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5 Opportunities to Take Advantage of During a Healthcare Consulting Internship

March 24, 2021

Culture Blog

Written by: Emily Lewis Esmee Scriven Danika Berman

Internships are very popular with undergraduate or graduate students who want to gain valuable work experience. An internship is the perfect opportunity to prepare for a career in the working world and gain a better understanding into an industry and job role.

Healthcare consulting internships provide a well-rounded experience into an industry that is passionate about influencing positive change. One of the key appeals to healthcare consulting is the opportunity to work on diverse projects for a variety of top global and multinational pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

During CBPartners’ Summer Analyst Program, which is for penultimate year students, interns will help support clients with some of their most challenging business questions that span across diverse topic areas and geographies. The dynamics of the healthcare industry best lends itself to driven, eager to learn, individuals, who are keen to gain valuable skills that help to place theory in to practice and apply themselves in a professional environment.

CBPartners’ Summer Analyst Program

CBPartners’ Summer Analysts have training that is well considered to ensure individuals are fully integrated into the company, feel valued, and get a real taste for healthcare consulting. From day one the program has a focus on personal and professional growth.

Two individuals who completed the Summer Analyst Program and have returned as full-time Analysts share advice on how to make the most out of a healthcare consulting internship based on their personal experiences.

Esmee Scriven studied at the University of Cambridge and completed an undergraduate degree in natural sciences and a masters in biochemistry, she joined the program in-person during the summer of 2019 in London. Danika Berman majored in neuroscience with a minor in entrepreneurship and management at Johns Hopkins University and experienced the firm’s first ever virtual program during the summer of 2020 remotely in New York.

As a global firm equipped for navigating the realms of virtual working, CBPartners worked hard to ensure interns and new hires felt part of a community while remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic. Danika’s experience was very encouraging, she said “informal coffee catchups over Teams were promoted, the ‘camera always on’ rule made interactions personal and enjoyable, and the peer-to-peer chats facilitated a successful virtual culture. These practices made me feel included and focused.”

5 Opportunities to Take Advantage of During an Internship

1. Learn from Your Peers

It can be easy to overlook what an incredible resource your peers can be to you. The knowledge and experience of those around you can be invaluable. As an intern you are in a position to listen, learn, observe, and most importantly absorb, taking on as much information as you can to ascertain how best to thrive in the role. Ask about company culture, work practices, and the office environment so you can get a true sense about the firm’s values and where you fit in.

Danika’s experience as a Summer Analyst cemented this idea, she said, “you’re never going to learn on your own, you need people to help you and they will. Everyone around you, from peer level up to the senior team were always very open and excited to answer questions I had. While virtual, conversing over teams and ZOOM felt natural and the ability to engage with others so easily was incredibly beneficial to me as I navigated the professional environment and looked to grow personally too.”

2. Expand Knowledge and Ask Questions

This is relevant for most aspects of the working world, but especially true as you take the first steps at experiencing work as a healthcare consultant. Project work at CBPartners is fast paced, across different therapeutic areas and markets, and often with diverse teams. While it may seem daunting at first, don’t be afraid to speak up, the working environment encourages learning.

Esmee explained that while she had expectations for the internship, the experience was different. “It surprised me because I thought I had left academia behind, but the scope of learning demanded by my internship was equivalent to that I experienced in my lectures. Every project required an overarching understanding of how healthcare works globally; but through listening, asking questions, and doing my own secondary research, I was able to strengthen my project work and it helped build my confidence.”

3. Endeavour to Upskill Yourself

Expand your industry knowledge, get involved with internal initiatives, and take every chance to present to an audience. There are plenty of opportunities to upskill yourself during an internship and extend yourself beyond project work. Enhance your soft skill set by engaging with people in conversations both formally and informally, use your ideas to help improve internal initiative efforts through personal experiences and insights, and better your communication skills when presenting to a larger audience during local and global office meetings.

As part of the internship, each Summer Analyst is involved in developing a piece of thought leadership, such as ‘Lessons Learned from Blockbuster Drugs that Missed or Exceeded Analyst Expectations’, and is required to present a Lunch’n’Learn presentation to the firm about project insights. There are plenty of occasions to practice presenting with peers or take advantage of CBPartners’ public speaking initiative. London-based Esmee, reflected on her time as a Summer Analyst in 2019, “it’s important to build confidence speaking to an audience in a business setting – the nature of communication within an academic environment is completely different to that amongst colleagues, so the more practice you get, the better.”

4. Seek Feedback

CBPartners’ Summer Analyst Program focuses on ensuring the intern experience is representative of what life would be like working as a full-time employee. Throughout the program each intern receives a mid-term and final performance review, but there is also consistent feedback and critique available as well. As part of the training week agenda, which is held on our CBPassport Learning Management System (LMS), individuals are assigned a coach and peer to provide continued support.

Danika said, “the feedback culture at CBPartners was very constructive, it is encouraged of individuals and widely accepted – I felt like the firm was very invested in me.” While Esmee expressed, “it really helped to be reassured of progress and to know that I was valued as a team member on a project, as well as a co-worker in the office. I felt very proud and accomplished at the end of the program and am thrilled to have returned as an Analyst.”

5. Learn from Mistakes

If accepted on to the Summer Analyst Program, it is because CBPartners believes you could become a great full-time Analyst and that you have some of the qualities we seek in employees, which include being collaborative, intellectually curious, and motivated. We do not expect you to be the finished article; it is all about learning. Individuals should feel empowered to ask for clarity on tasks set, seek further information, and use the resources available to them.

“I felt supported by peers in the office, on project teams, and globally with co-workers and the senior team. The sense of camaraderie was, and remains, authentic – the openness instils confidence and fosters positivity.

“When I joined as an intern, the Summer Analysts created a MS Team’s chat which became a great resource for us all. Accessibility was never a problem; technology aided the sense of togetherness even while we worked remotely.” Said Danika.

Begin a Career in Healthcare Consulting

For anyone interested in a healthcare consulting internship and applying for CBPartners’ Summer Analyst Program, it is recommended you explore the firm’s website or visit the Firsthand (formerly Vault.com) profile to gain an understanding of our values, practice areas, and Centers of Excellence, as well as types of projects worked on.

The Summer Analyst Program provides a unique opportunity to delve into the dynamics of the healthcare industry and the firm places great value on the different background, identities, and expertise of people hired. There’s a chance to learn about cutting edge innovation in healthcare and help to launch some of the most revolutionary therapies.

Explore CBPartners’ internship vacancies available today: bit.ly/apply-to-cbp. There are also several ‘Get to Know CBPartners’ webinars that you can sign up for; these are run by our consultants and include an open Q&A session.