As a senior studying statistics at Montana State University, I was fortunate to be granted the opportunity to intern with the development team at a local software company. I was even more fortunate when this internship turned into full-time employment after I graduated.
Working on a team with extremely talented individuals, I realized the significant impact our company makes through its worldwide distribution of our software and analytic services. This is one of the many things that make Golden Helix a great place to work.
At Golden Helix, I’ve contributed to our development team by writing and testing Python scripts, testing our software products (SVS and GenomeBrowse), and assisting with data curation and customer support. More recently, I moved into our Analytic Services department and have been working on genetic research projects that focus on a variety of phenotypes. The wide range of research topics and the opportunity to analyze real genetic data makes every day both interesting and challenging.
On most days, I’m working with our Statistical Geneticist, Dr. Bryce Christensen, on any of the numerous steps that compose a genetic analysis project. This may include writing code to process or reformat data, performing quality control measures using SVS, or performing the actual analysis and interpreting the results.
On other days, I may be writing a Python script to be used in SVS, either by our customers or for our company’s internal use, or processing a new annotation track that was requested by our customer base. These ever-changing tasks and the wide range of research topics that may be related to common diseases or extremely rare diseases in humans or plant and animal genetics make for an interesting work week!
Oh, by the way – did I mention that Golden Helix is based in Bozeman, Montana? If you’ve read any of the other posts in this series, then you’ve heard that Bozeman is a wonderful place to live. The outdoor activities, fresh air, and small-town sense of community draw people (like me!) to the area and if you’re lucky (like me!), you find a workplace like Golden Helix.
Working in the rapidly evolving field of genetics constantly challenges me, and I enjoy performing work that contributes substantially to the needs of our customers and has a significant impact within the company. I feel fortunate to have gained so much from what started out as just an internship at a local company!