Issy joined Avalere Health as a summer intern based in the UK. Upon completion of her 10-week internship, Issy accepted a permanent role with our Medical team. Here, she discusses the success story of her journey from intern to Medical Writer.
What led you to this internship?
While I was writing my undergraduate literature dissertation, I realized how much I loved scientific/medical writing. I particularly enjoyed conducting in-depth research into a new topic, being able to critically analyze which publications best suited my research question, and then introducing this newfound knowledge into my writing.
When I received an email from my university careers team stating that a Medical Writer from Avalere Health was going to be one of the speakers at a careers event, I knew I wanted to sign up. The session was the first I had heard about Avalere Health and after researching the company and learning more about their work and values, I knew I had to apply to their internship program.
What did you know about healthcare communications before joining Avalere Health and how has that changed as a result of your internship?
From the careers event and my own research, I understood the basics of healthcare communications. I knew that by using different media such as posters, websites, or manuscripts, those working in the industry can educate a range of audiences about healthcare information and services.
However, throughout the course of my internship, I realized that healthcare communications is much more multifaceted than I thought. From working with consultants to ensure strategic integrity, editorial services, and presentation teams to ensure delivery of quality assets, and project managers on budget and timelines, a Medical Writer rarely works on their own from start to finish. Instead, it is the collaborative approach of all teams that produces the best outcomes for our clients and the patients. In short, it’s all about playing for the team.
What were some of the highlights of your internship?
There were so many highlights throughout the internship program, making it hard to choose just one!
The day I submitted my first piece of client work as a Medical Writer stands out above all. It was incredibly rewarding to put into practice everything I learnt over the 10-week internship program, from effective writing styles to successful presentation techniques. I’m incredibly proud to be part of adding value for our client and ultimately, patient outcomes.
Other key highlights included the various social events I was able to partake in: from the Brighton office’s summer party where I felt so welcomed as a teammate, to taking part in a sponsored beach clean-up with the Brighton office for the Rockinghorse Children’s Charity. The latter, in particular, was such a fun way to spend an afternoon whilst also contributing to a philanthropic initiative through the Avalere Health Gives Back program. I think it’s crucial for companies to get involved and give back to their community, so I was thrilled this opportunity was available to me.
In the last week of your internship, you were formally offered a permanent position as Medical Writer at Avalere Health. What are you looking forward to as you dive into your early careers journey and transition from intern to full-time employee?
The 10-week internship with Avalere Health was a fantastic window into the day-to-day life of a medical writer and the types of projects expected. However, healthcare communications is such a diverse sector and so I’m really looking forward to branching out and taking on a wider range of projects as I transition from intern to full-time employee.
With the help of Avalere Health’s career development platform, Fuel50, I’m also looking forward to exploring my career journey and seeing how it will progress in the coming years.
What lessons will you take from your internship into the next stage of your career?
Reflecting on the internship, I have learnt so many valuable lessons that it is difficult to narrow them down. There is one lesson, however, that I will endeavor to take into every stage of my career: that two heads are often better than one.
During university, most of my assignments involved working independently. As an intern, I was exposed to a team of experts and worked very closely with other (senior) medical writers. Being able to draw on the experience of a senior colleague was invaluable to me throughout the internship; I was able to make sure I had the background knowledge needed to fulfill a client brief and felt comfortable asking for support when I needed it.
As I begin my full-time role, I feel confident knowing that I will be supported throughout my career, and I look forward to getting to know the team better.
What advice do you have for future interns?
In short, it’s all about enjoying the journey! You’re here to learn and get the most out of this opportunity. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone with questions or if you want to chat and find out more about their role. If there’s something you want to do or experience, discuss it with your manager. Get involved in as many projects as possible and try to get to know the wider team outside of the office. Avalere Health regularly runs office socials and I found this was instrumental in helping me form better connections with my team.
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