I haven’t lived anywhere out of California for the majority of my life. So, when I was placed in Lake County, Illinois for my internship with Abbott Laboratories, I was nervous (and excited) about what opportunities were waiting.
Before this internship, I didn’t really know how my science background would be applied in industry. I am currently an operations intern, doing quality assurance in the compliance department of Abbott’s Diagnostics Division. Essentially, I am helping to make sure that all the products, procedures, and facilities comply with government regulations, especially those of the FDA. The FDA, or the Food and Drug Administration, is a government agency that oversees Medical Products and Tobacco, Foods and Veterinary Medicine, Global Regulatory Operations and Policy, and Operations. They assure the safety, effectiveness, quality, and security of these products in order to protect public health. Pretty much everything you use in your everyday life (toothpaste, shampoo, protein bars, etc) has been analyzed by the FDA to ensure that they are safe for you to use! Some of the major products that Abbott Diagnostics builds are used in blood screening for diseases like hepatitis and HIV. As this is a vital part of the health care industry, it is important that these products are heavily regulated.
Abbott has numerous locations all over the United States and the world. Besides Lake County, there are interns placed in Temecula, Santa Clara, Columbus, Dallas, and Des Plaines, amongst others. Where exactly is Lake County? It’s about an hour north of the city of Chicago. The interns here, myself included, live in a Residence Inn in Waukegan, Illinois. The commute is about 5-10 minutes, so no complaints here. The living situation provides a great opportunity to meet and network with other interns from not just Abbott but also AbbVie, a pharmaceutical company that split from Abbott a few years ago. After work hours, we like to relax at the Res Inn or explore the area. Over the weekends, we typically take the hour-long train to Downtown Chicago to be tourists and see as much as we can of the city. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the Bean about five times, and it seriously looks different every time I go to see it!
Check out some of my pictures below to see the other stuff I’ve done in Illinois!