Through our enterprise wide initiative, Kindergarten to Careers, we are evolving our business practices to ensure a more representative workforce at Genentech and within the broader healthcare industry. We are transforming our early in career opportunities to attract, nurture and grow aspiring STEM professionals from historically underrepresented and excluded communities. Our internship program is decidedly hands-on, giving interns an opportunity to work alongside some of the most talented experts in the industry.
In 2020, Thelmar Manyika, who studied nuclear engineering at the University of Michigan, was looking for internships at several major consulting firms. Then, a college friend told her about her new job at Genentech — and raved about the corporate culture. Manyika didn’t want to work in a lab, but her friend explained that opportunities at Genentech went well beyond research. “She was telling me about her job and the company culture and I was like, ‘Wait, I actually like most of this stuff,’” she says. “I was always passionate about the healthcare system.”
Manyika connected on LinkedIn with Ashley Taylor, site head, South San Francisco Production, asking to learn more about potential career paths in STEM fields. The pair talked soon after, bonding over their shared experiences growing up in Zimbabwe. The connection made an impact on Taylor. With Manyika’s resume in hand, Taylor reached out to other Genentech leaders. “I've just spent the most amazing half hour chatting with this incredible person. We have to bring her into the company because she embodies everything that we hold dear as a company, from a value set to the mission of helping others,” he said.
Manyika was selected to join an intern program within Genentech’s Supply Collaborations division and discovered that, indeed, there was more to the company than research. “From that experience, I realized in just a few months that this was what I wanted to do,” she says. “I wanted to be on the manufacturing side, and I wanted a more hands-on experience without working in a lab.”
Once her internship ended, Manyika joined a new Genentech engineer recruitment program called NEXT. That program gave her even more exposure to different areas of Genentech’s business, from asset management to process engineering. Through those experiences, Manyika has narrowed her professional goals, and hopes to work with Genentech’s external quality emerging markets division in Africa, particularly in her home country of Zimbabwe. “One of the things that I appreciated the most about Genentech is the way they give you the opportunity to figure yourself out, find your own path and find your own way,” Manyika says.