HOBI grad student discusses the value of summer internships in industry

Scientists discuss an experiment at AbbVie Lab
Summer internships in industry, such as working in a pharmaceutical lab, can help students decide whether to pursue a career in industry or in academia.

Boya Lin, a Ph.D. student at HOBI, is working as an intern this summer with the Experiential Internship Program at AbbVie, a research-based global biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Chicago. During the internship, Lin will work remotely with AbbVie’s Department of Health Economics and Outcome Research.

“I think it is important for students who are considering working in industry to have some internship experience,” she said. Internships help grad students learn about the differences in work cultures in industry and academic settings. Their experiences can also help them decide if a career in industry is something they’d like to pursue after graduation.

“I hope to know more about the industry through internships… what I value the most and how that could align with future career decisions.”

Boya Lin, HOBI PhD student
Boya Lin and Matthew Gurka
Boya Lin (right) with her mentor, Matthew Gurka, PhD, at ICHP Research Day 2020, where she received an award for her poster presentation.

“I mostly hope to know more about the industry through internships – what functions or roles are available for new grads, what key capabilities are expected, and what I value the most and how that could align with future career decisions,” she said.

Having an internship may also help graduate students start building that all-important professional network that can boost their job-hunting prospects after graduation, she said.

Lin earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical science from the China Pharmaceutical University and a master’s degree in public health with a concentration in biostatistics from the University of Florida. Prior to beginning the Ph.D. program at HOBI, she worked as a research coordinator at the Institute on Aging at UF, assisting with research on functionality of older adults.

Her current research interests include maternal opioid use, health outcomes measurements in clinical trials and drug development. Her mentor is Matthew Gurka, Ph.D.