Hands-on BMS Comms Internships: Hannah Press Shares Her Journey
Although moving from Southern California to New Jersey for the summer was a major culture shock for me, it presented itself as the opportunity of a lifetime. My internship with Bristol Myers Squibb introduced me to a new way of combining my passions for health communication and biology within the STEM field. I took this role to further my focus on a career path in science communications, paying special attention to what the R&D Communications function looks like within a renowned biopharma. Through this internship, I discovered the critical role the Corporate Affairs department plays. The R&D Communications function develops internal and external communications involving research and development initiatives, including clinical trials, pipeline updates, scientific advancements, and collaborations.
BMS has a global initiative aimed at engaging young minds and fostering their development in STEM education and careers. Many students worldwide are passionate about science but lack the means or resources to access STEM equipment in their schools. As a STEM student myself, I had the unique opportunity to experience firsthand how to leverage communications to further the reach and impact of BMS’ STEM initiatives. Working closely with the Head of Global R&ED STEM Strategy, Chetana Rao, I contributed to the digital strategy to create an online hub of the enterprise’s STEM efforts. While I had prior experience in biology labs, this internship integrated science communications throughout the various technical projects.
One of my significant projects involved enhancing the R&D narratives and science media resources on the corporate website, bms.com. This experience highlighted the importance of presenting scientific information in a clear and concise manner with a user-friendly webpage for external audiences. This internship gave me the tools to understand the importance of digital strategy to share groundbreaking scientific work in the life sciences industry.
During my time at BMS, I also delved into researching the latest trends in artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact on the pharmaceutical industry. I compiled a comprehensive report comparing BMS to its competitors in this field. Technological advancements in pharma, driven by AI, have revolutionized drug discovery, facilitated faster and more accurate diagnoses, accelerated clinical trials through rapid data analysis, personalized treatments, and enabled predictive analysis, among countless other breakthroughs. Understanding the intersection of STEM disciplines with the pharmaceutical industry is crucial, especially for individuals like me who are preparing to enter the workforce.
Throughout my internship, I had the privilege of working with exceptional individuals. Laurel Sacks, my manager, emphasized the importance of time management and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. She entrusted me with the freedom to work on assigned projects, which helped me grow professionally and gave me the creative space to tackle projects. Additionally, Shireesha Jevaji, a member of the R&D comms team, taught me the value of exploring new and unfamiliar subjects. Her guidance reinforced the significance of maintaining an open and curious mind to excel in one’s job.
My time at BMS was an incredibly enriching experience. I learned the significance of effective science communications and immersed myself in fascinating projects. I feel well-prepared to complete my final year of school and eagerly anticipate the career opportunities that lie ahead.
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