Name: Ketul Desai Degree: Pharmacology (Bachelors) Master’s Degree: Integrated Physiology of Health and Disease University: University of Nottingham Novartis graduate internship: Oncology Junior Scientific Advisor (JSA)
Why did you apply for a graduate internship at Novartis? I wasn’t entirely sure which type of graduate role I wanted to do however, I knew that I wanted to invest my time working for a global medicines company that has a positive impact to many people’s lives around the world. After reading the role outline with Novartis and learning about their beneficial contribution to patients and society worldwide, these factors intrigued me to apply for the position.
What were the highlights of your internship? There were many highlights from my Junior Scientific Advisor experience, one of them would definitely be the people. Everybody was supportive and truly created an environment around me where I was able to develop my skillset. I was able to learn from not only my senior colleagues but also my fellow interns, which was a great asset as we were all in the same boat during the internship journey.
What new skills did you learn from your internship? During the internship, I was able to refine my presentation skills and tailor them to larger audiences. For example at university, I only had experience presenting to small groups but the internship at Novartis gave me exposure to present scientific information to larger audiences, which helped improve my overall confidence and presentation pace. I also was able to develop my team training skills, as I was regularly involved in leading therapeutic area training for new team members from various functions such as marketing, clinical trials, sales and market access.
What are your key takeaways? One of my key takeaways was the importance of networking and effective stakeholder management. I learned that ensuring early alignment with all parties involved is critical and having a robust communication plan is important when trying to achieve project objectives on time.
What advice can you give to aspiring graduates who may be interested in applying for a Novartis graduate internship? My advice would be to broaden your understanding of the different functions within the pharmaceutical industry and understand at a topline level what these different functions do. This will be helpful when applying as you will be able to understand if the aims of a particular function align with your own passions. For example, if achieving patient access to medicines is something you are particularly passionate about then applying for the Market Access internship would be of potential interest to you.