By: Hayley Robb - 2020 Fitness Intern
The COVID-19 pandemic caused the summer internship program at Exact Sciences to look a little different from previous years, but this year’s participants were as committed as ever to making an impact.
Exact Sciences interns typically participate in large-scale service initiatives through a volunteer opportunity called the Intern Give Back program. However, to comply with social distancing and COVID-19 precautions, large-group efforts were not possible in 2020.
Instead, the interns took on community service projects as individuals and small groups in remote and onsite locations ranging from the company’s major offices in Madison, Wisconsin and Redwood City, California, to field-based efforts in states such as Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Program organizers hope the intern experience would inspire young professionals to continue making a difference, no matter where their career paths may lead.
“The more than 4,000 people of Exact Sciences are working to fight cancer and build healthier, stronger communities,” said Sara Rewald, senior recruiter at Exact Sciences and organizer of the intern program. “Our internship program seeks to immerse students in day-to-day life at Exact Sciences, and a big part of that is giving back to the communities and people we serve.”
Exact Sciences values work-life balance. All employees receive at least four weeks paid time off, as well as two days of Volunteer Time Off (VTO) annually, to give their time to a nonprofit organization contributing to the well-being of the community. This VTO opportunity is extended to summer interns, who are encouraged to seek out volunteer opportunities and organizations about which they are passionate.
Throughout July and August, the 2020 interns volunteered their time in a variety of ways, from bagging avocados and sorting tomatoes at the Second Harvest Food Bank in Madison, to helping with U.S. Census outreach in San Francisco. Undeterred by the pandemic, the modified, yet mighty 2020 Intern Give Back Program devoted more than 86 volunteer hours to local communities.
Maddie Kinscher, one of this year’s Wellness Interns, volunteered in July at Forward Garden, a 12-acre garden that serves as a hub for many Madison-area food pantries. Maddie picked, planted, and harvested crops to be donated later that day. Maddie said the opportunity not only inspired her but excited her to return and volunteer again.
“We were able to be outside on a beautiful day, be active, socialize with fellow interns and give back to our community,” Maddie said.
Exact Sciences posts all internship opportunities to the company’s career page. The goal of the internship program is to have the positions filled approximately 6 months ahead of time to allow the future interns and the teams with which they will be working to make necessary plans and create meaningful work opportunities. To learn more, visit careers.exactsciences.com.
Fitness and Wellness Interns Maddie Kinscher, Taylor Ducke, Sam Turk and Hayley Robb volunteered at Forward Garden, a 12-acre garden and hub for the Madison Area Food Pantry Gardens (MAFPG) organizations. The Interns picked snap peas, harvested heads of lettuce and hung hundreds of onions to dry so they could be donated to pantries in the area.
Aurora Greane and Claire Mitchell, Service & Support Interns, helped out at the Second Harvest Food Bank in Madison by bagging avocados and sorting tomatoes to be donated to families in need.
Tony Hildebrandt, Quality Assurance Intern, volunteered at The River Food Pantry in Madison and helped load cars with groceries for its curbside delivery program.