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September 2, 2021 by Brittany Enzmann, PhD 3 min read

“Biotech is the science of the future” — Perspectives of Erin Li, Mission Bio Intern

Erin Li headshot 2

Erin Li

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and I recently graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Science in Psychobiology and a minor in Entrepreneurship. I am passionate about sustainable fashion, and I enjoy going to flea markets and thrifting at vintage stores on the weekends. In my free time, I enjoy dancing, working out, painting, and attending concerts.

Why did you decide to do an internship in biotechnology?
I was originally planning to go to medical school when I first entered college. However, upon gaining leadership experiences in various student organizations, I noticed that I was more interested in business strategy even in my pre-med and biology clubs. I was looking to get more insight into how innovative and life-changing biotechnology products get launched into the market.

“Mission Bio gave me a chance to be on various product management and marketing projects where I helped prepare innovative products for market launch. I also gained a greater insight into the biotechnology industry and the product development life cycle of biotechnology instruments.” 

How was your experience at Mission Bio?
Coming into this internship, I was excited for the opportunity to launch life-changing products into the market and learn more about the biotechnology industry. I was eager to start an internship at the intersection of business and biotechnology, but I felt nervous about the depth of knowledge I needed for this internship. However, on my first day, my nervousness went away as I was equipped with all of the necessary learning materials I needed to better understand the Tapestri Platform and single-cell sequencing. From day one, I was blown away by the endless support I got from my managers, Jim Flynn and Hannah Viernes. Whenever I wanted to learn something new, they were supportive and found new projects for me to expand my knowledge. My managers made sure that I was working on a variety of projects that I enjoyed, ensuring that I would learn new topics and gain new skills every week. Throughout my internship, I could always come to Jim and Hannah to answer questions not only about my project tasks but also about general career advice. 

What insights did you gain during your internship?
From this internship, I was amazed by the dedication and passion everyone at Mission Bio has to discover a cure for cancer and the amount of teamwork it takes to push that mission forward. Science is definitely very innovative, but in order to move forward with these innovations, there needs to be a strong sense of collaboration and support. I am amazed by how receptive people at Mission Bio are to new ideas and how eager everyone is to push innovations forward in cancer research.

“Science is not an individual sport. It requires team players who are all passionate about the subject and willing to think outside the box.” 

What have you learned about working in the biotech industry?
The opportunities are endless. There is so much positive, impactful change that can be done in the biotech industry. The industry is filled with so many passionate and curious people who want to make the world a better place. Working in an innovative and ever-changing industry makes the work at Mission Bio very meaningful and exciting. Biotech is the science of the future. 

Now that you have graduated, what are you planning to do next?
Following my graduation and internship at Mission Bio, I will be an analyst at a data analytics and brand consulting company in San Francisco. 

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