Christine O’Connor

Internship location: Monsanto
Currently employed at: UO – graduate student
Anticipated PhD date: June 2018

What are your general research interests?

Evolutionary quantitative genetics; bioinformatics

Where was your internship?


How did you identify your internship?

I found it on Monsanto’s job website.

What was your internship like? What were you responsible for? What was a typical day like?

I had a project to work on, and I was the main person working on it, although the direction changed a couple of times during the summer. On a typical day, I spent time working on my project and attending meetings, both one on one meetings and large group meetings. Monsanto encouraged interns to network in the company by having one on one meetings with current employees. Sometimes I spent over half the day in meetings, but 1-2 hours of meetings was more typical. The rest of the time I worked on my project, and as my work was entirely computer based I did not have to worry about planning assays or experiments around meetings. Monsanto also had some professional development opportunities for interns.

How did your internship prepare you for your current position/career path?

The internship showed me that what research is like at a large company and that that is something I want to do as a career.

Do you have any advice to prospective interns?

The skills you learn during grad school are more transferable then you may think – Monsanto is an ag company, but I met a lot of people whose academic background was not crop science, or anything to do with plant genetics. Take advantage of any opportunities you can for more training in transferable skills – whether they be computational, bench skills or learning how to use new instruments/machines.