Josh Sonico '16, suited up for the lab.
Josh Sonico ’16, suited up for the lab.

By Cameron Wallenbrock ’18

Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company mainly dedicated to diabetes care. By raising awareness, improving access to care and addressing the psychosocial aspects of diabetes, they aim to decrease the severity of the global pandemic and improve the lives of those living with diabetes.

Novo Nordisk is also becoming increasingly committed to hemophilia care, growth hormone therapy, and hormone replacement therapy.

Exercise Science major Joshua Sonico ’16 worked for Novo Nordisk as a Summer Intern in Immunology and hopes to return to a new position after graduation.

CES: How did you find out about your internship?

Joshua: I attended a gala for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in Tacoma where the main type 1 diabetes researcher, Matthias Von Herrath, was discussing possible paths for a cure. I ended up talking to him and found out about Novo Nordisk’s Summer Intern opportunity—and applied as soon as possible.

CES: (Yay for networking!)

What did your internship with the T1D group entail?

Joshua: My internship mainly entailed filling a new server with past and ongoing experiments to make data easily accessible.

I also got to work with preparations for treatments, including DNA vaccination and antigen therapies, and was able to see the various ways they analyzed tissues through simple assays to a powerful cytometry machine.

My final objective was to generate a presentation on the T1D group and the antigen therapeutic approach they’re working on.

CES: How has your internship helped with your career goals?

Joshua: I have a background in science, though not an extensive background in immunology or molecular biology like the scientists who surrounded me did. Still, I feel I got a wonderful rounded overview of what they do there.

The internship pushed me in the direction I wanted my career to go from my start here at Puget Sound—I hope to work at Novo Nordisk after I graduate.

CES: What advice would you offer other students considering an internship in this, or other research fields?

Joshua: Definitely get in touch with scientists in the field you’re passionate about. Most likely these scientists share your passion, and would be more than willing to communicate their knowledge to you in order to help you achieve your goals.

CES: Anything else you want to share about your internship experience?

Joshua: My brother has type 1 diabetes. I’ve raised money for this disease for as long as I can remember, so I really wanted to see the ways they were working to cure the disease as well as understand the disease more. This internship surpassed my initial expectation on just how much knowledge I’d obtain.

Internship experiences, like Joshua’s, are an excellent way to get a feel for possible career options, and to build connections with professionals in your field of interest. Use CES’ InternshipLink database to find our own unique internship experience—a diverse selection of local and national opportunities are available.

© 2015 Career and Employment Services, University of Puget Sound
Photo provided by Joshua Sonico