Life as an intern in Cambridge, UK – part 2

Life as an intern in Cambridge, UK – part 2

Learning and Professional Development
As a student, many of my friends are currently interns in a variety of professions and companies. What makes CRA quite special for us as interns is that we’ve been placed on project teams as though we were full-time employees; therefore we’re given a part of the overall project to complete. This is often not the case for interns at other companies because, stereotypically, interns are constantly having to ask for work to do or “photocopying”. I believe the intern experience here is quite unique and educational. 

We’re very fortunate that interns are given useful training at CRA. I particularly enjoyed a training session in which we were advised on how to write professionally and craft emails efficiently. This was very informative and will be useful when I return to university. Our experience in research at university comes in very handy at CRA too because much of the work here involves research similar to that when writing a uni assignment.

Mentorship/ Practice Culture
In terms of mentorship, we have an onboarding buddy who helps us settle in by introducing us to the office and its colleagues. We also have a Professional Development Manager who we meet with regularly to discuss our performance and any questions or desires we have, such as wanting to work on a specific type of project. There is a great degree of independence, and this ensures we work efficiently. In addition to this contact with our supervisors, we also spend time with senior staff in project meetings. As the senior staff are experts in their field, watching how they conduct meetings allows interns to see how to professionally address one another and teaches us how to quickly report our findings to colleagues without “waffling” or time wasting. In our practice, everyone is very open to assisting each other. Through email and Skype, we can reach out to colleagues across the world to learn from their expertise in specific markets. 

Project work is very interesting as we’re working on products that aren’t yet in the public domain. I really enjoy pricing and market access work in emerging markets. It’s very informative about how health systems are organised in particular countries.

Summer look back
A memorable moment from the internship was the European offices summer party. It was a great opportunity to meet everyone from the EU offices in a casual environment. The party was on a rooftop with great views over London, and I’ll not forget it. To other students, I highly recommend an internship with CRA. The hands on experience with real project work is a rare occurrence with internships, and the support framework is also exemplary. It is a fantastic opportunity to experience the world of consulting with a fast-growing multinational company.