The opportunity to apply newly developed academic skills within a practical setting is a critical part of any pharmaceutical training program. Not only does it expose students to industry standard equipment and the knowledge of experienced professionals, it also builds confidence before graduation and eventual emergence into the workforce.
Whether the co-op internship takes place in a private pharmaceutical company or a state-of-the-art academic facility, a few key factors need to be considered to ensure success. This includes proper preparation, goal setting and enthusiasm throughout the internship process. Pharmaceutical employers are always searching for motivated and talented new workers, and this is a great chance to prove your ability to meet job requirements. Here’s a closer look at how to make the most of your work experience opportunity.
Develop Your Skills and Knowledge Beforehand
A co-op internship only lasts a limited period of time, so students should make the most of every single day during R&D pharmaceutical courses. Settling in quickly is important in achieving this, so try and gather as much information as possible about the duties you will be performing, and supplement your existing knowledge with some additional research on those topics.
Supervisors are impressed when students take this initiative, because it represents a passion for pharmaceutical science and a willingness to learn. It’s also beneficial to find out the dress code of the facility beforehand, and to get acquainted with any infection control measures, such as the removal of jewellery or nail varnish in a lab setting.
Create a Schedule and List of Goals for your Internship
Take some time before starting an internship to consider what your aims are. You may wish to develop expertise in a particular pharmaceutical subject, like pre-formulation or granulation process development. Or you may want to build your portfolio by collaborating with others on new research.
Create some achievable goals and keep them in mind throughout the internship. This is made even easier if they are broken down into shorter timeframes, so create a schedule where you can keep track of your achievements and aims on a daily or weekly basis.
Enter the Workplace Without Inhibitions During Pharmaceutical Courses
Entering a new workplace environment is always a nervous experience, but it’s necessary to remind yourself that you’re there to learn. Mentors aren’t expecting flawless performances during internships, so don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Put yourself forward for as many tasks as possible and do your utmost to impress superiors. Organizations want to see interns display a passion for the job and a willingness to roll up their sleeves. This will go a long way towards securing positive references for your resume.
Learn More Through Feedback and Communication with Colleagues
Pharmaceutical courses train students for a broad range of industry professions, and you can learn lots about these roles during a co-op internship. Be social throughout your work experience, and you’ll find out interesting information from colleagues working in quality assurance, regulatory affairs, HPLC or many other roles.
You should also ask for regular feedback on your performance, whether it’s face-to-face or through e-mail. Students are placed in this environment to learn, so mentors should offer incisive analysis of your strengths and weaknesses throughout the work experience process.
How to Leave a Co-op Internship on the Right Note
Due to the limited timeframe of an internship, it may not be possible to complete all of the projects you work on. Make sure that you don’t leave any loose ends, and keep colleagues informed about the status of any outstanding work before leaving. Document this in writing so that other employees can easily pick up the project and complete its work. Leave on good terms with your mentors and let them know that you are actively seeking job opportunities. These contacts could work wonders in helping you secure a good job after graduating.
Not all pharmaceutical research courses include excellent co-op internship opportunities.
Contact TIPT to learn why you should choose our program.