Associate FUEL Rotational Program - Amgen

Apr 23, 2024
Associate FUEL Rotational Program - Amgen

Valery Hernández-Rodríguez is an Associate FUEL Rotational Program at Amgen. The FUEL Rotational Program is a 26-month program that prepares early career talents to further develop leadership skills, technical knowledge, and business understanding. She is currently in her third rotation in Quality Assurance. Her main responsibilities include supporting new product introduction activities and regulating processes through standard operating procedures.

What is the highest degree you have earned and what can you tell us about your academic path?

I earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico, Cayey Campus. During my bachelor’s degree I participated in the undergrad coop program at Amgen. It was then that I decided I wanted to work in a pharmaceutical industry and pursued my master’s degree in Industrial Pharmacy at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus. Since I already had knowledge in biotechnology, I focused on small molecules (solids) for my master’s research project. I joined the Crystallization Design Institute where my focus was to develop a comparison between batch and continuous crystallization purity profiles through distribution coefficient measurements.

Where do you work now and what is your company about?

I currently work at Amgen in Juncos, Puerto Rico. Amgen is a value-based company rooted in science and innovation, dedicated to discovering, developing, manufacturing, and delivering innovative human therapeutics. With a mission to serve patients, particularly those facing serious illnesses, Amgen focuses on high unmet outcomes and strives to improve lives dramatically. The company’s commitment extends across different therapeutic areas: cardiovascular disease, oncology, general medicine, rare diseases, and inflammation.

How did you first learn about the company?

Amgen is a leading biotechnology company therefore it was mentioned through my university courses. In addition, I was raised in the same town the company is located in Puerto Rico, but it wasn’t until I participated in the coop program that I had a comprehensive understanding of the company.

What do you like most about the company?

I appreciate the company’s science based approach and our commitment to serving every patient every time. I also enjoy our continuous improvement mentality and the positive working environment fostered by the people.

What skills make you successful in your role and why did you choose this role?

I chose the associate FUEL Rotational Program because it provides a well-rounded experience in our business operations that will contribute to my professional development and future goals. The skills that have been more effective for me have been adaptability, ability to work in teams and problem-solving.

How do you define success?

Professional success for me is working for a company that you feel proud of, having the opportunity to continue learning and growing every day and sharing my knowledge with others.

What's the most fulfilling aspect of your job?

Collaborating with different functional teams to create solutions that have an impact on patients’ lives

What advice do you have for students and job seekers?

My advice to students is to be strategic about the decisions they make when enrolling in courses, research group or work experience. In terms of courses, select those that will give you an advantage at industry. For me biostatics (or statistics) was highly beneficial and another course from my degree that has helped me a lot is instrumental pharmaceutical analysis. If you are thinking of joining the industry, I highly recommend doing an internship or coop in a pharmaceutical industry. This differentiates you from peers and makes you a stronger candidate and you will also be able to determine if the industry career path is meant for you. To job seekers, tailor your resume to the position you are applying for and maximize the use of social media to promote your personal brand.