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My Day at Color – Color

Aishani Aatresh

Hi! I’m a (rising) junior at Saint Francis High School in Mountain View, currently living my best life on summer vacation. The beauty of summer is having the time and freedom to do absolutely anything, whether that’s sleeping, spending time with friends and family, going to the beach, or binge-watching Netflix. However, the learning doesn’t stop just because the school year is over, and summer is the perfect time to experience things that we students otherwise don’t do. For me, that manifested itself as a day here at Color.

I first heard about Color when I was in 8th grade, just as my interest in science was truly starting to take off. Fast forward a couple years — Katie Jacobs Stanton, CMO, was kind enough to offer to have me at Color for a day. I could not have been more enthused to visit, especially because Color works in some of my favorite fields and ideas — genetics, oncology, social impact and equality, applications of computer science, and incredible synergistic innovation, just to name a few.

I started my morning by meeting all the fantastic people Katie works with, and throughout the day, I was constantly inspired by their personalities and work. The tour of the office space and the lab was also fantastic. Everything was bursting with color (no pun intended), whether that was the brightness and liveliness of the people, ideas, artwork, or innovation in the building. I was lucky enough to hop on a couple conference calls with potential partners (incredibly exciting things are ahead!), and that set up one of my projects for the day. I spent some time working with and researching various “holidays” (i.e., National Breast Cancer Awareness Month) and organizations that shared messaging that Color could leverage and partner with to advance, increase accessibility to, and raise awareness about genetic testing, specifically for cancer and heart conditions. I also was able to help with sourcing potential future engineering hires, giving me a never-before-seen look into the intriguing and slightly difficult world of recruiting.

Of course, I can’t forget food — I was treated to juice samples in the morning from a company that came in to share their product, had a delicious lunch, and had some difficulty choosing just one snack from the well-stocked kitchen.

I couldn’t have asked for a better day. Seeing everyone’s commitment to the essential goal of improving health through genetic testing, getting a closer look at how so many different skills intertwine to make that happen, and being able to contribute to even a tiny part of such an important endeavor has been an experience I’ll always cherish. It was just another reason for me to continue being interested in science (especially genetics and oncology), but more importantly, to appreciate the incredible potential it has to better the world and to focus on honing the multidisciplinary skills needed to make such dreams a reality. Thank you for a fantastic day, and I hope to one day be able to make a difference in life the way each of you is doing here at Color. Until then, my next big cancer-related endeavor will be the Canary Challenge bike ride in September, and I can’t wait to see what develops and what I learn next in this fast-paced field of personalized medicine. Go Color!

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