The KI internship pitches – notes from a digital coffee chat among KI bloggers

Last week, KI Career service organised three days of short pitches from companies that presented their internship projects. Did you miss the event? Then read through the thoughts from three of your bloggers who attended the event, and you can peek on their chat conversations below. You have no idea what’s going on? Then check out the webpage to read more about the KI internship program for PhD students and postdocs/researchers (application deadline for the internships is 23rd of March!).

[Katharina] Hej Ana, I just logged in to attend the meeting regarding the KI internship pitches. Will you attend today, too? I’m quite excited, let’s see whether I can get more information and have some open questions answered.

[Ana] I am starting my lab meeting until 2:30 – 3 pm I can’t 😒

[Katharina] Okay, too bad. I will try to keep you updated 😊 So far, I have listened to very interesting start-up companies with great research ideas!

We can “swap” around 15.30, I need to present during a conference at 16. 00….oh no, how did we end up here, jumping in-and-out of meetings? Is it just this week or is it the “new” normal?

[Ana] I hope I can get the recording, because I would like to hear it.

[Katharina] I hope many presentations will be recorded. The questions that the participants ask are quite good, and there’s so many people attending… Overall, I think it’s interesting to hear what the company representatives do, especially when you think about the “what’s out there beyond the classical academic path”.

[Ana] Nice I am joining now! I can cover this part.

[Katharina] Okay, sounds good, thanks. What kind of internship are looking for? More lab-based, more clinical, more data science? Were there any companies you wanted to listen to? I may be able to share my notes (but most are recorded I believe).

I’m really interested in the presentation from SEB, but that’s exactly at the time when I need to present, too…. such a shame!

[Paula joins conversation]

[Katharina]: Hej Paula, I saw that you were also attending the KI internship presentation pitches.

Have you been attending yesterday, too? Ana and me realised that we have overbooked ourselves and put too much on our plates 😉 and that we’re happy many presentations will be recorded.

I was very positively surprised to see quite an interest for the internship at Vetenskap & Allmänhet. I feel people were really hoping to work with Gustav Bohlin, and if you would consider applying for an internship at V&A, you will have quite some competition to get the internship spot. I was considering applying for that one – how about you Paula?

[Ana] Now I am really interested in seeing that pitch from V&A…

[Paula] I am considering it but have not decided yet. I am considering applying for something completely outside my comfort zone and taking this opportunity to experience something novel. And we only have 3 chances, so it is hard to decide…

[Katharina] I think it’s a good strategy to use this internship to try something very different, to also see whether you actually like it or not. I find it super difficult to get a feeling of what the positions entail based on the job ad. 

[Paula] Yes, and my entire job life has been lab work, so it is sometimes also hard to understand any “jargon” outside that realm. And a position like “project manager” has entirely different meaning in different companies… so the presentations are nice, because they help understand the companies and set their internal roles apart.

[Ana] My approach is to look for something that may bring an advantage for a career change. And I was quite interested to look into IQVIA, since they are a quite big CRO. I am really enjoying the diversity…for instance, I would not imagine SEB would offer an internship to biomedical PhDs.

[Katharina] I agree…I like the presentation from IQVIA, because they explained all their abbreviations. I found that many job ads are full of these abbreviations that are very difficult to decipher…What was a CRO again? 

[Ana] Clinical Research Organisation. And among other things, companies often used to manage and coordinate clinical trials.

[Katharina] Right, thanks! Can also mean Chief Research Officer 😀 😀 that’s why I got confused….so many abbreviations!

[Ana] Right if that applies to a person 😅👌 But indeed can be confusing!

[Ana] Where can you find the job ads again?

[Paula] Here

[Ana] Really enjoying the Crash Course pitch 😉 I like the fact that he does so many other things…It feels super good when you see people multitasking and doing things completely different in “real life” as well…

[Katharina] In general, I think the setup of the different internships is great – very diverse in terms of employer, but also as you said Paula giving the possibility to do something different. Ana, do you mean multi-tasking like us right now? 😉

[Ana] Exactly! We are more than ready to apply 😉

[Katharina] Right…I feel this is our new super skill…. jumping in-and-out Zoom meetings to attend group meetings, presentations, conferences, and in-between do a course or get some actual research done. 

[Ana] I really liked the Crash Course pitch! So far this one is my favorite…

[Katharina] I’m so sad I missed that presentation from Crash Course 🙁

[Ana] The funny thing is, the more of us see Biotech, the more I want to do something different…but this is biased, because I have worked in a start-up between my PhD and Post doc. So, I feel it’s not new anymore.

However, all this “industry is fast paced” and being able to be part of the different groups from beginning to the end of a product is very interesting.

[Ana] Now it comes the most wanted I think – AstraZeneca.

​​[Katharina] Do you think? Because they’re a big company and well-known?

​[Ana] I think so, but maybe it’s a misconception…

[Katharina] Okay. Well, that’s of course interesting if you want to leave academia, but I also think you could learn a lot about the processes in smaller companies, because you will be able to see different parts of a company. Three months is so short (well, one month is even shorter)!

​[Ana] Yeah, but I remember when I was organizing visits to biotechs like Roche and Novartis, they were always the companies people wanted to visit the most…

[Katharina] Okay, that was the last presentation.

I feel a bit intimidated by some of the requirement, especially the internship ad from SEB. Anyway, I will apply, nonetheless. I think that’s the best advice I ever got regarding job ads in general: put your best foot forward, show them that you’re eager to learn and that you bring lots of knowledge beyond the lab (doing a PhD is getting many transferable skills, too), and then just apply! You have nothing to loose (well, except if you have > 3 projects you want to apply to

I will definitely “try my luck”.

Thanks for chatting with us, and lots of success with the KI internship applications!

Blog post by Ana Osório Oliveira, Paula da Silva, and Katharina Herzog

Image by sweetlouise from Pixabay


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