Undergoing any internship, you’re bound to be faced with a host of new challenges and unfamiliar tasks. Coming from a background in academia, my time at VIVA! certainly lived up to that, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and learn from such a wonderful team.
Perhaps a bit obvious and a sign of my naivete, my greatest learning curve was really coming to terms with the practical meaning of media relations. As I made my first foray into the more commercial side of healthcare, I knew I would find the content and clients interesting, however I had virtually no idea of the nuances and intricate paths of the media network that are usually invisible to consumers. Admittedly, it took some time to orientate myself and grasp a firmer understanding of VIVA!’s role in the communications chain from client to consumer, yet that in itself has made my time at VIVA! an invaluable experience.
Beyond relishing my time behind the scenes, I have very much enjoyed being able to channel my skills, enthusiasm for healthcare and often blind sense of curiosity into practise. It is a daunting prospect to think you lack training in the area in which you are going into, however I’d venture to say that most people in similar situations such as myself are pleasantly surprised by their artillery of transferable skills. The leap of altering your writing style from your own to that of an academic text is not so different from writing for the media, patients, or industry experts, which adds an exciting dynamism to each days’ work. It was also great to be able to build on other skills such as teamwork, organisation and multitasking, which were so prominent within the VIVA! workplace.
On the note of teamwork, there is no doubt that it forms the backbone of life here at VIVA! Not only was I welcomed into one of the warmest workplace cultures, it has been a privilege to see the team at work and how they support and communicate with each other. It really is something special, and I have so much respect for how they balance workplace fun (of which there is plenty) with diligent hard work and dedication to their clients. Unexpectedly, I ended up learning a lot about what I’m looking for regarding workplace culture and dynamics and it being as important as the job itself.
Most importantly, I want to say a huge thank you to every member of the team. Each one was incredibly encouraging, kind and helpful and made this a wonderful experience. In my short but sweet time I’ve learnt a lot about what it means to bring the latest in healthcare to consumers, adapting to various client needs and maximising the reach of medical information. I’m looking forward to continuing my research education with a new perspective on the communication of medical information and great admiration for the work of media relations teams. To anyone considering an internship with VIVA! Communications, I cannot recommend it enough, it’s a wonderful experience that will foster their curiosity, emblazon their passion for healthcare and leave them with a profound and lasting impression of the medical communications industry.