Robiel Abraham was undertaking a Bachelor of Science, majoring in neuroscience, when he did a two-month internship with Illumina in early 2022. He was mapping key opinion leaders in the genomics space for the Asia-Pacific Marketing team.
Robiel enjoyed the autonomy of the role, having the ability to come up with creative ways to collate and present the outcomes of the project.
"As a student, you have really strict parameters to work to. But this internship provided me with experience of working in a more autonomous professional environment, which was really eye opening."
He said that he gained a lot of valuable experience from the internship, especially thanks to the support and mentorship provided by his supervisors.
"The team helped me to explore various paths I could follow after my degree—I had always thought that you had to go into academia if you wanted to pursue science, but I now understand more about the business aspects of science."
"Having practical experience and an understanding of the business side of science is becoming really important for employability and job-readiness—so that, combined with my interest in genomics, drove me to apply for this internship."
When asked if he would recommend the internship to other students, Robeil said "Go for it, 100 per cent. You have nothing to lose from this internship! Some people may think it isn't relevant to their degree but I would still encourage them, as it really broadens your scope, fosters professional connections, and improves your job-readiness."
Since the internship, Robiel graduated from his undergrad and is now applying for medicine courses, with the hope of doing a graduate course or certificate in genomics. He is still in contact with the team at Illumina, who organise social events for all the interns in the program.