1) Can I only do a summer (3-month) internship? No. Three months is not enough time to receive adequate training experience in a laboratory setting and not worthwhile for the company to devote significant time and resources for a short period. Six months would be the minimum acceptable time-frame, but nine-months is highly preferred and strongly recommended.
The program is structured into three tiers-- see Credit & Stipend chart below. Note: Because of the time commitment, we typically accept college seniors or graduates into the program.
2) Are there options to reduce the duration of the internship? If a full-time candidate has the desire and proven skill set to contribute to non-science-related activities beyond laboratory responsibilities (such as marketing, business development, etc.), then they will earn bonus credits. Under these circumstances, estimated time-frame before graduation is ~4 months.
3) When does the internship program start? Orientation (on-boarding) starts on the first Saturday morning of January, June, or September (followed by a pizza lunch break). The program is a rolling application process, and candidates may be invited to start at other times under special circumstances.
4) What hours/days of the week must I devote to the lab? At least 20 hrs/wk and 40 hrs/wk for the part-time and full-time paths, respectively. Schedule: Monday through Friday, 8:30am to ~1:30pm (part-time), or to ~4:30pm (full-time path). In addition, every other Saturday (odd-numbered) is required for Lab Competencies (half-day only from 9am to 1:30pm, including a pizza break).
The program is structured into three tiers-- see Credit & Stipend chart below. Note: Because of the time commitment, we typically attract and accept candidates who are seniors or college graduates.
5) Are there benefits for candidates who have a high GPA or graduate degree? Yes, candidates who have a GPA of at least 3.8 or have a graduate-level degree such as a Masters or Ph.D. qualify for FREE Housing along with the stipend pay.
6) I'm a college graduate and have significant experience. I cannot volunteer for the initial three months without additional pay. Can an exception be made for my situation? Unfortunately, No. Unless you meet the criteria listed in the previous question, most candidates financially support themselves by taking a temporary part-time job after-hours and/or enlist support from family during this period.
7) If I'm invited for an onsite interview, will the company reimburse me for accommodations and travel expenses? Unfortunately, No.
8) Why isn't the stipend pay higher? The company invests significant amounts of time and resources in training. Unfortunately, candidates will inevitably make experimental errors, which is likely during the course of the program; however, these occurrences may be costly to the company. It is a natural part of the learning curve, but at the expense and time of the company.
The program is a necessary extension of time and expenses in education beyond the classroom to gain technical skills and experience for a resume.
9) What is the likelihood for successfully completing the entire Internship Program? The current internship graduation rate is 59%
10) Can you explain the pie chart regarding the graduation rate from the Internship program? Aptagen's training program is probably the most demanding and competitive internship/Co-op experiences any one candidate will encounter. It is not easy, and it is not for everyone-- mostly due to the lack of long-term commitment as a result of the financial burden or living expenses the candidate faces during the entirety of the program. The stipend pay is nominal and not enough to live on-- it may pay for gas money, and that's it. Other reasons include the maturity level and seriousness of the candidate as well as the chemistry with fitting in with the rest of the team and culture-- he/she may not be a good fit for this environment. However, the candidates that survive the intensive training program will have a significant competitive edge over their peers and will be well prepared in reaching their career goals.
11) What is the company culture? We have a very collegial and academic atmosphere but we are a business and conscientious of deadlines.
12) Is there full-time employment available? Full-time employment may be offered to those who successfully complete and graduate from the Internship/Co-Op Program.
13) Does the company sponsor employees to earn a graduate-level degree? Yes. Full-time employees of at least 2 years are eligible for a Masters or part-time Ph.D. program (which will typically take 4-6 years to complete).