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Summer Interns Explore Career Pathways, Pick Up New Skills from COTA Mentors

This year’s class of COTA interns learned the importance of collaboration and creative problem solving, preparing them for a bright future in their chosen careers.

We loved having our NY-based interns at our company headquarters over the course of their internships. Above is Ke Zeng, Kevin Lyskawa, Archer Zhao, Anshul Agrawal, and Hannah Ashbrook.

An internship can be a life-changing experience. For many students and young professionals, an internship will be their first time in the real-world workforce, exposing them to people, problems, and ideas they have never encountered before.

Internships encourage students to step out of their comfort zones, stretching the imagination and offering the opportunity to work on important projects with tangible impacts for a business.

Each year at COTA, we welcome a new cohort of brilliant, driven, creative interns who are paired with expert mentors in their chosen career area. From human resources to product development to analytics and research, these interns immediately become part of the COTA team, working closely with their colleagues on new or existing challenges.

“Every member on the team has their voice when making decisions, which is really good for new grads to experience what the real-world industry looks like,” said Archer Zhao, a Columbia University student who worked with the COTA analytics team. “Everyone is treated equally, no matter if you are an intern or a VP.”

“Working at COTA helped me figure out what kind of jobs I am interested in and what kind of environment I want to work under. I feel much more prepared to find a career direction and continue developing solid industrial technical and team-working skills.”

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Arjun Ananda Padmanabhan, an intern on our product team, joins Millie Kilic, Vice President, Operations And Delivery in Operations for a coffee and chat. They both happened to be in India working on projects and met up to discuss all things, work, school, and life!

For Hannah Ashbrook, a Fordham Law student with a background in neuroscience, a COTA internship was the perfect fit for learning what it’s like to work in the life sciences ecosystem.

“I felt proud seeing pieces of my work in a contract that was finalized and signed knowing that the work I contributed was meaningful,” she said. “I was also proud to be able to explain the work I have been doing this summer in our intern presentation.”

“My career goal is to be a patent litigator. This summer I have learned how to dissect complex legal issues and communicate their solutions effectively. I have also gained exposure to almost every aspect of lawyering, and this will be invaluable in my later career.”

Dedicated mentors play a huge role in making the experience memorable and meaningful. Each student is matched with a mentor, often from the executive level, with experience in the intern’s specific area of interest. Mentors provide detailed guidance in the subject matter at hand, but also coach interns on how to excel in the corporate environment and prepare for their future careers.

“[Senior Statistical Director] Laura Fernandes, PhD, was a huge asset to my growth and overall experience during this internship,” said Kevin Lyskawa, a senior at Trinity College pursuing a degree in biochemistry. “Her background in statistics was uniquely suited for my respective project, and she encouraged me to ask pertinent questions regarding the data to visualize it in new ways.” 

“I also believe that everyone on the medical research team provided to my overall experience. I truly felt that I did not just have one mentor during the course of these eight weeks, but rather a team in which I was able to bounce ideas and ask questions with, and who were also willing to help and support me.”

Between the respectful, encouraging environment and the chance to complete a targeted project and present the findings to the entire company, the culture at COTA is “amazing and transparent,” said Arjun Ananda Padmanabhan, who is working on a Master’s degree in health informatics at the University of Michigan. 

“Everyone is helpful, enthusiastic and believes in the unique vision and mission of the company,” he said. “I felt proud when I was able to create a dashboard by myself to monitor the quality of the data that we receive from the clients. I definitely enjoyed working with COTA and would apply for a full-time position in the future.” 

Interns are an important part of COTA’s identity as an innovative, collaborative leader in real-world data. We will miss this year’s internship alumni and wish them the best in their promising careers!

Applications for the 2023 summer internship program are available / will be available Spring 2023.  We hope you consider joining us for an unforgettable experience next summer!