What I Learned From My Internship

During my summer break I completed an internship at a health tech company as I wanted to learn more about the industry. Here are some of the main things I learnt from my experience.

Ask for what you want

The first lesson is something that I learnt in the process of applying, rather than during the internship itself. At the time I was applying, many health tech companies didn’t have any formal programs to recruit summer interns. Instead of being discouraged by this, based on advice I had previously received, I decided to reach out to startups directly. This involved contacting a number of recruiters and CEOs via LinkedIn and email. I managed to get a few positive responses and eventually secured an internship. The main takeaway from this was to not be afraid of reaching out to new people. Yes, sometimes people won’t respond or may say no, but there is really no harm in trying.

You’re not just a student

There are so many ways you can be useful, especially in a smaller organisation. For example, there were no healthcare professionals on my team so I was able to clarify confusion regarding NICE guidelines and the management of health conditions. This seemed like something very small to me, but was valuable to the team and taught me that no knowledge is wasted. Don’t downplay your skills or feel like you aren’t useful to the team just because you don’t have the same amount of experience.

Be open-minded

During my internship I was exposed to a wide variety of tasks. Most of my work was linked to marketing and business strategy, however I also got involved in quality assurance and software testing for a few days. This was something I’d never experienced before and I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy it. Although it’s not a role that I would pursue any further, I saw it as an opportunity to learn about more aspects of the company, understand how different roles contribute to the business and experience the software in the same way as end-users. Another thing I learnt about is the breadth of non-technical roles available in tech (check out our last blog post on this topic). Internships are a great way to absorb as much new information as possible, so I’d definitely recommend trying out new things if the opportunity presents itself.

Healthcare is complex

Each day was a new learning experience for me. I learnt about regulations and frameworks that need to be considered when building healthcare products. I often sat in on sales meetings with potential clients as well as internal strategy meetings. These experiences highlighted the various challenges of health tech such as encouraging people in the NHS to adopt new technology and ensuring software is beneficial to the varied workflows of different organisations. Despite being such a complex industry, the impact of good tech in healthcare is honestly so powerful.

Overall, completing this internship enabled me to gain professional experience in an industry I’m interested in and taught me that health tech is a space that I could see myself working in one day.

​​Written by: Honey Ajisefini (Co-Founder of The Black & Forth Platform)


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