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Illumina offers insight into world of DNA sequencing for 35 interns at Granta Park

By Illumina intern Ella Spittall

Illumina's 2021 interns
Illumina's 2021 interns

Illumina has welcomed 35 interns to Granta Park, where they will gain unrivalled insight into life at the world’s leading DNA sequencing company.

Selected from 4,000 applications for this year’s intake, the students from universities across the UK will take up roles in R&D, product development, commercial and corporate functions, for periods of either 12 weeks or 12 months.

The internship programme, now in its fourth year, enables students and new graduates to work alongside industry experts on real-time projects, which could help shape their career path.

Tim Hull, associate director of talent acquisition, said the annual intake is also beneficial for Illumina.

“At Illumina, we recognise that all interns have the potential to be the future of our company,” he said.

“In 2020, when the pandemic struck and some companies put their intern programmes on hold, we were determined not to miss out on our intake of valuable talent.

Illumina's 2021 interns
Illumina's 2021 interns

“Through the programme, life in a leading genomics company becomes a reality for them and it’s great to see the passion for their chosen area grow during their time with us. A successful internship can often lead to a permanent position, which is always very satisfying.”

The 2021 lab-based interns are working on-site at Granta Park full-time, while the office-based interns are following a ‘hub and hybrid’ scheme and will be on site two days a week.

Aleksandras Tarasovas, a lab scientist intern and third year biochemistry student from the University of Birmingham, said: “I‘ve always been interested in genetics and so much of the world’s genetic sequencing is done on Illumina instruments – I even learned about Illumina at university. When I saw an available position, I knew I had to go for it, as I saw it as a great opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology.”

Illumina interns are extended the same benefits as full-time employees, with access to private health care and the gym located on-site at The Apiary.

They are also provided with CV writing and networking sessions, as well as opportunities to meet and talk with industry leaders.

Illumina's 2021 interns
Illumina's 2021 interns

Abigail Joyce, a 2020 Illumina intern who returned to Birmingham University last month to complete her degree in biomedical sciences, described the experience as “the opportunity of a lifetime.”

“Illumina allowed me to learn and grow in ways that I never expected,” she said. “I’ve developed lab skills that I will take with me in the future and getting to work with the incredible technology solidified my desire to pursue a lab-based career.

“Working with such a supportive team made me feel valued and proud of my work. After my year at Illumina, I feel more confident in myself, my abilities and my life decisions going forward.”

The company is looking to increase its intern intake from 35 to 50 over the next three years. Applications for the 2022 intake will open in October. Learn more at https://emea.illumina.com/company/careers/illumina-careers/interns.html.

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