Internship Stories: 23andMe

By Abdullaah Robins (CAS’21)

CCD: Tell us about your experience. What were your responsibilities?

This summer I spent 12 weeks interning at 23andMe. 23andMe is a healthtech company which providing genetic services through DNA kits which include ancestry reports as well as reports on your health that alerts you about certain risks pertaining to genetics.

At 23andMe I worked on multiple engineering teams. I started off working on Site Reliability where I analyzed data from 23andMe’s compute services which include the cloud and physical servers. I looked for points of optimization to help the company save money and be more efficient.

Towards the second half of the summer I worked on an integral project to help the operations team find and analyze errors from the distribution partners. To do this I created a tool from back-end to front-end to help sort through tons of arbitrary data and display them in meaningful and accessible ways.

CCD: How did you get the opportunity? What resources at BU or elsewhere did you use?

I obtained this opportunity by preparing the summer before the fall of 2018. During this time I sharpened my technical skills my watching courses on YouTube and doing practice coding challenges.

In the beginning of the school year, I applied to the Code2040 fellowship, an intensive career accelerator for Black and Latinx students where you intern at a tech company and engage in racial equity work. I became a finalist and was introduced to the company 23andMe. From there I began the interview process and eventually received an offer!

CCD: What was the best thing about the experience? What was the worst?

The best thing about this experience was the agency I was given in being able to work on many different things, learn many new skills, and implement a tool from start to finish. I was able to learn about the industry and start to understand what I want to do in the future. There were also intern “lunch & learns” where the interns would have lunch with executives and learn about their role in the company. One thing that could have been better is the racial diversity within the company.

CCD: What was the most memorable moment of your experience?

The most memorable experience I had was when I had to demo my tool to the operations team and ask them for user stories and then later come back to them with the product they expected.

CCD: What advice would you give to another student about making the most of an internship, job, or other career-related experience?

I think to make the most out of a career related experience, definitely make sure to ask questions and explore what is curious to you. At the end of the day you’re the one that will be getting the work done.

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