Spotlight on interns

Every summer, Upsher-Smith is home to many college and graduate school interns. We were lucky enough to have 11 of them in 2017.

From assisting chemists to publishing training tools and discovering new sales opportunities, our interns tackled hands-on projects from day one.  Read more about some of our interns in the profiles below.

If you’re interested in becoming a future intern, we typically begin the recruiting process in early January. Create a job alert on our careers page https://jobs.upsher-smith.com to get notified about next year’s opportunities!

 

Davis Deanovic – Chemistry and Analytical Sciences

Read Davis’ Biography

Hometown:
Northfield, Minn.

College:
Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minn.

Major:
Chemistry (with a concentration in industrial materials / processes)

Year in school:
Senior

What was your role within the department team?
I had a very wide range of responsibilities. The majority of my work involved assisting chemists on a day-to-day basis, such as arriving early to prep equipment, solutions and samples. I was able to increase the efficiency and productivity of the lab, while being introduced to several interesting projects and gaining valuable experience. I also had the chance to use a new software platform to organize, categorize and label all of the chemicals across several labs, and was given my own drug de-formulation project to work on.

Why did you choose Upsher-Smith?
Because of the respect given to me by Upsher-Smith and its employees, who seemed to have my best interests in mind. I was also drawn to Upsher-Smith’s commitment to improving patients’ lives.

What was your favorite part of working at Upsher-Smith?
Without a doubt, the best part was the employees. When I am surrounded by people who have the same ideals and passions as me, it makes my work both enjoyable and productive.

 

Michael Fondakowski – Engineering

Read Michael’s Biography

Hometown:
Maple Grove, Minn.

College:
North Dakota State University, Fargo, N.D.

Major:
Mechanical Engineering

Year in school:
Junior

What was your role within the department team?
My main project for the summer involved using AutoCAD technology to determine a safe and efficient equipment layout plan for a new plant. I also designed new equipment to improve the manufacturing process and updated engineering drawings for existing equipment.

Why did you choose Upsher-Smith?
Because I knew I would gain hands-on experience, and I turned out to be right. I was able to work on many different projects and every day I learned something new. But most importantly, I chose Upsher-Smith because of its vision to “Deliver therapies and solutions that measurably improve individuals’ lives.” I found it very rewarding as an engineering student to be able to use my math and science skills to help others and improve lives.

What was your favorite part of working at Upsher-Smith?
The people. Everyone I met at Upsher-Smith was extremely friendly and outgoing. The team of engineers I worked with was always available to answer my questions and they were fun to be around, too.

 

Helena Nguyen – Information Technology (IT) Department

Read Helena’s Biography

Hometown:
Maple Grove, Minn.

College:
Augsburg College, Minneapolis, Minn.

Major:
Management Information Systems

Year in school:
Senior

What was your role within the department team?
I collaborated with other departments to figure out the best location on SharePoint for their content. I also helped gather the necessary information to create sites for them through SharePoint.

Why did you choose Upsher-Smith?
Everyone you meet is so friendly and welcoming. They really take the time to get to know you, and it’s a great opportunity to expand your network.

What was your favorite part of working at Upsher-Smith?
They really challenged me to work independently on projects and be accountable. They gave me learning opportunities and the ability to meet many different people throughout the company. I also love the availability of open-space, communal areas that are intended to make the work environment a lot more comfortable and quieter, if needed.

 

Nathan Ripp – Chemistry and Analytical Sciences

Read Nathan’s Biography

Hometown:
Plymouth, Minn.

College:
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Major:
Chemistry

Year in school:
Junior

What was your role within the department team?
My main projects were re-organizing supplies for the recently renovated GMP (good manufacturing practices) lab, as well as cataloging chemicals across all of the labs. Apart from the larger projects, I provided daily support for the chemists in our department such as calibrating pH meters, cleaning glassware, making solutions, and handling sample preparation.

Why did you choose Upsher-Smith?
Because I knew I would be part of a team that sought to make high-quality generic drugs for patients in need—and that gave me a good feeling. I like helping people as much as I like the field of chemistry; the synergy of Upsher-Smith and my values is really what drew me here.

What was your favorite part of working at Upsher-Smith?
The wonderful work environment, which is full of people who are just as curious as I am and will answer any question I have! I learned so much from everybody around me and I value the respect that I was treated with. Upsher-Smith is small enough to make a personal appointment with the president and big enough to carry considerable weight on a résumé.

 

Sam Schiffman – Corporate Sales, Product Management

Read Sam’s Biography

Hometown:
Waconia, Minn.

College:
University of Minnesota- Duluth (UMD)

Major:
Economics

Year in school:
Senior

What was your role within the department team?
For Corporate Sales, I managed a territory of HCPs (Health Care Providers) in the neurology field to promote our branded topiramate medication. As part of my responsibility, I worked to discover new sales opportunities and move sales forward with existing providers.

For Product Management, I provided project management and administrative support to ensure programs were completed on time and with excellence. I was specifically involved in the divestiture of a long-time branded OTC (over the counter) product the company had recently chosen to sell. Throughout this process, I offered due-diligence support, prepared presentations for prospective buyers, and acquired competitive intelligence.

Why did you choose Upsher-Smith?
Since my first summer internship here two years ago, I had become very interested in the pharmaceutical industry, so I wanted to continue building on my experiences.

What was your favorite part of working at Upsher-Smith?
The people—who are arguably the most important asset that any company can have!

 

Sydney Zeig – Human Resources

Read Sydney’s Biography

Hometown:
Red Wing, Minn.

College:
Elmhurst College, Elmhurst Ill.

Major:
Industrial Organizational Psychology Master’s Program

Year in school:
Second year

What was your role within the department team?
I worked on four main projects: developing and publishing a leadership development training; helping source candidates in an interview process; helping plan and manage events for the interns and their managers; and researching and presenting HR-related techniques, programs, and insight to my team.

Why did you choose Upsher-Smith?
Because of the variety of experiences an internship here offers. This became apparent to me during the interview process, when I was shared a list of prospective projects I’d be working on. One look at that long, diverse list and I knew that this was where I wanted to be.

What was your favorite part of working at Upsher-Smith?
Both the flexibility I was given and the respect I received. My schedule was highly negotiable and I had many choices about where I could work. For example, I was able to work in any of the open areas in the building, which allowed me the opportunity to move whenever I needed a change of scenery. Also, free coffee and pop! But on a serious note, I was treated as a real member of the team, where my opinion was asked for and listened to.