Questions & Answers with Alana Lewis
As we prepared to celebrate Black History Month at Moderna, we caught up with our colleague Alana Lewis, who is the chair of Moderna’s Black and African-American Employee Resource Group.
Alana talks about her love of a good challenge, spending downtime on what truly matters, and the importance of reflection this time of year.
Name: Alana Lewis
Role: Director, Quality Assurance
Years at Moderna: 4 years
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
What exactly does your role entail?
My role includes the management of supplier quality, product quality complaints and quality agreement negotiations.
How did you end up in this role and what do you love about your career choice?
Throughout my career I’ve volunteered for new challenges that have given me the chance to try different roles across the Quality field. I love a good challenge and the opportunity to learn something new every day.
What drew you to Moderna originally? And how has the company changed since?
A mentor reached out to me and told me about Moderna. After interviewing and talking to the team, I was immediately interested in the company, which has since grown from a research organization to a commercial business.
What’s been your favorite part of working at Moderna?
The challenge, of course! There are always processes to be defined, developed and/or improved and it’s been energizing to take that on.
How do Employee Resource Groups play a role at Moderna?
One of the aims of our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) is to help create an environment in which we have a positive impact on each other’s lives—whether it’s a safe place to talk, get advice, learn from one another or just be helpful citizens within our community.
This February, Moderna’s Black and African-American ERG, mPower, is hosting a number of company-wide activities in celebration of Black History Month. What does this time of year mean to you?
It’s a time to reflect on accomplishments that are not known or recognized, and a time to remind yourself of the importance of that recognition.
How does your role at Moderna affect your life outside of the office/lab, and how do your hobbies and passions impact your job?
My role at Moderna has really pushed me to be more thoughtful about what I do in my downtime and to ensure I spend it on what’s truly important to me.
What are your favorite things to do on the weekend?
I love spending time with my daughter—watching her learn and grow, playing games with her and just hearing her laugh. She is amazing!
What are your three office/lab must-haves for a successful workday?
Accomplish or finish at least one task I started, collaborate with my team to solve a problem and… coffee.
Which Moderna core value do you most embody and why—bold, collaborative, curious, relentless?
Relentless. No matter the challenge, we will figure out a way to make it happen.
If you didn’t have this job, what would you be doing?
Baking cakes or teaching math.
What are your hopes for our industry?
I hope to see our industry strengthen the trust of underserved communities so that people are more comfortable with being vaccinated.
In addition to career growth and the opportunity to deliver on an important mission to advance the field of mRNA science and improve treatment options for patients, Moderna is committed to building diverse and inclusive teams and fostering an environment where everyone belongs and can do their best work.
We are proud to be recognized by Science Careers as a top employer (2015-2020) and we’re always looking for smart, talented and passionate people like Alana. Want to join the team? See all open positions and find out more about why it’s good to be at Moderna.