Opening Doors

Last summer, as I received my summer internship offer letter for Immunocore, I clearly remember feelings of nervousness, excitement, and accomplishment. I was ready to take the next step in my college career, and prepare my resume for the work world. What I ended up getting was far more valuable than an added experience on a resume. Closing my internship at the end of May, I will be just short of a full year with Immunocore. I will forever credit this internship for kickstarting not only my career, but a passion and way of living.

Immunocore is a fast growing start up biotech company (based in the UK, with offices in Conshohocken and Rockville, MD) with its first product launching last year in January. I work at Immunocore as a marketing intern, under the global marketing director. Our main goals are to spread awareness and increase sales of KIMMTRAK (Immunocore’s product), and in doing so, help patients living with an ultra rare disease called Metastatic Uveal Melanoma.

Coming into Immunocore at a very fast paced time (soon after its first product launch), and being the only marketing intern in the US, I was thrown into many projects – at times, projects that I felt very under-qualified for. For example, soon after joining Immunocore I was in charge of the reporting on all 3 of KIMMTRAK’s website analytics. At the beginning, I remember the feeling of being overwhelmed and scared that I was going to make a mistake, considering the importance of the job and my zero experience. However, those feelings taught me how to ask questions and how to say “I don’t know”. If I had any advice to give to a new intern, it would be to learn that, because there is no better time to learn than when being an intern. Those lessons are ones that I will always take with me in life as well as in my future career, as they do not reflect failure but reflect confidence and maturity.

Before beginning at Immunocore, I was not sure if the pharmaceutical marketing industry was going to be for me. I went into it unsure that I was going to make a positive impact on society, knowing the negative buzz surrounding big pharma. However, I quickly learned that there is much more to it than the negatives. Working in pharma can be an amazing and very fulling experience. Being exposed to stories about patients on KIMMTRAK and knowing your small role in their success stories can be very impactful. I would say that if an opportunity arises for yourself, you should take it and at least try. If I did not try, and assumed the worst of pharma, I would have never found the fulfillment in making difference in someone’s life with marketing. Something that I never knew was possible with an advertising degree.

My internship opened doors for me. It showed me a new passion and career path that I wasn’t considering before. Through connections, it opened doors to an awesome role in a partnering company, that I will be starting in July. Most importantly, in its challenge, it provided me with confidence that I never had before. This confidence is something that I will be forever grateful for as it sparked a new feeling in me, success. Having the confidence that I have the power to succeed is a power all in its own. To new interns, internships can open doors. Ask questions, take on challenges, make mistakes, and funny enough in doing so, you will grow to have the confidence to knock on them all!

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