Identifying gaps in HCP’s knowledge in healthcare (e.g. in a specific therapy area, how a drug works and is administered) and producing digital materials to educate these HCP’s and close the gaps and needs.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
My placement has been an amazing opportunity, allowing me to develop and learn more than I imagined. I have learnt a lot about how the business works both locally and globally, and also the vast amount of rules and regulations in pharmaceuticals. There has also been plenty of opportunities to develop and enhance my skillset including my confidence, presenting and working with senior colleagues.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
At MSD, you are not seen as a 'placement student', you are respected and seen as a colleague. You are given plenty of responsibilities, and early on too, making you feel valued and capable. The people at MSD have made the whole experience, every person is super friendly and will always say hello, making the environment relaxed and fun to be in.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given a lot of space which I enjoyed as this allowed me to develop my independence and create opportunities for myself. I enjoyed the informal nature, so pressure was never a worry for me however it ensured I kept on track. Support from HR was continuous and well provided throughout the year.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My day-to-day role and activities filled up a good amount of my time but also allowed for me to take on extra opportunities outside of my role. This allowed me to broaden my knowledge of the different business units, work with more people, and enhance and broaden my skillset. I think without this, my experience wouldn't have been so knowledgeable.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a good amount of responsibility. My manager had good belief in me, allowing me to take my own approach to tasks which allowed me to push my boundaries. However, my manager kept an eye on my activities to ensure I wasn't overwhelmed. This was key to allowing me to feel supported but not micro-managed which I appreciated.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills I have developed throughout this year have been invaluable. I now feel much more equipped to enter the working world, with more of an idea of what I like and what I don't like. I have developed my time management skills and how to best juggle my time which will be extremely useful in my final year of my degree. I can now work for longer periods of time without distraction and be more productive. My networking and people skills have also vastly improved, which will support me in my job search and roles in the future.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in the office was always very relaxed and fun, which I think is a key to a more productive and enjoyable workplace. The 'dress for your day' initiative and hot desking definitely contributed to this. There was often fun competitions within the office, for example finding antibiotic toys around the office for a chance to win a prize. This bought everyone together and gave us a break from the stress of work.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The company has a well established early talent programme which allowed me to feel well supported when I first started. However, this went slightly quiet during the middle of my placement which may have been due to big company changes that were occuring and hence the capacity of the early talent team was focussed elsewhere in HR. This never impacted me negatively as a few of us students were able to take on some extra responsibilities and run a few sessions ourselves.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I was luckily enough to have a colleague who invested a lot of belief in me and allowed me to take on big tasks, usually undertaken by more specialist colleagues. This allowed me to push myself out of my comfort zone. There was a few key people who I built good relationships with and took time out of their busy days to help me think about future steps and career developments.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I would definitely consider coming back to MSD. The people and culture of the company aligns to my values and I find it a very enjoyable place to work. I have seen many people develop and move onto bigger roles which is attractive to me. I do wish there was more graduate opportunities available at MSD.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
All of the students were very friendly and easy to get on with. The majority of us lived fairly close together which allowed us to socialise outside of work easily and on weekends. I often worked with other students on projects which was a great time to connect. We also often all had lunch together and able to catch-up.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Living just outside of London isn't the cheapest in the UK however this is a tiny price to pay for working at an extremely successful global organisation. There is also an extremely easy and cheap access route to get into central London which was really fun as I hadn't ever explored London before.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There are plenty of pubs and small clubs in Hertford, which were very fun and the majority of people out in Hertford are of a similar age. We were also luck enough to be able to go into London if we wanted a bigger night and allowed for bigger celebrations.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were plenty of exciting opportunities for us placement students such as visiting the manufacturing site up in Cramlington and the Animal Health HQ in Milton Keynes. We also had an amazing opportunitiy to do some volunteering within our working hours. However, due to company changes outside of our control and Covid-19, these opportunities were cancelled.