The past few days have been a very positive experience for me. I finally met someone who has a nursing degree and background. This was very big for me as I was beginning to feel discouraged at why I was even here as it seems like everyone I have met has gone to Pharmacy school, gotten their PhD, or have only worked in pharma. After getting comments like “well we have never had nursing students here” or “so what made you want to work at a pharmaceutical company in nursing school?”, you begin to doubt why you here. The truth is, I wasn’t a part of the decision to send my application here, and while I am extremely thankful and feel blessed to be working at Novo, I was not part of that election process. Nevertheless, regardless of what some employees have told me, I am here to get another prospective on patient care, and see a different opportunity of where I use my clinical, personal, and nursing experiences in the future.
The first Novo Competency is that the company puts the patient’s first in all that they do. I think this is an imperative quality. Everyone at this company from the executive office, to medical writing, to customer care, IT support, and the people who work in the café, are all here to help in the production of drugs that ultimately benefits the patients. If you want to work in the pharma world, I am learning that you have to pick just where you want to work within this large assembly chain to approve, manufacture, sale, and review the drug. Unfortunately, I think it is far too easy at this company to forget about the patients and to get in your specific bubble of your place within the assembly chain.
After about 4 weeks here I can say that as much as I love the people that work in the medical writing department within SSC, I don’t really have any interest in working here later. I like to write don’t get me wrong, it’s just that it doesn’t make my face light up when I talk about it. I think also that since they don’t have any trials for me to help write up, I haven’t gotten to experience the writing process for myself. Because of this, I have been trying hard to see other areas of the company as there are thousands of employees here that all do different jobs. I have shadowed with the Customer Call Center and Product Safety this week where I met people with clinical backgrounds, and I have a new view on the pharma world. As I sit in the medical writing floor, about as far away from patient contact as you can get, just 3 floors below me, there are people at the call center directly talking with patients calling with shaking voices worried that their product is broken and crying because they can’t get their insulin to inject. I told the employee I was shadowing in the call center that she was like a hero for these people helping them with their product, and she kind of laughed and said she had never looked at her job that way. But it’s true, as a patient who has called my insulin pump company many times infuriated and feeling disgusting due to high blood sugars, I know how great the call center people can make the people at the other end of the phone line feel. I think that having this interaction with customers would make me feel like I had made a difference in their health and would be satisfying for me.
I am glad that I am working here because I feel like many college students get internships that they hope will turn into immediate jobs right out of college. However, I am learning that this experience is not what I want to do right after college, but possibly 25 years down the road I will want to. I shouldn’t work here next year because I need to get that experience “out in the field” to not only to make myself more marketable as an employee, but to increase my knowledge and confidence interacting with patients. However, talking with people here who have worked the 12 hour shift hospital life for a while, they describe feeling blessed to be working a 9-5 life at a company with such great benefits so they can have their time with their family. It’s important to realize the different lifestyles that a nurse can have and even though I might be able to tolerate a three 12 hour shift/ week life for a few years out of college, who knows if I could maintain that life with a family of my own. I don’t know now, but it’s good I’m getting a snip-it of a different type of work life. I learned more about the incredible benefits that this company offers full time employees and it taught me about how companies should pride themselves of employee recognition (I’m talking about Apple TVs for Christmas gift, sleepover Christmas ball in Philadelphia, 4 week paid vacation, annual bonus, gift card recognition, 5 year gift, health insurance, the list goes on). If the employees are happy, they will do their job in the end benefit the patients. It’s an important lesson to learn that every company or institution treats their employees differently and if I am so lucky in the future to be deciding between 2 different companies or institutions for jobs, then I will be sure to remember my time here at Novo and learning about how well they treat their employees.