Last year, I had the amazing opportunity to work for Johnson and Johnson for seven months as a Supply Chain Co-op. I took a semester off from school and moved out to Somerset, NJ for my first professional job. One of the greatest lessons I learned while on the job was to network, network, NETWORK! My future interests do not lie in Supply Chain, so networking was not only beneficial for my future success, it was ESSENTIAL. I am interested in Environmental Health Science and Industrial Hygiene. Fortunately, Johnson and Johnson had/has a robust EHS&S (Environmental Health Safety and Sustainability) department at each of its research and development sites, manufacturing sites and other locations. I decided to shadow an EHS&S Manager and her team at a biologic pharmaceutical manufacturing and research site and was graced with tremendous knowledge about industrial hygiene, hazardous waste handling, manufacturing safety and many other EHS&S related topics. This experience confirmed my interests in EHS&S and Industrial Hygiene. When I returned home after my 7 months in New Jersey, I dived into EHS&S related courses, discussions, and sought out research opportunities. Fast forward 10 months and I am now interning for the biologic pharmaceutical manufacturing and research site. Having already introduced myself to the hiring manager and her team, the hiring process was simple and because of my dedication to EHS upon my return home, the manager was very interested in helping me build greater industry skills.
From my first day, I could tell I had made the right decision in returning to Janssen Biotech, Inc. of Johnson and Johnson as an Environmental Health Safety and Sustainability Intern. Many opportunities are present on this multifunctional, robust site. It is the responsibility of the EHS team to manage safety for both the research and development functions on site as well as the supply chain functions relating to manufacturing of a multi-billion dollar drug. The needs for each function have many similarities as well as many differences that make this job exciting, complex and complicated at times. Each function operates with different supervision, running all the way up to corporate. Each function also varies with purpose and attitude towards safety and compliance. While the site provides much complexity to my position, my team does as well – good complexity that is.
My team represents a variety of titles, experiences, and specialties that provide me with endless knowledge and new perspectives on EHS. While one member of the team works with safety and permits, another works exclusively with ergonomics. We also have a member working more on the environmental safety and compliance side, another member working on lab safety and chemical hazard handling and our last has a background in industrial hygiene but currently works more generally in EHS&S. It has been a privilege to receive recommendations and praises from these astounding professionals. I have learned so much from my position so far and as I finish up my internship during this last month, I foresee even greater opportunities for learning and networking.