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When Betelihem Alemayehu moved with her parents from the countryside of Ethiopia to Boston nearly a decade ago, she didn’t know how to ride the T, she couldn’t speak English, and she could never have guessed that one day she’d be employed in one of the city’s cutting-edge industries.

Alemayehu, now 22, works in lab operations at Vedanta Biosciences, a Cambridge biotech startup that’s unraveling the mysteries of the human microbiome to create drugs from helpful bacteria to combat disease. And she credits a college student internship program for helping to kickstart her unanticipated career.

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