Squared Fellows Explore STEM Careers at Tandem Diabetes Care

The San Diego Squared Fellows program is a yearlong program for underrepresented 10th-12th grade high school students interested in STEM, helping them build a community and learn about the STEM industry. A pillar of the Fellows Program is touring local innovative companies around San Diego, where they see the career potential of pursuing STEM.

Recently, our current Fellows cohort had the unique opportunity to visit Tandem Diabetes Care, a leading medical device company, and received a tour of their headquarters to learn about the diverse range of career opportunities within STEM.


The experience started with a presentation about the company’s history, mission, and impact, showing students the real-world applications that STEM has. Tandem shared its core values as an organization, which stood out to high schooler Tayler Nguyen.


“One lesson that was prominent throughout the site visit is that at Tandem Diabetes, they care about the relationships between people,” Nguyen said about her experience. “‘People First,’ being one of Tandem Diabetes’ top core values, was something that the company portrayed, especially with each employee highlighting that it is one of the company’s best features. I learned that this company, which was started to make one life better, has grown into making hundreds of thousands of people’s lives better, and that includes the employees.”


Students had the opportunity to explore a range of Tandem’s state-of-the-art products that have revolutionized diabetes care, including their selection of insulin pumps. By witnessing the impact that innovation in diabetes care, students gained a deeper understanding of the work being done by Tandem and continued their day of learning with a tour of their San Diego headquarters.


Throughout their tour, students were introduced to employees in various departments and given a glimpse of a corporate STEM environment. They were able to have meaningful conversations with company leaders that inspired our aspirational high schoolers, especially Belen Rodriguez.


“It was memorable to meet new employees from Tandem Diabetes through networking with people of different careers,” Rodriguez said, “Especially on the tour, it was great to talk to our tour guide and realize how relatable high-level employers could be.  It could be scary to talk to people with such high levels of experience in such STEM companies. Still, I enjoyed being able to ask questions and find out how similar employers at Tandem Diabetes are to high schoolers like me.”


On top of the tour and product demonstrations, the Fellows heard from working professionals with similar backgrounds about their educational and career journeys, learning about the steps they took to achieve their STEM goals.


They learned about careers in different fields like data science, manufacturing engineering, software engineering, and software testing, showing them the different aspects that go into creating medical supplies. From quality control to software testing in safeguarding patient health and safety, the Fellows were able to see first-hand the growing significance of data science across various industries.


“The most memorable aspect of visiting Tandem Diabetes is probably the feeling I had after I left,” said high school junior Alondra De La Torree, “After leaving the site, I was in awe of how many different STEM fields can come together and work together to produce one product. When first going into Tandem Diabetes I assumed that there were going to be a lot of workers with backgrounds in the medical field and maybe even mechanics but the background was more diverse than expected. I would have never thought that there would be a software engineer and data analyst working at Tandem.”


Students left Tandem with a better understanding of what a career in STEM could look like for them. They learned about the countless opportunities that wait for them in the professional world and are now equipped with solid building blocks to achieve them. On top of potential career opportunities, our students were able to see firsthand what it looks like to work for a company built around inclusion and diversity.


“Tandem consists of a culture where every individual feels valued, respected, and promoted to contribute their best work,” said high school junior Hermela Alem, “This commitment to inclusion strengthens the company as a whole while also creating an even better supportive community where every employee can thrive.”


Interested in hosting the Fellows at your San Diego STEM company to uplift underserved communities? Reach out to


Become an SD2 Corporate Sustaining Partner to join us in empowering underrepresented talent in their pursuit of STEM careers. Learn more.


Are you a San Diego high school student from an underrepresented community with an interest in STEM? Make sure to check out our Squared Fellows Program.