UCB's Global Corporate Website
Welcome to UCB in the United States
Jul 27
Morgan Smith, U.S Communications
Inspiring the Future of Science through Student-Driven Partnerships

At UCB our sustainable business approach includes inspiring the next generation of scientists. One element of this is offering an inclusive internship experience for students who reflect the communities in which we live and work, and the patient populations we serve. Our community partnerships enable us to engage with high school and college students in areas where they will have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the biopharmaceutical industry while participating in numerous projects throughout UCB. In recognition of National Intern Day, we are pleased to highlight how we are investing in the next generation of the workforce through projects like BioBuilder, Project Onramp, and the Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School Corporate Work Study Program, all of which focus on underrepresented students.

The BioBuilder High School Apprenticeship Challenge is an eight-week specialized program to help science-driven high school students prepare for applying to paid summer internships in the life sciences industry. Interested students from the Boston metro area build technical knowledge, lab techniques, research-based thinking, and professional skills needed for internship opportunities. Apprentices learn subjects ranging from the fundamentals of designing technology to addressing personal challenges such as acne. Other topics covered include sustainability, data analytics, and learning about data sciences and drug discovery – an area where Yuan Wang, UCB’s Head of Research Analytics, has partnered with BioBuilder to share her expertise with students. 

“Partnering with BioBuilder and serving as a mentor has been a great opportunity to hear from students about their projects and poster presentations and to provide scientific feedback and suggestions,” said Yuan Wang.

This program brings together students of different ethnicities, ages, and gender identities. Notably, out of the 2022 apprenticeship data, 13 of the 15 accepted students will be first-generation college students upon completion of the program. “We create educational opportunities so students can fall in love with this field,” says Natalie Kuldell, the Founder and Executive Director of BioBuilder. This is evident when looking at the wide range of students who choose to pursue science as a career in the future following their apprenticeship. 

Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School Corporate Work Study Program 
Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School, one of 38 high schools within the network, offers a corporate work study program that places students into entry-level positions and generates much-needed revenue for the school. At full enrollment, Cristo Rey Network high schools can cover nearly 80% of their operating expenses through the work-study program and modest tuition. By outsourcing full-time, entry-level office jobs through this program, companies, like UCB, enable students to earn tuition while gaining valuable on-the-job experience. Teams of students fill 8-hour positions one day per week throughout the school year. Students must complete a training program that includes workshop topics such as: phone skills, dress for success, time management, and first impressions.

This program has had massive success, with each student who participated this past June graduating with acceptance into at least one four-year college. Jordani Burgos, a student participant in the corporate work study program and UCB intern said, “There’s always something new and interesting to do. From coding in python to creating visual representations of data to writing code for a website, it’s an amazing experience. I am so glad to have been chosen to work here and hope to continue to learn new things every day. I know it’s meaningful work, too, as we look to find data that may help treat struggling patients.”

Project Onramp
Project Onramp is a similar program where students are placed in companies that want to hire talented undergraduates from low-income backgrounds for rewarding summer work. Project Onramp connects passionate, high-achieving four-year college students with paid internships of up to 12 weeks. Former Chair of MassBio, David Lucchino, said, “Project Onramp is about breaking down barriers, expanding access, and creating the future of our life sciences industry in Massachusetts.” As proud members of Mass Bio, we’re committed to inspiring a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion and STEM education for students. 

At UCB, we welcome not just the best and brightest, but those who care about making a meaningful difference in the lives of patients and in the biopharma industry. Through these partnerships, we reinforce our commitment to inspiring the future of life sciences now and into the future. 


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