If you happen to talk to anyone who is at least half-way through the Bioentrepreneurship programme, you can pretty much bet they would quote the practical placements (so-called PP-s: PP1, PP2, and PP3 i.e. the thesis placement) as the pinnacle of their master’s studies. You can work for a real company, be managed and mentored by a professional from your future industry of employment and, of course, make new connections. Most of all, you get a gist of what it would require to work for different types of life science companies.
There are many things to highlight about these experiences. For me, a 2018 graduate, the most important part is that I got to combine a variety of internships into a multifaceted practical education by working for three strikingly different organisations: a big pharma, a life science consultancy, and a digital health startup. These brief and intense exposures taught me a lot about what type of work I would like to pursue in the future. Can’t beat first-hand experience.
Most of the blog posts here address the beginning of the programme as, naturally, students get super busy by the end of their studies (and more so after graduating). As the time passes, it’s easy to forget the struggles we all endured to secure our placements, not to mention all the hassle/excitement one had to go through to move to a new city/country (if that’s what was required). Yet in this way, newcomers and programme applicants may miss out. Knowing what is potentially ahead when starting the Bioentrepreneurship programme could be super informative and perhaps even exciting (or — well — just informative 😉 ). Well, it’s autumn and the batch of ’18 has graduated. It’s about time to see what exact internships my classmates happened to mix and match and what are their impressions!
Bioentrepreneurship Grad #1
- Internal Consulting – Big Pharma (PP1)
“Very good leadership, great project. Challenged my views on how corporations operate internally.”*
- Investment Management – Governmental Investing Organisation (PP2+PP3 i.e. thesis crunch)
“All in my second foreign language (German), very challenging, daily C-level contact. Learned a lot about what companies do at the board level.”
Bioentrepreneurship Grad #2
- Marketing and Regulation Market Analysis – Medical Device Startup (PP1+PP2)
“I worked on two different projects under the marketing team at this digital healthcare startup. I developed patient cases and analysed the EU market based on the regulatory climate. It was a great deal of learning for me to work with the European market and a closer-knit team of experts at a startup environment.”
- Remote Master’s Thesis Student – Cardiac Medical Device Company (Big Pharma Subsidiary) (PP3 i.e. thesis crunch)
Bioentrepreneurship Grad #3
- Business Development – Biotech Startup (PP1)
“It was such a short time but I learnt a lot about biotech business.”
- Procurement – Diabetes Medtech Startup (PP2)
“I had no idea about green procurement process for medical devices by the Swedish Municipalities before this!”
- International Marketing – Welfare Technology SME (PP3 i.e. thesis crunch)
“The fun part was not the international market, it was the robots!”
Bioentrepreneurship Grad #4
- Market Research (Remote) – Early Biotech Startup (PP1)
- Marketing Strategy and Digital Adoption – Big Pharma (PP2+PP3 i.e. thesis crunch)
“I thought it was a wonderful experience where I got a lot of support during my time there. They treated me like an equal contributor and listened to my ideas. I felt I learned a lot that I could directly use in my future workplace.”
Bioentrepreneurship Grad #5
“It was interesting to work for small medtech and big pharma. It was great to understand the different roles you can have in companies which prepares you for what to expect in your future working life. I am very thankful I got this insight already before finishing school!”
- Medical Affairs – Big Pharma (PP1)
- Procurement and Market Analysis – Diabetes Medtech Startup (PP2+PP3 i.e. thesis crunch)
Alright, folks! I hope this was useful, or at least entertaining 🙂 I’ll wrap it up as a digital ambassador as well since my time at Karolinska Institutet has become to an end.
It was a true privilege working with this fun and smart bunch of people and I will always remember our meetups and workshops with fond memories. Good times! I hope that our team (ambassadors who started in 2016 and 2017) offered you something valuable and influenced your life choices in a positive way. Nevertheless, it feels good to drop the mic: I’m sure the new DA batch that just embarked on this two-year journey will do its best to keep you all savvy and informed 😉
Have a great life and let’s keep in touch!
Paula Salme Sandrak (LinkedIn)
* The comment applies either to all the internships as an overarching impression (above the bullet points), or only to a specific internship (placed below the specific bullet point).