Clothes set out, pad of paper and pen in my bag, directions ready in my phone, and lunch packed. I’m ready for my first day of being an intern. Or so I thought … I don’t think I could have prepared myself for my first day, first week, or entire time at Intouch. But that’s not a bad thing. My summer surpassed my expectations, and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
Learning the ropes
My first week was one of my favorite experiences of my whole internship. I learned about all the different departments, how Intouch got started, the culture, and the process of how projects go “live.” Even though I studied up on Intouch before my interview, I was a blank slate compared to everything I learned during orientation. I also got to bond with my intern class and meet full-time employees who had been in our shoes not too long ago. The week ended with a scavenger hunt around the office searching for clues (the only time it was expected and acceptable to run around the office). Of course, my partner and I won! Even though the scavenger hunt was for fun, it was actually a great way to learn the building, find conference rooms and meet new people as they passed out clues. After that, every time I had a meeting in River Market, I knew exactly where it was.
The next few weeks were a little scarier because, although I had experience in social media, I had NO experience in the pharma industry. Every project I did had to be checked, double-checked and triple-checked — it’s always better to be safe than sorry! But what happened to the days when you could tweet and post statuses about whatever you wanted? Those days were over for me as long as I was at Intouch. Who knew social media could get so complicated?
Even though it was tough getting used to the process and criteria of pharma social media, I was equally rewarded with my first Cake Day — a day to celebrate everyone who had a birthday or anniversary that month. Each month, the conference room next to my desk has dozens and dozens of cakes and cupcakes for the whole office to enjoy … even when it isn’t even your birthday or anniversary being celebrated.
Fast forward another 10 weeks, and all my doubts have disappeared. I’ve learned to draft responses to our Facebook fans, write content for status updates, find conference rooms (kinda), understand and utilize Facebook data and metrics, and so much more. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that everything needs to be checked a trillion times by a trillion people. Welcome to the pharma industry! I’ll be walking out of Intouch feeling accomplished and ready for the real world.
What would my advice be for future Intouch interns? Have fun! This experience will not be all-business; you’ll also learn about yourself and what you are capable of. Before your interview, I recommend studying up on Intouch and everything that the agency has to offer. Don’t worry about not having familiarity with the pharma industry because, frankly, not many interns had previous experience (including me). Whether you’re stepping into your interview or first day, be confident! It’ll take you a little bit to learn the ropes, but once you do, you’ll be happy you stuck with it.