23andMe’s People Team. Read on to learn more about the program and to meet some of our interns!
Why 23andMe has an internship program
At 23andMe, we believe that good ideas come from anywhere. We care about developing young talent. Having interns join our workforce gives us a fresh mindset, perspective, and energy our teams benefit from.
Our interns aren’t here to pick up lattes. They are tasked with meaningful projects and responsibilities that help our company reach its goals.
To learn more about how the interns are contributing, we’ve highlighted some of their projects in the “Meet our Interns” section below.
The summer Internship Program experience
Our summer internship program kicked off on May 28, with 15 interns joining 23andMe. On June 24th, our second batch of 13 came on board.
Beyond the work, the interns also got to experience a number of activities over the summer. Those included a tour of the South San Francisco Therapeutics office, bi-weekly Q&A’s with executives, and an intern offsite activity. They also took part in a resume review workshop and have their headshots taken. At the end of their internship, they had a final presentation in which they showcased their work to their teams and fellow interns.
The program helps college students learn more about the healthcare industry and what 23andMe is all about.
Interns take advantage of everything they can, by talking to as many people as possible and acting as sponges from the many bright employees that are part of our Gene Pool.
The goal of the Summer Internship Program is to also help students figure out what types of roles interest them as well as what size companies they prefer. It’s just as important for interns to know what they want to do, as it is for them to know what they don’t.
We encourage our interns to raise their hands, get exposure, take charge of what they’re interested in, but know that it’s also okay to fail sometimes.
Building our Internship Program has been a grassroots effort and the People team is excited to see the increased level of interest for interns from more departments.
Over the next couple years and even this fall, the People Team will focus on more marketing of the available intern and entry-level roles to students across the country.
Our People Team is getting ready for fall and spring recruiting events, so make sure to check our careers page for available opportunities at 23andme.com/careers.
Learn about the exciting things some of our interns are working on this summer:
Alex is an Engineering Project Management Intern on the Lab Operations team. As a rising senior and Biochemical Engineering major at USC, he says, “some advice I would give to a prospective intern is that it’s super valuable to have a wide range of experience in addition to focusing on one main path. Even in this role, I’m dealing with software that project managers wouldn’t normally work with. Having cross-functional experience makes it a lot easier to work with and help other people on a team.”
“I love the work culture and my team, especially. I also really like seeing how 23andMe has built out it’s Therapeutics division because that’s the future of the company. Anne’s personality and vision is always pushing us to do the next big thing,” says Celine, a Software Engineering Intern who is a soon-to-be senior and computer science major at UC Berkeley. Celine is a part of the Backoffice team and works closely with the Customer Care team.
“My main project is for 23andMe’s Genetics Club Program, which falls within our research education department. I’m working on creating a leadership guidebook for students that sign up to be in this program and lead genetics clubs at their universities. I’m also helping to write summaries for new conference rooms that will be in our new Sunnyvale headquarters, which include genetics terms and names of hidden figures in STEM,” says Ava, a Research Communications intern. Ava will be a senior beginning this fall and is majoring in Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology at Yale University.
“My favorite thing about working here is that people really care about the mission. They’re super driven, and they want to do the right thing. It’s easy to be passionate about your job when you’re in a work environment where your own mission aligns so closely with the company’s vision,” says Rachel, a Design Intern on the Marketing team. She’s a rising junior and Economics and Cognitive Science double-major at UC Berkeley.
“I’m helping the Product team build a new feature to assist Health + Ancestry customers. Given the multifaceted nature of the Health + Ancestry product, working on this project has been an enjoyable cross-functional experience,” says Emma, a Product Management Intern on the Product Health Team. She is currently between her first and second years as a graduate student at Stanford University. Emma is working towards her Master’s in Management Science and Engineering with a focus in Health Systems Modeling.
“For me, every other internship up until now was focused more on getting the job done and satisfying the requirements, and I didn’t have much support from the team. I was focused primarily on technical skills. At 23andMe, I not only received tremendous support but was also encouraged to present my findings to Product Managers and work with them to come up with subtle product feature changes within three weeks of the internship. It speaks volumes about how this internship is a perfect launchpad for anyone who wants to work in the industry,” says Ashwin, a Data Science Intern on the Engineering team. He’s a graduating senior at UCLA with a major in Statistics.
“As an intern in Therapeutics, I have been able to apply technical skills I learned throughout my undergraduate and graduate degrees. In addition, I have been able to see the differences between working in an academic lab setting and working in industry. Day to day, I plan and run various experiments. I then meet with the Biology team in order to discuss our results, analyze them, and decide where to go next,” says Bailey, an intern on the Therapeutics team. She recently received her Master’s degree in Biotechnology from San Jose State University and was a CIRM Scholar at Stanford University in the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Institute.
Raina, a Software Engineering Intern and a rising junior and Symbolic Systems major at Stanford University says, “I’ve learned to not be afraid to ask for help, but to also have confidence in your skills and what you know. You’ll feel better about what you’re doing, and everyone is super helpful and collaborative.”
“Advice I would give to prospective interns is to know what you want to get out of the internship. Have goals going into it in order to make the most out of it. But also make sure to understand what your team expects from you. I have a lot more autonomy at 23andMe than I did in previous internships, which means that there’s more opportunity for growth. But there’s also more expected of me, ” says Jack, a Corporate Development Intern on the Business Development team and a second-year MBA student at Stanford Graduate School of Business.
23andMe Intern Lily Brickman is a junior at USC majoring in communication.