Living up to stereotypical duties of an intern, some of my tasks are menial – cleaning up media lists, sending pitching emails or taking my daily shift at the reception desk. However, my colleagues who had interviewed me in March had not been exaggerating when they told me that I would not be “busy work” throughout my time at Zeno. After the first hour at my desk, I was quickly thrown into multiple projects and my daily calendar began to fill with meetings, conference calls, and deadlines.
Most of my projects have involved conducting research and compiling my findings into a deck (power-point presentation) that we use to present and explain our proposals to our clients. My first project involved the community outreach initiative we run for Eisai Pharmaceuticals. We work with them on their epilepsy medication and collaborate on their unbranded campaign called Epilapsey. The initiative’s goal is to remind epilepsy patients (or their caregivers) about the importance of adhering to their medication plan with little to no lapses in treatment. The event we help them with is one in which local artists go to Epilepsy Foundation events and do a live painting in response to answers the epilepsy patients answers about what being seizure-free means to them. My responsibility was to identify the Epilepsy Foundation events in the targeted markets and possible artists based in that city to reach out to with our proposal.
Upon completion, I sent it to my account manager and then to the global health managing director. Once I finished their edits, the deck that I spent two weeks creating was sent directly to the client. While I knew the small tasks I had completed up until this point had been helpful for my colleagues, it was extremely rewarding to have my work sent directly to our clients. It showed me firsthand that my personal contributions were actually of substance, and that I was there to not just help individuals on my team, but to participate as an equal member of my team.
My insights into this assignment allowed my team to identify a wide range of artists that they hadn’t previously come across. While I continued to research the traditional artists that my team had already looked into, I also used resources like social media- specifically instagram, to look up artists in more creative spaces, such as street art or muralists. By recommending artists that are gaining a following within multiple channels and not just within art galleries, we can hopefully help Eisai attract younger epilepsy patients to these events as they are a key target audience in the campaign. College age epilepsy patients are the most likely to lapse on their regimen as the hectic and ever changing schedule of a college student sometimes makes it hard to stay on track with their doses. By lending my input as someone in that age cohort, hopefully the artists will help attract patients who could really benefit from the event and it’s messaging.
I had been interested in pursuing health PR as I am passionate about making a change within the health profession. I am only an intern but am lucky enough to be contributing directly to the efforts of an outreach campaign. While my task may not be the most advanced or complicated one within the industry, it’s the unavoidable first step in pulling off this campaign and it is extremely rewarding to know that my contributions could potentially help a patient living with epilepsy.
I’m looking forward to returning to this project this upcoming week when the client is going to follow up with the recommendations I gave within the presentation. I am excited to hear their feedback, both positive and constructive, as I know it will only help me improve upon the projects I work with throughout the remaining weeks at Zeno.