An Ending Full of New Beginnings

By Shannon Jackson, Organizational Leadership, Kelevra Ideas Intern

This semester certainly flew by. Although the background stress of living among a pandemic did not make things easier, this internship did help contribute to keeping me busy and distracted with stressful times looming over. I have been attending some online career events recently, and it is interesting to see how companies are incorporating COVID protocols and more racial justice awareness, such as having set times of the day to talk about those issues. It is nice to see the workforce shining light on problems that could be affecting their employees instead of brushing it under the rug. 

This week I’m going to take a dive into completing my formal report. It will be exciting to take a look over everything I have accomplished with my time interning with Kelevra. With this week being Thanksgiving, one thing I am thankful for is the opportunity they gave me to take a first look into a career I recently switched into 🙂 I was nervous going into it, but they were very helpful with guiding me and helping me accomplish goals. This internship also kept me motivated to learn more about medical writing and what it takes to be successful in that career field. This may be the end of this internship, but it definitely helped give me the push into the world of medical writing. 

Eager For More

By Shannon Jackson, Organizational Leadership, Kelevra Ideas Intern

I initially chose to intern at Kelevra Ideas with the hope of getting my feet wet in an industry I recently learned about. I saw them as my gateway or key to unlocking the door to what my future career in medical writing would hold. I am glad to say that I picked a company that was eager to help me see what the field of medical communications held as well. I am able to benefit from having tasks that have so much variety to them, which also keeps it exciting. They have given me tasks from pharmaceutical law and policy to calculating the dosing of medications. I’ve talked more in-depth about my projects and tasks in previous posts, but looking back at it as a whole I see how many different aspects there are to medical writing. This helps me to see the different avenues medical writing can take depending on the department and company.

Being actively involved in this career as an intern is helping to keep me motivated to stay active with job searches and seeing what is out there. This internship is really helping me pinpoint what I enjoy doing and thinking about areas that I am not as interested in. I am looking at this internship like training for a marathon. The more I train, the more eager I am to run the race knowing that I am fueling myself up to be the best runner I can possibly be. Here’s to the last remaining weeks of my internship!

Seeing the Big Picture

By Shannon Jackson, Organizational Leadership, Kelevra Ideas Intern

The past couple of weeks in my internship were slightly different in terms of my mindset. I was previously completing my tasks keeping in mind that this internship is primarily a learning experience. Sometimes it almost felt like additional coursework, especially given its virtual nature. I made a little work area for myself in my house to complete my schoolwork. I also complete my internship work in this space. Not being in an office setting can sometimes allow you not to always be consciously aware that you are working for a company. I would ultimately like to work from home if my future job allows, so this virtual internship is a good look at what it is like to have my dog barking in the background or my mother calling for me from downstairs. Many people agree that working from home can be challenging given their home life situation. This is helping me to adjust in case I do eventually have a job that allows me to work from home. 

The work I completed the past few weeks for my internship was particularly gratifying. Sometimes I have to step back and remind myself that the tasks I complete at my little home desk are actively helping the medical community. Kelevra informed me that information I am working on will be on a pharmaceutical company’s website for their medications. Hearing that was exciting for me because it made me realize just how much of an impact my internship is having in the pharmaceutical industry. 

Hoarding My Old Schoolwork Paid Off

By Shannon Jackson, Organizational Leadership, Kelevra Ideas Intern

The same questions constantly run through my mind at the end of every semester. I always ask myself if certain notes and papers are worth keeping. Sometimes it is hard to decipher what I will need to refer back to in the future, or if I am bombarding my file cabinet and computer files with information that makes it overwhelming to look at. Over the years I learned that with many of the courses that I have taken, it definitely came in handy to have old notes to refer back to even with moving forward to other courses. A lot of material has overlapped and built upon itself, and it is always nice to know if I need a quick reference, it is there. One thing I did not think about was how much I would need my old notes during this internship and potentially a future job. For me, it is paying off to keep my old paper and files on reserve. 

A few of my recent tasks during my internship led me to have to recall information I learned a couple of years back. That information was not as fresh in my mind as I would have liked. Having my handy dandy filing cabinet that I did not think I would ever open moving forward, served to be very helpful. I never know what kinds of questions I will be asked about medications, procedures, or dosing; so having everything organized in files has proved that the time I took to organize it was beneficial. I had to refer back to notes regarding pharmaceutical law questions, look at practice questions from pharmacy calculations about writing out the math steps for dosing, and read up on class notes from public health about susceptibility and incidence rates. Moving forward, I am going to think twice and then twice again about whether or not I should save certain notes. 

Learning How to be a Virtual Intern

By Shannon Jackson, Organizational Leadership, Kelevra Ideas Intern

Having to navigate an internship virtually is not always the most ideal when you want to learn from others in real-time. I have sometimes found myself a bit frustrated not being able to sit directly by someone and learn from them. There are also things that I would like to see firsthand; like the process of getting the medical information before it is then presented to me to complete, then the steps afterward; like it being laid out graphically and finished. But I am learning that virtual interning does have its perks. I am especially aware of how thorough I am being when typing out statements, questions, and answers. Since I am not communicating with someone face to face, I need to make sure my questions are clear and concise via phone call or email. 

The past few weeks have been very productive with my internship. I am constantly being presented with a new project and learning about what the medical writer deals within their line of work. Every task is very different, and it is exciting for me to be able to learn about new things while also using my pharmacy and medical knowledge. Each question allows me to pull information that I learned in multiple different classes throughout the years. I was able to use skills from various pharmaceutical calculations courses to calculate medication dosing that can be used for a sales representative as one of their selling points. I then used learning points from a drug literature course to help me compare clinical trial information. For me, being able to use various skills that I gained from pharmacy courses is rewarding to be able to use them as a writing intern.

Formulating Medical Information for Everyone to Understand

By Shannon Jackson

I was very excited to start my internship this semester. I am interning for Kelevra Ideas marketing agency in their healthcare and medical writing department. I recently decided I wanted to become a medical writer and thought this opportunity would be perfect for me. The assignments they have given me so far allowed me to use my background of taking four years of science and pharmacy courses. I am also working on my business minor, and have taken marketing courses that allow me to piece together information in a way that would be marketed to a patient. One such task I could use knowledge from my marketing classes, was to do a write up on different treatments that a doctor provided so that it could be used as a flyer for a seminar. I also have written up condensed drug profiles on certain medications to be marketed to doctors. Taking pharmacy courses allows me to be able to easily translate medical jargon about medications or procedures and explain them in writing for anyone to understand. This internship is allowing me to realize the importance of breaking down complicated medical terms, and a reminder that just because I know what something means (e.g. reading a medication pamphlet) that someone else may not understand it. I want a patient to be confident with what is presented before them when reading about a medical procedure or medication.

 I see the bigger picture since doing this internship that goes beyond myself. I am able to be a part of a process that can help people with medical needs. I also find myself paying close attention to spelling and grammar due to my vocational work. It is important to be very careful when spelling medication names as many of them are sound- alike/look alike with similar spellings. I was always very meticulous as a student when doing writing assignments, but my internship work gives me the extra proofreading edge necessary in a written medical field. 

Being an Organizational Leadership Major allows me to work with many professors that stress the importance of being a good leader. I have learned that anyone can take on a leadership role to help coworkers so that the overall flow of the work environment is seamless. Even if I do not see myself in a leadership role at the time, I make sure that I am always willing to help someone and complete my work to the best of my ability. Due to COVID-19, I have been completing my internship remotely. It can be difficult not to be physically present with those you work with, but my team members have been exceptionally quick to respond to my questions and assist me when needed. I am looking forward to completing more work for them this semester.