College of Science and Technology student, Alankato Cobb Jr., is planning to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience in 2021. This past summer he interned on the medical and scientific affairs team at Novo Nordisk. Read more to learn about Alankato’s experience…
What is/was your job function and what does a typical day entail?
I was an intern for the medical and scientific affairs team in the clinical, medical and regulatory department at Novo Nordisk. More specifically in this department, I worked with medical directors on our insulin portfolio. Every day varied. However, for the most part, I attended meetings with different departments in the organization; shadowing different areas. I also attended employee resource groups meetings and worked on several projects throughout the summer. A large project included a clinical experience forum, for which I gathered several health care prescribers that prescribed one of our products, and set up a conference in Nebraska to which I also got to attend and chair. The second biggest project was Novo Nordisk’s Innovation in Action Case Competition. We worked on developing an innovative solution throughout the last ten weeks on an issue facing Novo Nordisk. There were eight groups of eight interns, and my team placed first.
How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?
I am connected to an employee that works at Novo Nordisk. She told me that I should apply for the internship program and I did, and thankfully got in. The interview process was split into two rounds. The first round I met with a hiring team member to answer some questions, over the phone. We were selected from this round into the next, where I then interviewed with my manager and her manager as well to again answer questions. This was done via Skype. The interview process was a little difficult for me since this was my first internship but by the second round, I believe I did pretty well.
How has your internship related to your course work?
So far I have taken science and math classes, and those have helped me to understand the products that Novo Nordisk creates. For instance, when studying up on the insulin products, I was able to understand the chemical knowledge that I was reading up on. Also, I was able to see the insides of an actual pharmaceutical company and how all the components of Novo work. More specifically I worked with physicians on different medical matters within the industry. I have met people with backgrounds I am seeking to pursue and it very much made me even more excited about the classes I am taking and the career path I am pursuing.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?
During my internship, I have definitely learned how pharma can directly impact the patients for which they create products for. Novo Nordisk was not just a business but an organization that wants to truly help all of their patients through many resources. I also learned the different business paths that physicians can take, and it really broadened my horizon on career paths that I can pursue. Finally, the most important thing I learned was how to contribute and be a team player for group tasks. Many of my projects included group work and it was very eye-opening on the different challenges and benefits of group projects. Seeing and being a part of the processes where groups interconnected to reach a common goal was very cool.
What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?
I believe establishing connections with people can go a long way. I was able to apply and thankfully get this internship at Novo Nordisk because of the connections I had previously. So definitely put yourself out there and try to create networks with different people, not just in your desired field but all over.
Do you have a profile on Twitter and/or Instagram? If so, what are your usernames?
Instagram : aj.cxx