If anyone knows the value of an internship, it’s Efrata Feleke, a soon-to-be senior studying biology at the University of Minnesota and an Achieve College Internship participant.
For Efrata, this summer’s internship at Upsher-Smith – a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Maple Grove – is not her first rodeo.
“I participated in the Step Up Youth Employment Program as a high school student,” she says, “and that experience really helped shaped the direction I took in college. I first wanted to be a journalist, but my Step Up internship at Boston Scientific started me down the new path of wanting to study science and medicine”.
Efrata’s goal is to become a physician’s assistant and work in direct patient care, and in preparation for this career she wants to gain a better understanding of the full scope of healthcare.
“At Boston Scientific I got to study the engineering side of medicine,” she says. “Then as an undergraduate, it’s all been about biology and the study of the human body. This summer at Upsher-Smith I get to see things from the pharmaceutical side, such as drug pricing and gaps in access. I’m learning a lot and am so grateful to AchieveMpls for connecting me with this opportunity."
Upsher-Smith's internship program has been around for nine years, but this is their first summer partnering with AchieveMpls. Shannon Klick, who manages the program, says interns are a key part of their workforce development strategy and always make a tremendous contribution to the company.
“We’ve hired several interns after working with them all summer,” Shannon says. “We just hired an engineer who interned with us, as well as former interns from our IT and sales departments. Our internship program continues to grow, and over time we are attracting and more and more impressive candidates like Efrata.”
In addition to learning new skills, Efrata is enjoying connecting with other interns, a sentiment shared by Shannon, who loves building community with and for her company’s interns.
“I’m so excited about my future career as a physician’s assistant,” Efrata says. “I can’t wait to get started and am so grateful for this internship opportunity!"