Chemistry major Matt Loalbo '20 gains research experience and explores the pharmaceutical industry as a medicine design intern at Pfizer Research and Development.
Internship title and location:
Medicine design intern, Pfizer Research and Development, Groton Laboratories.
What I do, day to day:
My research is focused on flow chemistry. Flow chemistry can be a safer, greener and more cost-effective method of organic synthesis than traditional batch reactions. It is my job to design and perform experiments that test the efficiencies of various flow mixers, using competitive chemical reactions.
Last summer (2018), I worked as an adhesives chemist intern at Carlisle Syntec Systems, a construction materials company right down the street from Dickinson College! In the future, being an intern again may be a smart option, as I plan to take a gap year before pursuing graduate studies.
Most valuable part of this experience:
This summer at Pfizer, I am vastly expanding my skill set. Not only am I getting countless more hours of lab experience (which is always a pleasure because my lab overlooks the ocean!), but I am also getting more familiar with interpreting data and operating analytical instruments including NMR and GC.
Advice for students considering internships:
Internships are great stepping stones that quickly build your skill set and your resume. Having experience working in a professional environment has made me a better communicator and a harder worker. So my advice would be to apply to as many internships as possible! Remember, these experiences are stepping stones. Don't always expect to get into your number-one internship choice on your first try. Sometimes it takes an extra summer of experience at a different internship before you finally have the credentials to land your number-one choice!
How this internship has helped me:
This internship has gotten me acquainted the methods and practices used within the research and development side of the pharmaceutical industry, something I have been curious about for years. The experience has affirmed my planned path after college, which is to further study drugs and drug synthesis.
Nothing is ever set in stone, but after graduation I would like to pursue a Ph.D. in organic chemistry and apply my knowledge in the field of pharmaceuticals.
Learn more about internships at Dickinson.
Published July 24, 2019