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Healthcare Services Placement Student
About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

I wanted to develop my business acumen and learn about the corporate industry. As I intend of pursuing a career in the pharmaceutical industry post graduation, I knew a placement would provide me with invaluable experience and also differentiate me from other applicants.

How did you find your placement/internship?

On the Rate my Placement website

Application process

I first had to submit an online application on the company's recruitment portal. Following from that, I had to take an online numerical and verbal reasoning test. I was then invited for a telephone interview to talk through my CV. The final stage of the was a face to face interview before I was offered the placement.

Main responsibilities

My role was to support the Operations Team of the Healthcare Services Business Unit, focusing specifically on Strategy, Marketing and Communications. (Activities listed in next column)

Typical day

I had a diverse role on placement and therefore my day to day activities varied. The following are a few key activities I was involved with in my placement year:
I developed a Capacity Model for the Technical Team within the business unit. This model supports the management team in forecasting future resource requirements to effectively and efficiently manage future projects.
I managed and devised marketing materials for an NHS England Early Intervention for Long Term Conditions Test Bed program. I worked cross functionally with both internal and external stakeholders to prepare and process materials through formal regulated approval processes within a tight timeline.
 I organized Global Monthly Innovation Calls for more than 100 innovation-interested invitees to share best practices. I selected topics and contacted speakers for the monthly agenda to drive the right conversations about innovation.
I was a project manager for an Oncology Early Identification Project. As part of the project, I set up a team space site which enabled the communication of important information to the project team and allowed everyone to easily share key documents. I was also heavily involved in the development of the cancer patient pathway and I translated information gathered from subject matter experts into an interactive diagram using Microsoft VISIO.

What did I enjoy about my placement/internship?

I enjoyed being given real responsibilities and accountability. I was given opportunities to get involved across a variety of projects, not just on an internal level but also national and global levels. I have been given so much exposure not only to how a corporate organisation operates but have also gained so much knowledge about the NHS. In addition, I have also networked with so many subject matter experts in the field who all have a common goal of improving the health and wellbeing of humans and animals around the world

Challenging aspects

The challenging aspects of placement was learning how to say no. Coming in as a student into corporate setting, I had set an expectation for myself to say yes and take on as much work as I could to make a good impression. As the year progressed, I learnt how to prioritize work based on how it would impact the business and also learnt how to ask for help from fellow co-workers when I needed assistance.

Did you use any skills learned from your course?

I used transferable skills such as problem solving skills, communication and decision making which I had developed from the first two years on my course on placement. I developed these skills from activities on my course such as lab sessions, statistics and communicating with lecturers, coursemates, and other university members.

Has your time on placement influenced your future career choice?

Definitely. I am know aware of all the opportunities and various routes I can pursue after I graduate.

Advice to students

My piece of advice to students

Do a placement as it's one of the best things you can do for yourself. It may be daunting to leave your course mates but the experience you attain in a placement year will be invaluable for the rest of your life.

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Form completed: 26 Jul 2017

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