A taste of the science industry – my internship at COUCH

11/10/2018 7:05 pm

Honor Sangster

In my third week as an intern my boss and founder of COUCH Health Communications, Ash, turned to me from his desk and said, “Honor – why don’t you come up with some ideas for blogs and write briefs for them”. He was giving me an opportunity to put into practice skills I had learnt during my first week. Following a training meeting with an experienced medical writer, who among other things, explained how to write a successful brief. Not only this, but he was allowing me to demonstrate my understanding of current health care topics. Knowledge I had gained through research Ash had previously asked me to carry out; from virtual clinical trials and health education, to the benefits of patient-centred care.

And yet this just a small sample of the things I’ve learnt during my internship. Along with developing a deeper understanding into how the pharmaceutical industry works; I have designed infographics, reviewed clinical trial documents, sat in on meetings with clients and met talented freelancers who have shared their expertise.  As well as countless other things I’ve learnt by simply turning and asking a member of the team, who did their very best to make sure I got my answer.

A second remark that sticks out to me is one from Katie, a fellow founder of COUCH Health Communications, who on my very first day kindly suggested, “how about we give you a tour, get you a drink and let your heart rate go down before you start”. A small show of kindness that made a big impact on lessening my nerves. After six weeks this first impression of COUCH remains to be true. Embedded within the culture of this small company is kindness, strong morals and a drive for excellence.

I think the most fitting description of my time at COUCH comes from my Mum, who knew I had worried about finding an internship and after telling her about the things I had been up to and the people I had met said, “you’ve really landed on your feet”.

If you’re looking for an internship I would recommend personally emailing a company to find about any opportunities they could offer. A simple task that could lead to significant personal development.

About the author

As a failed neuroscientist, Ash has sought to bring meaningful change to the healthcare industry ever since by working at some of the biggest agencies in the world, his career spans more than 10 years. His expertise lies in creative communications, patient engagement and recruitment strategies for clinical trials – seeking to make healthcare people-focused and purpose-driven. When he isn’t doing all that, he’s anticipating the latest movie, expanding that love to screen writing or on a spur of the moment city break. If he had to decide the thing he loves most in the world, it would probably be Toby Carvery.

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