Implementation of Quality Management System Software (Qualtrax®)

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Food Laboratory (NYSAGM – FL) is implementing a software application system called Qualtrax®. This software system will facilitate the management of the NYSAGM - FL’s laboratory quality management system (QMS), which comprises internal auditing functions, corrective action procedures, calibration/method/validation/verification procedures, proficiency testing, trending analysis, sample tracking, document control and a variety of other elements. Currently, these items are managed manually. The project aims are for the intern to join a team at the NYSAGM – FL to (1) merge current QMS workflows to the Qualtrax® system (2) Re-format current QMS documentation to match the new Qualtrax® system (3) Upload documentation to the Qualtrax® system, and (4) Train staff on the new software application and QMS workflows. In addition, the intern will have an opportunity to learn about a wide variety of laboratory specialties and be exposed to a robust quality assurance program in support of a regulatory analytical testing program.

Roles and responsibilities

The successful individual would work with a team of quality assurance officers, laboratory analytical supervisors, and laboratory analysts to set up and prepare a new software system to go live. The intern will assist quality assurance officers on all phases of application implementation, from editing documents and spreadsheets to participating in meetings for training. The intern will also engage in conversations with laboratory staff to gather feedback about the existing software platform to ensure such staff are adequately prepared to interact with the new system. This intern also will work with Adobe Professional and create fillable forms resulting in a completely automated program.  

Qualifications and previous coursework

This opportunity is available to students in Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

The intern should have good organization and communication skills, have knowledge of Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), have the ability to work independently after receiving instruction, and be willing to work hard. Experience working in a laboratory environment is preferred but not a requirement.

Learning outcomes 

A valuable learning outcome for this internship will be the ability for the intern to grasp an in-depth understanding of how a working laboratory “regulates” itself using a quality control system. The student will gain extensive experience by interacting with a diverse group of people with various scientific backgrounds, understanding how laboratory quality assurance is used in an applied setting, and learning about how food is regulated in New York State. The student will be able to apply the experience they gain to enter a variety of opportunities that exist in a laboratory setting.