Aishariya Bandyopadhyay racked up a lot of varied work experience during college, but that didn’t end when she entered her first full-time, post-graduation job at Roche Diagnostics in Indianapolis.
A native of Munster, Bandyopadhyay was studying marketing at Indiana University when she had her first internship experience for a wedding planner in Chicago. The next summer, she left the glamour behind for an internship for ArcelorMittal, a steel and mining company.
Her final college internship at consumer packaged goods company, Kimberly Clark, was closer to Bandyopadhyay’s career goals of consumer brand management, but she was still not convinced it was where she belonged.
“At first, I couldn’t figure it out,” she said. “Landing a role at a company like this was my goal from the beginning of college, but why am I not satisfied? After some personal reflection, I realized I wasn’t completely happy because in this industry I wasn’t helping anyone improve their lives. I figured out that the idea of positively impacting people’s lives and health was my biggest motivator, and that’s when I decided to apply my skills to the healthcare industry.”
“LinkedIn was my best friend for networking. I would contact alumni at companies that I was interested in learning more about. I would send them a message introducing myself, making a connection based on our school and extracurricular activities and ask if they would be willing to have a 30-minute informational phone call. People are always willing to help, so don’t feel weird about asking.”
That’s what attracted her to Roche Diagnostics’ Accelerated Development Program, an intensive two-year rotational experience designed to provide recent college graduates with three, eight-month assignments in a variety of roles.
Rotational programs for young professionals—like the one at Roche—take new hires through a cross-functional circuit as a cohort group. For Bandyopadhyay, this helped confirm that a healthcare company was indeed where she belonged. Two years later, she’s been promoted to Associate Marketing Manager for Roche Diabetes Care, using digital marketing, social media, and other engagement tactics to drive patient care and retention.
Bandyopadhyay said each of her internship experiences was valuable in learning new skills and also effective in helping her decided what she wanted to do with her career.
“Each one of my internships was unique and ultimately valuable in helping me narrow down what post-graduation opportunities I wanted to pursue.” Bandyopadhyay said. “Right now, I am in a perfect role at work where I am able to apply all the things that I learned as an undergraduate and also have real impact on people’s lives. I have a lot of empathy for our patients—I have family members with diabetes—and that motivates me in my role every day.”
What a Service Year Can Do
If you’re still trying to figure out what to do after (or even during) college, a service year may be just what you need to find a new path, gain skills and experience, and help others.
Serviceyear.org offers a database of more than 65,000 opportunities in the U.S. that offer varying lengths of commitment, issue areas, and geographic locations. All service years offer a paid—and often life-changing—experience.
A service year can be a smart move, too, if you are considering your next major move, such as medical school or law school. Many medical and law schools want applicants who have served diverse communities or have developed skills in communicating with clients or patients, for example.
When you sign up with Serviceyear.org, you’ll share your information and interests and be matched with opportunities that fit your goals—all at no cost to you.