What differentiates the Co-Ops at Johnson & Johnson from traditional internships? By way of an answer, consider Elizabeth Maguyon's journey.
Today, she's an Assistant Scientist in our Consumer Health R&D Rotational Program, but when the Georgia Tech undergrad joined our R&D Co-Op, she had no idea she was about to take on real-world business challenges of an entirely different magnitude.
Here's why, looking back, Elizabeth says the Co-Op wasn't a stepping stone, but the foundation for everything that followed.
"So Much Teamwork and Collaboration"
Elizabeth came to the R&D Co-Op with a strong background in chemical and biomolecular engineering. Nonetheless, she and her team were tasked with an awesome challenge soon after coming on board.
That challenge? Develop an entirely new formula for sunscreen—and check the following boxes, too:
- The sunscreen should be effective at blocking harmful UV rays as well as aesthetically appealing—it should smell and feel good when applied, for example.
- Complete the assignment in six months or less.
From the outset, understandably, Elizabeth worried that some "technical hurdles" were in store for her team. But she also began to realize something else: the strength of the supporting cast around her.
"So much teamwork went into the product development process," Elizabeth recalled. "Taking a collaborative approach was essential, because if we didn't work effectively with our cross-functional partners, we wouldn't have the knowledge necessary to succeed."
And succeed they did: "We were able to launch a completely new, lightweight facial sunscreen, thanks to the support of my cross-functional partners and a wonderful team."
It was a remarkable win, one that Elizabeth says is a credit to the mentors you'll find at Johnson & Johnson.
As she put it, "I'm so grateful to all of the people who invested their time and energy into shaping my experience, who have been sponsors of my development. The Co-Op helped me grow in so many ways—and not just in my technical knowledge as a formulator. It's what has allowed me to continuously learn and take on my new role."
"Pursue the Things You're Truly Interested In"
Elizabeth framed the difference between a Co-Op at Johnson & Johnson and a traditional internship like this: "A Co-Op at Johnson & Johnson lets you pursue the things you're truly interested in and passionate about. It gives you the focus and time to work on real assignments that can come to life."
In part, that's because it's a longer, and far more immersive, experience than traditional internships: You'll be fully integrated into our workplace culture, take on real business challenges and make an impact.
The slightly longer time commitment—six months, versus two or three—also means you have time to explore. Take the Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) Elizabeth participated in, for example.
"My experiences with the ERGs really helped me develop as a leader," she said. "It's great to have an organization that encourages you to spend time doing things like that."
Elizabeth added, "The biggest benefit of the Co-Op may be that it led me to pursue a career with a company that closely aligns with my personal values."
Join Elizabeth—and the Rest of Us—Today!
Looking to take on new challenges and be challenged to grow while exploring your interests? Learn more about Co-Ops at Johnson & Johnson, which we offer in the following functional areas:
- Customer Development
- Research and Development (R&D)
- Supply Chain and Operations