Finding an internship can be difficult, especially as a first-year student. Some companies are looking for students with more experience, with research or with course content. Other companies rely on a “who you know” system of selecting interns. Still others are looking for eager young students they can groom into future employees.
Geoffrey Bonnanzio ’22 started his internship during the summer after his freshman year. “Organogenesis is a biomedical device company that focuses on living tissue. I found out about the company because my mom had a friend who worked there, but applications can be found on their website”: https://careers.organogenesis.com/, he said. While having an inside connection might get your name mentioned, Bonnanzio still had to interview and prove himself in doing the work.
Over the summer, Bonnanzio tested the feasibility of a packaging system for the amnion product (Affinity) to see if there was an easier, more cost-effective, and sterile way to clean and transport tissue to the hospitals. The company’s primary product is Apligraf, a living skin that is used to address woulds like venous-leg ulcers. Affinity is a product that comes from the inner lining of human placenta. It works to promote the growth and healing of skin in trauma victims. “My tests over the summer proved the system had potential, he said.
Since he was a hard-working intern over the summer, and because UD affords students a much longer winter break than other college students, Bonnanzio was able to return this winter. “Now I am continuing work on the system with the Process Development team to design a final prototype for the large scale packaging of Affinity,” he said. By being involved with this company for two stints, Bonnanzio says he has gotten to work on a project from the ground-up, “walking through every stage of the engineering design process to develop the best and most efficient system possible. It is extremely rewarding to work for a company that is truly helping those in need.”
As an Honors student, Bonnanzio is not solely focused on his work in the lab this winter. He has taken the opportunity to catch up with friends in his hometown of Canton, Massachusetts. Did you know that Massachusetts translates to “at the great hill” in Algonquin? It refers to the Blue Hills region where he lives. He has also had time to read and catch up on movies. His two recommendations? Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman and and Knives Out, a movie directed by Rian Johnson.
Bonnanzio is a chemical engineering major, minoring in computer science. He also serves as a Munson Fellow for first-year students in Louis L. Redding Hall, and as the webmaster for the Harrington Theatre Arts Company (HTAC).