Declassified Career Survival Guide: Veronica Holloway
Hey there! It’s Veronica checking in for an internship overview – this is a little different from some of our other posts because it’s a first person account of what it was like being an intern at Baxter Healthcare (R&D). I had an awesome experience there – the company culture was extremely inclusive, the depth I was able to delve into my project made me feel like I was getting the experience of a full-time employee, and I was able to build strong professional bonds with those around me. Let’s get into it!
When I got my internship offer, the program pairs you with a mentor in the full-time Talent Development Program (TDP) – which was super helpful when it came to answering questions. For me, I have always had a strange amount of anxiety asking about things like dress code and getting time off, so having a buddy to go to made things a whole lot easier! Closer to my start date, the program asked me to send in a blind resume (a resume without any identifying information on it). I like this a lot because then managers put preferences on the experience you have and what they think will align well with their projects – that’s how I got assigned to my group!
I worked in Renal Disposables for Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) this summer. I could go on about PD and the details of the process, but to do it justice that would pretty much take its own blog post. Basically, I worked on the disposable parts that the patient would use every day to do their dialysis. I worked directly with the design engineer on the project to do testing on parts and help inform future design choices. Not only did I love doing the testing, collecting the data, and thinking of the implications the results had on the designs, but the work was extremely rewarding too. PD is only one of the many things that Baxter works on, so there are a wide variety of ways the interns can make a difference in patients’ lives.
The company culture at Baxter was incredible. Inclusive is a word that is thrown around a lot, but I truly felt that it described the atmosphere I experienced. In a meeting I’d interact with people from all walks of life, and I appreciated that sort of diversity in my coworkers. Apart from that, there was a lot of respect for the interns and I always felt that my thoughts were heard and appreciated. My manager did a great job ensuring that I understood why every task I did was important and made sure I got a good learning experience out of everything I did. Almost immediately, I felt a very strong team atmosphere within my group and that gave me a lot of motivation for every task I set out to do.
The two locations that R&D interns worked for Baxter were Round Lake, IL (near the Wisconsin border) and Deerfield, IL with the sponsored Baxter housing in Vernon Hills. I live close to Round Lake, so I lived with my dad, but for the interns that lived in the sponsored housing they were given a very generous monthly rate on the apartments and were provided with rental cars to share amongst them. Baxter held an intern week in the middle of the summer for us to all connect and they had various other events and networking opportunities. There is beach volleyball court on the Round Lake campus so many interns were involved in an intern volleyball team and I participated on the Baxter soccer team!
Sorry that I just bombarded you with information, but I couldn’t help myself – I really loved my time at Baxter. I loved it so much that I accepted a full-time offer to work there after graduation in their Talent Development Program!