Pharmacy and Marketing: Not a contradiction – My internship at Bayer Vital
After completing a degree in pharmacy and passing the second state examination, every new pharmacist must complete a year-long internship before undergoing another state examination in order to become a dispensing pharmacist. Half of the practical year can be spent outside a pharmacy – anywhere where pharmacists practice their profession. That’s why I, Xenia Morosov (25), decided to expand my knowledge in the pharmaceutical industry. Since May 2016, I’ve been working as a pharmaceutical intern for Marketing Neurology at Bayer Vital in Leverkusen.
Since my first chemistry experiment at school, I have dreamed of working in a laboratory. And since I began studying pharmacy in Muenster, I wanted to live my dream at an innovative, global pharmaceutical company like Bayer. Yet I never thought I would end up in marketing – let alone that I’d enjoy it so much. By pure coincidence, I got the chance to talk on the phone with a former marketing employee of Bayer during a job interview in a pharmacy. As a result, I was dissuaded from my original plan of working a typical job in research, pharmaceutical technology or quality control. The pharmacist described various fields of activity at Bayer and infected me with his enthusiasm for pharmaceutical marketing. He explained to me that in marketing, I would get to know the company from the ground up, work together with various departments, apply my pharmaceutical knowledge and learn a lot of new things.
Marketing as a gateway to the pharmaceutical industry
I therefore applied for the varied position “pharmaceutical intern” at Bayer and formulated in my letter my preferences for both: laboratory work and marketing. When I was lucky enough to be invited to a job interview in the area of marketing, I learned that as an intern, I would be integrated into the daily business and would be able to oversee my own projects. Bayer Vital also offers all pharmaceutical interns comprehensive insight into the company in the form of work shadowing days, tours of various sites and extensive job descriptions in various departments. These extensive options were now offered to me through the pharmaceutical internship at Bayer Vital/Marketing. So I accepted the position gratefully and full of anticipation about this part of my training and the exiting tasks that awaited me. My expectations were far exceeded.
Right from the first day, I was warmly welcomed by the team – which I now already refer to as my team – and have been constantly challenged and supported. I was very lucky to participate as an author in the production of a publication and a scientific poster about an externally conducted market research study. This was a special honor for me and an extremely informative experience. This task, which I worked on over the duration of my internship, made clear to me how intensive relations in the marketing department of a research-based pharmaceutical company are with science, pharmacy and medicine.
My everyday tasks included researching and evaluating medical and scientific data; communicating with external service providers such as advertising agencies; helping to create advertising materials, service activities and presentations for doctors and the sales force, as well as making available information about pharmaceuticals; and providing support in the planning of symposiums and events for both external customers and in-house staff.
At the beginning of my internship, I had only limited marketing experience. With the help of my colleagues and thanks to the organization of a work shadowing day for other pharmaceutical interns at Bayer, however, I was soon able to delve into the theory of strategic and operational marketing. Through my participation in a project related to the launch of a documentation software in the area of multiple sclerosis, I was able to put this theory into practice as well. I also had the opportunity to attend a conference and personally get to know the sales force colleagues, with whom I’m in contact through a scientific newsletter. At the 89th Congress of the German Neurological Society (DGN) in Mannheim, I helped to prepare and implement an industry symposium and enter into contact with doctors from throughout Germany at the Bayer booth. You can master all of these exciting tasks and much more as a marketing intern. And I promise you that it never gets boring because you can constantly work on new, innovative projects.
In my unforgettable six months at Bayer Vital/ Marketing Neurology, I have learned and experienced an incredible amount, had a tremendous amount of fun in my work and together with my team, and gotten the opportunity to work together with various specialist units in the pharmaceutical industry, independently oversee many interesting projects and thus expand my pharmaceutical expertise. I am very grateful for this.
This post is also available in: German