Every Project Onramp intern shares certain qualities: intellect, drive, a passion for science and an interest in helping people.

Beyond that, each of our interns has unique stories to tell—stories about where they came from, what drives them, and what they hope to accomplish in their careers. Here’s a look at just a few of our interns!

Home Town: Kumasi, Ghana / Providence, RI
College: Boston College
Department: Employee Experience
Company: Rhythm Pharmaceuticals

Lydia Nkrumah

Lydia Nkrumah was born and raised in Kumasi, Ghana, immigrating to the United States when she was about 16 years old, settling in Providence, Rhode Island. Lydia always knew she wanted to be in the healthcare industry but she wasn’t quite sure what was best suited for her. She decided to attend Boston College in pursuit of a nursing degree but soon realized that a nursing degree was not right for her. It was then that she transitioned into marketing and communications, a field where she could be authentically herself.

While transitioning into college is difficult for anyone, Lydia didn’t feel like she fit in at Boston College, she found it challenging for her to navigate and sustain herself without support. As she sought out resources, she connected with The Wily Network, an organization that partners with college students in the greater Boston area who are working towards their degrees without emotional or financial support from family. Here, Lydia connected with Project OnRamp and underwent a career-shaping summer internship.

Lydia interned at Rhythm Pharmaceuticals under the guidance and mentorship of Deb Lewandowski, also a Boston College graduate. During her interview with Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Lydia was forthcoming about her uncertainty and the process of figuring out the right path for herself.

At Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, she worked across many departments, including Human Resources, Marketing, and Employee Experience, gaining hands-on experience of what working in a biopharma company is like. After her internship, she feels like a different person.

“Deb is someone I look up to very much. She is wonderful because she was very hard on me, which made me a more confident person after my internship,” Lydia says.

When reflecting on her college experience so far, Nkrumah explains that obtaining her first internship through Project OnRamp is a high point in her college career. Not only was it her goal, but the experience has also reaffirmed her desire and passion to pursue a career in the life sciences.

When asked about the driving factor that made Lydia pursue the life sciences, she says, “I think it’s my passion for digging deeper than the surface. I always want to know ‘why’ when something happens.”

As Lydia continues in her career and goals, she dreams of starting food pantries back in Ghana to alleviate the struggle of obtaining a vital necessity of life. Lydia also dreams of becoming the first person in her family to earn a Master’s degree and a PhD.

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Home Town: Malden, MA

College: University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Department: Biology Research
Company: C4 Therapeutics

Ivana Truong

Heading into her senior year at UMass, biochemistry and molecular Biology major Ivana Truong knew she wanted one thing before her graduation: experience working in a lab. She had been interested in the pharmaceutical industry and drug development, and she wanted real-world experience heavy in lab work and technique.

She got exactly what she wanted when she landed a Project Onramp internship at C4 doing colorectal cancer drug development research. She spent her days working with mammalian lab cultures, running assays, and analyzing and quantifying her results. Ivana felt fully embraced by the scientific community and loved working to create medicines to someday help people.

While Ivana enjoyed working in the lab, she also discovered her interest in business. She started to imagine her ideal career trajectory, starting in a lab and then growing into the business side of things.

“I realized I had strong management, teamwork, and business skills, which aren’t inherent to every scientist. I loved working in a lab, but I know I won’t do that forever. I want that to be my foundation, but then I see myself transitioning to the business side and an office.” Ivana explained.

Ivana’s path wasn’t as clear before the Project Onramp internship. She knew she was interested in the life sciences industry but didn’t know what careers were available.

“Honing into lab and drug development happened once I got the internship. I’m so grateful for this internship because I thought my only choices were to go premed, predental, or just as a pure researcher forever,” Ivana explained.

For Ivana, the best part of her internship was the one-on-one mentoring.

“Everyone at C4 was so welcoming and kind. I had this open invitation to meet with anyone and learn about their jobs. I got such thoughtful and invaluable career advice,” Ivana said.

Through these meetings, Ivana learned details about the industry, lab work, and things she would’ve never known if she hadn’t done the internship.

“It really broadened my horizons in ways I could not have previously imagined.”

Ivana connected with all her colleagues on LinkedIn and plans to remain in touch, and she encourages future interns to do the same.

“You can’t be afraid to reach out, ask for help, or ask for a coffee date. Get to know the people within your company because they can help you meet people outside of the company as well,” she concluded.

With one semester left before graduation, Ivana is excited to return to the lab and actively work on research, hopefully at a lab in Boston.

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