By Nancy Le
Nancy is a junior in the School of Education and Social Policy, double majoring in Learning & Organizational Change and Economics.
Describe your summer internship.
As a consulting intern at bioStrategies Group (bSG), I was able to step foot in many different aspects of bio/pharma market research to help inform commercialization strategies. From conducting secondary research to listening in on primary market research interviews with health care providers and key subject experts, I learned all about how pharmaceuticals make their way from their initial development stages to the market. I worked on two different projects and was able read up extensively on diseases and synthesize literature to contribute slides to client deliverables.
Explain how you learned about the opportunity. What resources were especially helpful in your internship search?
Back in April, I participated in the Northwestern Externship Program (NEXT) and was matched with Elizabeth Hines at bioStrategies Group. After learning about the firm at the externship, I reached out later on to see if there were summer internship opportunities available.
What did you enjoy most about the experience?
I enjoyed getting to meet some really kind and intellectual people. All of my coworkers were older than me by at least five years, but I found myself still able to call them friends. I was able to get some really good advice about my career and future from people with more experience. In addition, I felt like more than just an intern there and that my time and help was valued.
What is the biggest takeaway from your internship?
My biggest takeaway from this internship was that I am very capable of pursuing a career in consulting, or any other career that I set my mind to. With the support of my supervisor Liz and my coworkers, I gained confidence in my ability to perform on tasks, despite doubts of not being good enough to do well in a pressuring environment. One good piece of advice my friend and coworker Alice left me was that: “The most important thing is to just figure out what you want to do next. You don’t have to do that ‘next’ thing for very long… Something can serve you in the moment and not forever.”
What advice do you have for students pursuing internships that will help them be most successful?
Networking is an incredibly powerful tool that you now have as a Northwestern student, so take advantage of the opportunities that you can find by reaching out to people. Everything is in your reach if you are proactive about it. During your internship, think about the larger impact of what you’re doing, as well as why you’re doing it. Ask a lot of questions!
As a 2018 Summer Internship Grant Program (SIGP) recipient, how did SIGP impact your summer?
The SIGP grant allowed me to pay for rent, transportation, food, and other living expenses that I wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise. Without the grant, I would have had to take on another job, on top of both the internship and a summer class.