Fresh Out of School and Teaching

A passion for learning led one Abbott employee to teach others, helping guide the world through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Strategy and Strength|Aug.26, 2021

As a child, whenever LaMiah Tysinger was curious about something, her parents told her to go and learn about it.

She was curious a lot.

Naturally, Tysinger fell in love with learning. She inhaled all the new information and experiences possible from soccer, volleyball, track, the flute before dabbling in the performing arts. Then she started taking STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – classes in high school.

"I looked into engineering and it sparked my interest," she says. "I liked the creativity of the career and the different ways I could go with it."


With Tysinger set on learning all she could about a potential STEM career, she joined the Abbott team as a high school STEM intern, focusing on engineering. In the years that followed, she completed three more Abbott internships, working in diagnostics, supply-chain management and quality assurance – all while earning her industrial engineering degree from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

"Opportunities matter, but they aren’t the only thing," Tysinger says. "If you have the opportunity, but no knowledge base, then you can’t take advantage of the opportunities that come your way."

For her, hard work, persistence, practice and a strong growth mentality are vital to seizing the possibilities in front of her.

"I've learned to take critiques and turn them into opportunities for improvements," she says.

LaMiah Tysinger

And while she was still learning, she also found herself teaching.

As a college STEM intern with Abbott, she received career mentorship from a full-time employee while also helping a high school STEM mentee acclimate to her new professional settings and plan her educational path.

Tysinger's biggest piece of advice for other young women? "Don't be afraid to ask for help," she says.

She encourages students to take advantage of knowledge shared by those around them. Tysinger says students should know that even if they aren't immediately great at something, they have the capacity – with practice and learning – to excel at it.


Fresh out of college, Tysinger joined Abbott's Operations Professional Development Program as a full-time enterprise excellence trainer – and found herself teaching on the unprecedented stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Her role was training workers to efficiently and reliably produce Abbott’s BinaxNOW cards, which provide rapid-result COVID-19 test results. Tysinger sometimes worked nine to ten hours per day, to educate assembly operators on life-saving technologies and protocols, and on critical site-improvement projects.

Tysinger now is a front line leader in the microbiology lab at Abbott's nutrition facility in Altavista, Va. Even with her latest success, she admits sometimes wrestling with imposter syndrome.

But she reminds herself that her training and preparation have been key to forging ahead.

"I've had to check myself, pull back and tell myself I'm very capable," she says.

Then, she's able to fully appreciate what she's doing.

"The fact that I have a hand in making life-changing technologies – and a pretty significant hand in it – is motivating," she says. "It makes me feel empowered."