Ahead of an exciting new period of team growth we took five minutes to quiz our most recent graduate recruit.
What’s it like to be a graduate starting at CHC – any advice?
Starting a career in healthcare communications is no mean feat. At CHC the best thing you can do is get involved – jump in with both feet and offer your help with anything. As a JAE I felt like no job should be too small.
Did you find anything difficult?
The most difficult thing I found was that there was so much I didn’t know and wanted to understand, but if I’m honest, that doesn’t change. The more you learn the more you are able to see the bigger picture. However, in healthcare and medical communications, the picture is still being painted.
How did you overcome these ‘difficult bits’?
When you join CHC you join a team, and that’s not just in the corporate buzzword sense of team. If you ever need help in the best way to approach a task or advice on understanding why you are doing what you are doing you are supported by a office environment where everybody will openly offer their help. We also benefit from being so small that the senior team are always on hand at the desk next door to listen and learn from.
How else does CHC support you?
If that isn’t enough to feel supported, we run an internal training programme – something I myself have been involved in managing since joining CHC. As well as this, we are given the opportunity to attend external day long sessions run by the Healthcare Communications Association (HCA).
What type of work do you do?
Where do I start? Working in healthcare and medical communications is a difficult one to explain to your family and friends. I tend to go with: “It’s basically marketing and PR but for health and the pharmaceutical industry…” because, “It’s basically facilitating the communications between our clients and the audiences they want to reach – be it doctors, nurses and or/patients” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. But we do so much more than your typical ‘marketing and PR’!
So, what sort of tasks does your daily role entail?
Every day is different and a lot of what we do I found quite challenging to begin with. Despite this, I love that even the smallest of tasks is going towards the job of creating a change in healthcare and ultimately making a difference for patients. As a JAE it might be that you spend the day formatting or proofing a slide set or perhaps referencing an advertorial. These small things add up to that bigger picture. If the slide set you helped work on goes on to educate a number of specialists to raise disease awareness, I think that’s pretty special.
What is your favourite thing about being a grad at CHC?
The best thing at CHC is the opportunities you are given at every level. I love how varied it is. When I started, having just moved down to London I was tasked with organising the Christmas Party. Right. Where to even begin? A few months later and various Elf puns exhausted, job done and hangover suffered.
From day one I was also given an incredible opportunity to work alongside just four other team members to deliver and attend a 2-day Summit for over 900 HCPs from over 40 countries around the world. It was hugely successful. I am still extremely grateful in being given this opportunity to be so involved in this project and attend the meeting itself! It really allowed me to be hands on and learn so much about the way in which we work. Just one of the many benefits of being part of a smaller agency.
Finally, what would you say you have learnt?
Almost a year down the line already, being a graduate at CHC has been truly amazing. In such a short space of time I have learnt an abundance, grown massively in confidence, and feel like I have genuinely been welcomed into a team who really truly care about what they do. I love the fact that I get to work in an environment with a group of people who empower one another to feel confidence and pride in what we do, and to always remain curious. Not only this, but I got to be a part of the team that was recently awarded the Communiqué “Small Healthcare Consultancy of the Year.”
I would say it’s been a pretty great year so far.
Top tip: Remember to ask questions, to yourself, to others, why are we doing what we do?