College Internships for Future Leaders

Students again rank Abbott's college internship program No. 1 in healthcare industry, cite meaningful work

REACHING YOUR POTENTIAL     |    Oct. 27, 2020

A career in healthcare is about perseverance, adaptability, and having the confidence to seize opportunities to make a great impact.

This summer, we were challenged to deliver a virtual summer internship program for our U.S. college interns that would enrich their professional experience while keeping them and our employees safe. Technology became the primary solution to our training, career development, and leadership interactions. Going beyond conference calls and video meetings, we optimized our intern mobile app to nurture friendships and knowledge sharing.

As a result, our interns voted us as the No. 1 internship in healthcare for the fourth-straight year in Vault's annual survey of U.S. college students. Additional honors include ranking first in engineering, first in data analytics, and sixth in marketing sales functions.

The results of the ranking were based solely on students' voluntary responses. One submission concisely summed up the Abbott internship experience: "A meaningful internship experience filled with real-world business challenges that offer amazing learning and networking opportunities!"

"Meaningful and impactful work" is how many interns described their Abbott experience. That's because they work directly within our businesses, in areas such as supply chain engineering, quality assurance, research and development, sales, and finance. They're given the responsibility to create products, test product efficacy, and report on business performance. Their teammates on the other side of the video conference could be just a few miles away at our local manufacturing site trouble shooting equipment performance or in Europe working on E.U. regulatory requirements in healthcare devices.

One intern shared with Vault how their responsibilities expanded, and their confidence grew: "I worked on four different projects throughout the course of the summer. I had networking calls, intern-only calls, and speeches from senior leadership to attend. I always started my day with a half-hour call with either my mentor or manager, who gave me some direction on the day. As the summer progressed, I moved from data analysis to putting together slide decks to share my key findings in my projects. I collaborated with other interns on some of these projects, others were done on my own."

A successful intern experience is invaluable for a student's resume as they start taking those first steps out of college and into the professional world. For companies, benefits will come from supporting the next generation of leaders who will create break-through STEM innovations and take businesses to a new frontier.