This summer, Grace Noden, Genna Schindel and Haley Frank interned with our dna NY team. We chatted with each of them to learn about their experience at a healthcare agency and some of their most memorable takeaways.
Prior to my summer internship with dna Communications, the term “healthcare” represented a vague topic that popped up in the news from time to time. I equated science to mind-numbing equations for covalent bonds in chemistry. But now I think differently about these two topics. Healthcare and the science involved are both fascinating when you get to help communicate to a large audience, especially when that communication can make a difference in a person’s life.
What I love the most about dna Communications is the motto, “As Different As You” (along with its zebra-striped giraffe mascot), which reminds everyone to keep pushing the boundaries and recognizing the unique work of each and every client. In the six weeks that I have interned here, I have had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects that require different modes of thinking and insights, such as conducting advocacy research, updating corporate communication materials and liaising with designers. While healthcare communications might not seem as “flashy” as consumer communications, it requires one to think critically and creatively. Healthcare is a highly regulated space, and it’s important to consider multiple audiences when going about research or developing content. I’ve learned about the importance of being creative and challenging entrenched ideas.
I am excited to have found a possible career pathway that interests me and provides me with newfound knowledge every day.
This summer was the first I spent in New York City. Although initially quite daunting, New York is becoming a place I could see as home. Born and bred in Boston, I appreciate the blunt and assertive nature of New Yorkers and the unparalleled ambition that separates this city from most. It is the place of dreamers and hard workers, which I saw every day at dna. Working at dna, I’ve been presented with new and rewarding challenges. Although I had never worked in the healthcare industry prior to my time at dna, I found that it feeds my passion for knowledge. Throughout my various media monitoring and tracking assignments, I became well-versed in healthcare terminology and learned more about a range of cancer treatments. The campaigns that I worked on provided an emotional perspective on not only a disease itself, but the people who are affected by it every day. I also discovered the compassion of professionals in the healthcare space who strive to impact the world in a positive way, which is the career goal I value and appreciate the most.
This summer was my first time living in New York City and my first time working at a PR agency. Both experiences have been incredible, and I can’t wait to come back to the agency world once I graduate from college. At dna, there’s always something new and exciting going on. This summer, I’ve had the opportunity to work across a variety of different teams and projects. I learned how pharmaceutical companies communicate with and help advocate for patients. I conducted media monitoring and social media tracking, worked on media audits and social editorial calendars and participated in campaign brainstorms. I also had the opportunity to learn about different PR practice areas and participate in a mock Request for Proposal for a consumer product, which gave me insight into how new business and consumer programing are approached.
Because of the variety of activities I’ve participated in this summer, working at dna has only reaffirmed my love for public relations. I first became interested in PR because of its versatility; I knew working in the public relations field would allow me to work with clients from different industries and learn constantly. I’ve learned so much about the healthcare industry and healthcare communications in the past two months, especially about how creative people in this field can be. I have seen the regulations inherent in healthcare communications force my coworkers to think outside the box. Not every creative idea is feasible for a healthcare company, but that only encourages PR practitioners to think more critically to find unique and effective solutions for healthcare clients’ needs.