May 8, 2019

AbbVie joins biotech internships for low-income students

Photo | Grant Welker
AbbVie's Worcester headquarters

AbbVie, a Worcester pharmaceutical facility, has joined a statewide program aiming to help low-income students find opportunities in high-demand biotechnology firms.

AbbVie is hosting three interns this summer among the 50 Massachusetts college students taking part this summer at biotech companies like AstraZeneca, Biogen and Pfizer. Students are being matched with internship openings if they come from low-income backgrounds or are otherwise under-represented in biotech, including if they're the first in their families to attend college.

The program, called Project Onramp, is meant to help diversify the industry and make up for industry connections that can favor those from much higher means and. Internships include positions in laboratories, human resources and finance. It was launched in January at an event at Framingham State University.

The program pays students between $17 and $25 an hour, with state funding helping smaller life sciences companies reach those pay rates.

AbbVie is hosting Persis Adonteng from Clark University, Joshua Regaillard from Framingham State, and Brandon Hardiol from Worcester State University.

Another Worcester State student, Tammy Truong, will intern in human relations at Biogen in Cambridge, and Cristina Foster of Framingham State will work at Life Science Cares in Cambridge.

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