What I learned in my 90 days as an intern at High Purity New England

Abbigail Tillotson — a summer intern at HPNE — reflects on her time in Biotech.

It’s incredibly exciting to be part of such a rapidly growing company. As this company is growing, opening up its second facility and adding employees, I can’t help but to be excited about the energy everyday here in the office – its contagious. I’m so eager to see how it grows in the future. In the 3 months I have been an intern here, it seems as though I get to meet new hires almost weekly. Extremely exciting to me, is the potential for bioburden testing to be done in-house and I hope to see how that is performed here in the future. That all being said, I will take the newfound experience and knowledge I’ve gained and apply it to my own life as I move forward, finish my final year of school, and embark on my career.

A hidden gem. I learned about the company through a presentation Mark gave at the Biotech center of the URI Providence Campus. I was intrigued at how the manufacturing aspect tied into the overall field of biotech. I wasn’t entirely sure what kind of an experience I would have working at a company that mainly focuses on manufacturing and distribution, and I have been pleasantly surprised with the amount of variety and new experiences that this summer has brought.

It’s incredibly rewarding to know that the work we do directly helps others solve complex diseases and aids in making life-saving drugs. Since we are in the business of manufacturing and distributing equipment that goes into the production of potentially life-saving drugs and therapies, I can’t help but to think that the work we are doing has a much larger impact. What might just seem like an average day’s work could end up helping a company execute research and development of what might just be the next breakthrough in medicine. That brings a certain sense of pride to the work people do here and really instills a sense of purpose in even the mundane of daily tasks.

There is a lot more regulation that goes into biotech equipment than I realized. This summer, I’ve become much more familiar with the role of GMP in this industry along with just how important the regulatory aspect is as well in the biotech industry. Inspections, audits, and lots of records are necessary to ensure the quality of our products are top notch.

Being part of such a dynamic company allowed me to wear many hats. I was able to explore the engineering department and work one-on-one with our System Designer to inspect prototypes and come up with a form to pass or fail parts. I was able to work with the Directors of Quality and Continuous Improvement to develop further and revise SOP’s into a new format. I’ve also assisted accounting in creating calendars to document employee’s PTO days. Not to mention, I have studied the bioprocess of adeno-associated viruses much more in depth and have put together a presentation to document the bioprocess from start to finish (which you can see here). I have also worked with one of our Technical Product Managers to learn more about HPLC systems and how they tie into this process.

Orange is king. One of the first things I noticed here was the bright orange color everywhere. From orange M&Ms with our company logo, to orange mugs, orange chairs in the conference room, and just about anywhere else you look you see orange. It’s part of the brands DNA and I’ve truly grown to love it.