Laura's work experience

Over the past three months, PhD student Laura Powell has received a crash course in the marketing side of healthcare – experiencing everything from copywriting to account management. In this blog, we catch up with Laura and find out how she has found her work experience.

How have you found your time with IGNIFI?

I have loved working with IGNIFI. The whole team are incredibly welcoming and helpful which allowed me to settle in quickly and be involved with multiple projects. The projects and brands that IGNIFI work on are diverse and this exposed me to a range of healthcare marketing activities which I found very interesting.

What have been some of your favourite projects to be involved in?

I really enjoyed working on projects for some of our pharma clients. Here I could use my scientific knowledge to create visuals for various marketing campaigns, following the project from the initial brief to the finished product.

Working on MAGNIFI – an internally produced marketing white paper asking the question ‘How has COVID-19 impacted women?’ – was also a highlight as it allowed me to learn a different style of copywriting and see the content come to life through the input of our creative and design studio.

Did you have any expectations for working in a healthcare marketing agency – how did this compare to the reality?

I didn’t really have many expectations as I had no frame of reference of what a marketing agency was really like other than watching The Apprentice. I expected a fast-paced environment and to work on a variety of projects every day and I wasn’t disappointed. During my time with IGNIFI I also learned how varied everyone’s backgrounds were and enjoyed working as part of a team with such a diverse skillset, and experience in areas from the life sciences and design to digital and marketing.

What do you think are the most valuable skills or experiences you have taken from your time at IGNIFI?

Being exposed to different styles of copywriting has given me a great appreciation of how you can adapt information to suit client needs such as marketing for healthcare professionals compared with patients. The account management aspect of my internship has also been valuable to me as I had no previous experience in working with clients to deadlines and budgets. The skills I’ve developed from the business side of marketing will no doubt help me just as much as the copywriting skills.

The majority of your placement took place while we were all still working remotely – how did you find this aspect of the job?

I quite enjoyed the novelty of working from home as I had still been in the lab for the majority of the pandemic. I found meeting everyone over Teams for individual introduction sessions in my first week really helpful for getting to know people and learning who to ask if I needed any help. Everyone was so friendly and easy to talk to, it felt no different to speaking to them in person, but it has been lovely getting to see everyone in person over the last few weeks in the office.

Were there any parts of your job that you found especially challenging?

I’d say every project that I’ve worked on has been challenging in the beginning as I learned how to approach the tasks and to use and develop my skills to get the job done. A big challenge initially was learning how to use Veeva PromoMats as I had never used a programme like it before, but by learning on the job and asking those around me when support was needed, I think I’ve become quite adept at using it effectively and efficiently.

Has this experience influenced your career plans going forward?

Yes. I’ve always had an interest in writing so going into some form of scientific writing after my PhD was always my goal. However, from seeing the various aspects of marketing, I’m quite interested in the business side now too. Perhaps I’ll be able to combine scientific copywriting and project management in my career. It has certainly given me something to think about and other options to explore when I start my career.

What advice would you give to other students considering work experience?

Don’t be scared! Firstly, don’t be afraid to send out emails asking if companies would be willing to give you some work experience. Search keywords of roles you would be interested in on job sites to find companies in the areas you would like to work in. And secondly, don’t worry about struggling to do a task that is completely new to you. No one expects you to be brilliant at something right away. But by trying, asking questions, and applying yourself you’ll get a lot out of it and hopefully the company will too.

If you’re looking for work-experience or a permanent role in a fast-paced, creative, healthcare marketing agency, visit our careers page to see our current openings.

Posted by Rebecca Dargue
Health Science Content Writer

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