Erin-Lily Horsfield

Name: Erin-Lily Horsfield
Course: Chemistry
Year of Study: 1
Graduation Year: 2023

What work experience did you do?

This summer I had the opportunity to spend 13 weeks at Adelphi Values Prove UK. I was hired as a value analyst intern however over the course my time at Adelphi I was able to take part in many different activities and roles across the whole VIC (Value, Insight and Communication team). My main role consisted of delivering value insight and communication solutions to international clients by investigation, evaluation and problem solving. I researched and investigated the multiple perspectives of patients, healthcare professionals, payers and policy makers, teaching me core principles for undertaking research in the consultancy sector.

What was it that inspired you to look for work experience?

The main reason I wanted to undertake work experience is I wanted to gain some beneficial experience in one of the many fields of the pharmaceutical industry. Whilst I am still studying at university I often think about my career and what I would like to go into after university. Personally, I am unsure on my career, whether it be teaching or working in industry. I believe undertaking work experience is far more than just experience in a particular field, it is experience in everyday life and improves your skills in a variety of areas such as time working, management and teamworking skills. Most of all, you gain real life experience in practical jobs and start to bridge the next stage of life where all the education you have learnt throughout your academic life needs to become real and indeed practical.

Why did you choose to do work experience in this area?

I decided to undertake work experience in this area as I mentioned earlier although I am studying chemistry albeit a very heavy science/pharmaceutical and research orientated subject I wanted to gain experience in the pharmaceutical world itself to know if I will like it. More than this, I wanted to gain some hands-on experience. I believe first-hand experience is a fundamental necessity. As afore mentioned, work experience doesn’t have to be related to your degree programme but having the experience of working in a company with hands on experience is extremely beneficial in acquiring general skills such as presentational, management or interpersonal skills.

Give a brief snapshot of your role:

  • delivering value insight and communication solutions to international clients by investigation, evaluation and problem solving
  • investigate the multiple perspectives of patients, healthcare professionals, payers and policy makers
  • research known diseases and current clinical trials and investigate the core principles undertaken and evaluate the credibility of a given trial

How did the Bursary award support you in gaining experience?

This bursary allowed me to undertake my work experience opportunity by ensuring I get the most out of my experience and dealing with my financial situations in the right way. With other outgoings and expenditures, it helped financially to have this bursary. The bursary has allowed me to say ‘Yes’ to an opportunity I would have struggled to commit to if funding hadn’t been an option. This experience has helped me greatly beyond university into my later career by enhancing my CV and allowing me to build self-confidence and knowledge in the working world, which without this bursary I would not have been able to accept.

What were the most enjoyable aspects of your role?

I met so many new people and very good contacts for potential further internships and even later job offers. The people I also met I have stayed in good contact since leaving my internship and I believe not only did I gain fundamental work experience but I also feel I have made some amazing memories and friends throughout the way.

What were the challenges?

There were challenges along the road. Firstly, the application itself and getting the work experience was a challenge. The process was not easy as you can expect competition is high for experience like this and the candidates that applied were just as suitable for the role as myself. This meant I had to find something that allowed me to stand out and really think about why I was the right candidate. I also faced challenges along the work experience placement itself. I didn’t understand and had never met any of the software they used as a company, and I had never even carried out any type of work like this before, so everything was completely new to me. This was a challenge; however I quickly learned the processes.

What specific or transferable skills did you develop through the work experience?

  • Communication skills
  • Management skills
  • Teamworking skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Interpersonal skills

Did the work experience give you any insights and have these influenced your career pathway?

This work experience gave me insight into a field of chemistry I could go into, and I loved the experience I carried out. I think it has made me more confident for the future and excited about what it will hold.

Do you have any words of wisdom for future students looking to gain work experience?

Be confident! Confidence I believe is key, when applying, for interviews and during the work experience placement itself. I also think it doesn’t matter if you are not sure on a very specific field of work yet as any experience is useful in any field and will stand you in a good position for your future.