Remote administrative support of clinical trials (CTC role) with shadowing opportunities of a clinical site monitor (CRA role). Weighted approx 70% CTC, 30% CRA.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed my placement mostly enhanced by the amazing colleagues and friends I was working with day to day. Everyone from the managers to the other interns were always incredibly supportive and friendly. I had plenty of opportunity to learn and develop throughout the placement. I am so much more confident and comfortable in the world of work, and I know this has prepared me well for what awaits beyond university.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My favourite part of placement has certainly been the colleagues I worked with and quickly became friends with. I feel I am a valued member of the team and all us interns know that we have voices in the company which are heard and listened to. We have all been assured how missed we will be, and that colleagues who we work with don't know how they'll cope without us; this is reassuring that the work we did everyday made a difference
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
The most surprising thing to me has been just how supportive and caring the managers we're assigned have been. There is no doubt that they want the best for you, are always happy to help, and are just a phone call away at all times. I hope I have such kind and friendly managers in the future.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Now and then waves of work will come through and it can be somewhat overwhelming to balance this with other aspects of the internship, such as out of office opportunities. Realistically it is always manageable and if not you always know you can say something and get help, but it's just that occasionally you can feel slightly overloaded.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I believe I had as much responsibility as you could expect, particularly towards the end of placement. This meant there was enough ownership over tasks to make my own decisions on how to approach and adapt them. Particularly during the pandemic and lockdown, we were all trusted to work from home and I feel this also places a lot of responsibility in the hands of the interns.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
As expected in an entry level job, the fundamental day to day tasks were very admin heavy; the placement required a bioscience degree but this is not particularly evident in the day to day demands of the job. But outside of the science I feel I massively developed my work skills during placement. Fundamentally, I would no longer question myself when applying to jobs after graduating, whilst without this year's experience I would have had a lot of self doubt, which I have seen in my friends who did not do a placement and have recently graduated.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
It was a lovely bright office, which we have all greatly missed since lockdown began. I wish I appreciated this more whilst I was there! The atmosphere was as relaxed as is appropriate, and was a pleasant space to work and socialise too. When senior figures were in the office it didn't suddenly become stilted either, they were always very friendly and it remained at ease throughout the office. We always had social things going on, but again we all wish we made even more of this before lockdown! (we had all been putting somethings off until the summer months)
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Slightly training heavy initially, and in hindsight it would have been good to have some more experiences in other departments earlier in the placement (they are now cancelled due to coronavirus), but is things had gone ahead I wouldn't have had these thoughts.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There was plenty of training and help available across placement, and more would have occurred without the pandemic but this was not predicted by anybody. There were opportunities to be trained on every aspect of the actual role, as well as roles beyond your own department. Charity work days would have occured (without pandemic), there were presentation skills development workshops, and personality assessments.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
From everything that I can see MSD treats its employees well and fairly. I would definitely consider opportunities here in the future. I would also be interested to look at the departments currently in Hoddesdon office if they relocate to London.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes better than I could have hoped for. The other interns and other colleagues in the department from very early on became good friends and we all look forward to keeping in tough for many years to come. We had planned to go on holiday together (again, interrupted by pandemic...) and went on great evenings and nights out throughout the year.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I had to live at home during placement because my family is too close to justify renting in London. London is a very expensive place to be, but I think it's probably worth the experience if you are up for the busy city atmosphere, but if you don't enjoy that it's probably best avoided.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
London has every aspect of nightlife you could hope for, not much more needed to be said. The Kings Cross area in which the office is located has been renovated extensively and is a nice place to be on a sunny day during lunch or after work. Pleant of restaurants and bars nearby... expensive though but nowhere in London isn't.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
As a direct result of the MSD placement itself I wouldn't particularly say so, but as a result of being in London there are too many opportunities if anything! It could be nice if like the Hoddesdon office there were sport functions relating to work, logistically it is not particularly as possible in the London office though.