http://www.novartis.com

Novartis

Bioprocess Engineer

August 2018 • Libertyville, IL

What I liked

I have grown close to many of my coworkers and hope to keep in touch with them throughout our careers.

What I wish was different

***I did not intern for AveXis. I have been working full time for over a year. I accepted the position under the impression that I would be doing Process Development work at an up and coming gene therapy startup. I was sadly mistaken about the work I would be doing. The daily schedule involves going into a clean room and following Standard Operating Procedures step by step kind of like a lab in school. You are an operator. At other companies in this industry the job title is Manufacturing Associate, but AveXis has been able to lure people into this position by calling it a Bioprocess Engineering (BPE) position. Only about a third of the Bioprocess Engineers have engineering degrees, most are biology, biochemistry, microbiology etc. Data analysis and process improvements are not part of the job. There is NO career development. There is no exposure to the work of other departments. For the last 6 months we "did not have the budget" for a cleaning crew. It was the Bioprocess Engineer's responsibility to wipe down equipment and mop the floor of the clean room daily. Every week we had to clean the ceilings, walls, and floors with bleach and a detergent. Absolutely ridiculous! Oh yeah, and you work every other weekend, don't get off on holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas, and have a 50/50 chance of working the night shift from 6pm-6am.

Advice

I would advice anyone to know the exact responsibilities of the job when you interview regardless of the company. It is also incredibly important to have mentorship as a young engineer. The ability to learn, develop, and grow are as important or more important than salary.
4 people found this helpful

Validation Engineering Intern

June - September 2021 • San Diego, CA

What I liked

Competitive pay, good culture, worked on a new product. Worked on good projects

What I wish was different

Non-research teams were treated like second-class citizens. Also, company was downsizing.

Advice

Definitely seek out work and seek to add value.
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Trial Management and Strategy and Operations Intern

May - July 2021 • East Hanover, NJ

What I liked

I truly enjoyed being involved in a wide range of projects and being offered unique opportunities to learn and grow.

What I wish was different

Understandably, having some aspects of the internship be in person would have been wonderful, but given the circumstances, I had an amazing experience.

Advice

One piece of advice I would give is making the most of every project and learning opportunity. Industry is quite fast paced and so your experience is what you make of it and how you take the extra step to go above and beyond.
1 person found this helpful

BioProcess Engineer

June 2020 • Durham, NC

What I liked

I learned so much!

What I wish was different

Advice

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Financial Analyst

May 2020 • East Hanover, NJ

What I liked

Amazing company with many amenities. Want to see you succeed and was able to adapt fully from working from home the past two financial quarters.

What I wish was different

The ability to visit the office more frequently.

Advice

Doesn't matter what industry you're in. As a financial analyst I'm learning skills that could be implemented in any other industry while also learning about the Pharmaceutical side. Don't be afraid to apply to unknown/unfamiliar industries.
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Strategic Market Access Intern

June - August 2020 • East Hanover, NJ

What I liked

Being able to explore healthcare and pharmaceutical marketing, an area that I didn't know much about before. I also enjoyed networking and having 1:1s with people from a variety of departments and positions.

What I wish was different

Advice

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Finance Intern

June - August 2019 • East Hanover, NJ

What I liked

I enjoyed the culture of the company.

What I wish was different

I had a chance to work with the other finance interns but getting to know the interns in other areas would have been nice.

Advice

Be ready to work and always ask questions - it's better to know something than be in the dark.
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IT Intern

May - August 2019 • East Hanover, NJ

What I liked

Enjoyed working in software development and data engineering in an industry where there has been a boom in the applications of technology.

What I wish was different

Advice

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Finance Intern

June - August 2019 • East Hanover, NJ

What I liked

I loved the friendly and innovative atmosphere! They really made the finance interns feel at home and gave us so many learning and networking opportunities! Best internship ever. The campus is amazing and I learned so much!

What I wish was different

Nothing

Advice

Network as much as possible! and make friends with other interns. I became so close to them and we still talk!
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Finance/Accounting Intern

June - August 2019 • East Hanover, NJ

What I liked

Culture. People are amazing!

What I wish was different

I wish I was given a little more work.

Advice

Be proactive when working at novartis. Reach out to people you want to talk to, including CFOs. They will meet with you!
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Health, Safety and Environment

May - August 2019 • East Hanover, NJ

What I liked

I got a lot of experience working in the corporate world which I had never done previously. I was able to apply some of my love for environmental science as well as learning more about environmental policy and how that applied to a large business. I loved working as part of a team and treated as equals to those who had been working there much longer.

What I wish was different

More interaction with other interns in other program areas since I was the only one with my team.

Advice

Work hard, stay engaged, and remain curious!
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Government Contracting and Financial Analysis

June 2019 • East Hanover, NJ

What I liked

Great exposure to the pharmaceutical sector. Opportunity to become well versed in a niche sector of finance. I worked closely with Medicaid contracting and my job was very fulfilling because I knew I was working towards a good cause. I also was able to network with higher management that were able to provide insight the organization and different roles.

What I wish was different

I wish they would have done more training for technical skills. We had to learn to navigate the systems used within the organization on our own.

Advice

don't be afraid to ask questions
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Finance intern

June - August 2019 • East Hanover, NJ

What I liked

Great people and resources there. Everyone is willing to help and opportunities to network.

What I wish was different

There was a lack of work and most of what you do is repetitive.

Advice

Be social and try to network as much as you can there to explore other business areas.
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Strategic Market Access Intern

May - August 2019 • East Hanover, NJ

What I liked

It was a great work environment with many knowledgable people. Everyone was always willing to help out and made every effort to make you feel apart of the team. I was included in various team meetings and even got the opportunity to participate in the launch of a brand new therapy.

What I wish was different

I wish they had more events for interns. It was such a large campus and all the interns were spread out. It would've been nice to have more interactions with fellow interns.

Advice

The experience is what you make of it. Reach out to other employees and try to learn as much as possible. The opportunities are there if you are willing to put yourself out there.
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Safety Pharmacology Intern

May - August 2018 • East Hanover, NJ

What I liked

At Novartis NIBR, we had an intern research project that allowed us to experience the breadth of the preclinical safety from start to finish, exposing us to the many facets of the pharmacological industry including histology, pathology, toxicology, and necropsy. This internship provided me with the opportunity to gain real work experience and gave me an application for the knowledge I have acquired through my schooling.

What I wish was different

This internship program does not allow applicants to reapply to their position. I would have loved to be able to return to this environment and further advance my skills more in depth. Also, aside from the research project, I wish the experience could have been more hands on with opportunities to train in certain skills like dosing.

Advice

Along with all the knowledge that you can gain from this experience, be sure to work on your network as well. Internships are a great way to determine if the career you are looking to pursue is a good fit for you through experiencing it for yourself and by learning from those who are currently in the field.
1 person found this helpful