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Essay: Final Internship Report (marketing at JN Medsys, a Biotechnology Company)

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  • Published: 20 April 2023*
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Abstract

The Ngee Ann Polytechnic Internship Programme INT4 is a compulsory module and a prerequisite for a Diploma in Biomedical Sciences (BMS) 3-Year programme. The Internship Programme is also important in the development and growth of the student, as well to attest to the capabilities of any graduate in a professional background. Overall the Internship programme is essential for any individual seeking a bright career in the future.

A Diploma in Biomedical Sciences Graduate under Ngee Ann Polytechnic should be able to display competence and professionalism with good laboratory practices, knowledge in the fields of Chemistry and Biology and advanced problem-solving skills.

I, xxx was assigned to undergo internship at JN Medsys, a Biotechnology Company specializing in state-of-the-art machinery with the technology of Digital PCR. JN Medsys has a goal to provide affordable medical instruments to the public. I was assigned to the Marketing Department of JN Medsys during my internship. I have gained much insight on the gears and building blocks of marketing, by using external sources to enrich my knowledge and applying what I have learned to the many aspects of marketing and advertising, I was able to give myself a broader view on my role as a Marketing Executive. This internship has made me improve my professionalism, adapt to adverse circumstances and polish the work that I take responsibility for.

Description of the company

(4a) Describe the nature of the business that the company is involved and how the company has contributed to the local life sciences industry (Weightage – 10%)

The Government of Singapore has driven the nation in the pharmaceuticals industry in the recent years, financial support from the government is being bolstered through schemes such as RIE2020, in which an investment of SGD $19b is being pumped into the biotechnological sector in the coming 5 years.

Singapore remains the pivot in the APAC (Asia-Pacific) Life Sciences Industry. There are many contributing factors that can be applied to JN Medsys in terms of their input to the market. One of the main aspects in which JN Medsys has established itself is in its RnD (Research and Development) Sector.

JN Medsys has a Primary vision and function, which is to create affordable and accurate diagnostics tools, such as their current trademark product, the Clarity™ Digital PCR system. RnD facilitates new product design and development and is essential in forming the baseline in the quality, innovation, and usability of the product. JN Medsys shows their commitment to RnD with departments specializing in Scientific Research and Engineering to constantly upgrade the overall functionality and appeal of its products backed with proof on theory and reliability. In an ever-evolving economy, the market demands that companies continue to improve, polish and increase their variety of products to cater to the demands of the consumers. This cycle makes it essential that a Company such as JN Medsys continue to improve the quality and quantity of their products in order to compete with the other contenders in the market. In the Long run, this drives modernization, not just for the Life sciences industry but can be applied to any industry, forming the differences that can be seen in 20 years in which a large majority of objects, including electronics, household appliances, and essentials are all replaced by newer and more efficient technology.

JN Medsys is a relatively young company being formed on Christmas Day 2010, and the fact that they do not have an employment size of more than 200 employees would classify it as an SME. Singapore, as the economic hub of South-East Asia, has its own symbiotic group of Life-Science start-ups, and often, there are companies in that category that have the potential to become global competitors. The Demand for better medical solutions will always be there due to an aging population and prevalent diseases not just in Singapore, but worldwide. SMEs provide a larger variety of possibly successful solutions for that matter, and thus a more comprehensive healthcare system for the people that these SMEs market to. Overall, they also contribute as a small scale sector to Singapore’s GDP in a significant ratio in terms of its share. JN Medsys having the aspect of being an SME not only helps with being a more resource efficient and productive alternative to large companies but also contributes to the overall economy and reputation of Singapore as a life-science hub.

(474 Words)

Specific roles and responsibility

(4b) Describe your specific duties/responsibilities in the company and/or research project. (Weightage – 10%)

My Role in JN Medsys is the marketing executive. My Job scope involves anything that involves the companies image and presentation to the public eye in regards to advertising, communication platforms and press statements.

Here at the company, I am responsible for the production of marketing content in order to promote the image and marketability of our brand, the Clarity ™ Digital PCR System and all other products we produce and sell. For example, one weekly task I have is to update the JN Medsys social media pages, which include Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter. The Article usually contains a Research paper and a correlation between the point of the article and how our Clarity ™ Digital PCR System can help resolve. It can also consist of a courtesy greeting to commemorate certain holidays, this is done in order to maintain an inviting and sincere public image that maintains or develops our relations with consumers, partners, and future clientele.

Another task I was in charge of is the process of taking new product photos for product presentation. The presentation of our product is of utmost importance to support the client’s decision in doing business with us, this is especially given when they do see the effort we put into the work we have done. Polish in everything we do shows the care we have in every detail, which ensures them that their investment in us is warranted.

Another aspect of the job is to improve current platforms and marketing techniques utilized by our company and implementing it into our different platforms. The basis of such is to research on the different marketing techniques utilized by successful companies to boost their publicity and their Search engine optimization.

One way I help to implement these improvements is to improve the functionality and aesthetic design of the website. The task is to learn from more successful companies and find out how to implement the critical points of other websites and try to the best to my ability to use that information to form an identity for a website that stands out in the same way that other websites with high internet traffic.

The technical application is the main contribution that I have to the overall improvement of the JN Medsys platforms in terms of marketing. I am responsible for learning how to utilize the applications and plugins used by the former baseline web developer of the company, and implementing changes to the website while keeping the professional image at all times. This would mean to reduce the number of errors in every publication and ensuring that no confidential or substandard work that is shown to the public as a representation of the company’s quality or work.

(455 Words)

Training received

(4c) Describe the technical and non-technical training you received from the company and how it helped you to accomplish your duties/responsibilities. (Weightage – 10%)

As the role of a Marketing executive, the main requirement for me to be able to aptly carry out my responsibilities would be product knowledge. There are multiple aspects of learning that can contribute to a solid understanding of the distinct product of which would allow me to utilize it in explaining the product to other people and creation of content based on portraying the product in a good light.

At the start of my internship, the theory and concept of the CLARITY ™ Digital PCR System were explained in depth to me. The theory helped me grasp the idea of Digital PCR and the specifics of the Product which helped me build a foundation in my thinking of this specific area of study. This is an important way to build product knowledge as the understanding of the concepts and facts behind the product is what can help me expose its benefits and confidently employ it in our marketing material.

On top of the non-technical theory, I was taught the workflow of the CLARITY ™ Digital PCR Machine, meaning all the steps and how to apply each step carefully using the reagents and tools provided in the laboratory. On top of this, I was also told how to analyze the results after the PCR process had concluded, which would include analyzing the results and troubleshooting for flaws in production or experimental flaws. This gave me a better understanding of the process of the experiment by giving a clearer view of the theory behind the concept of digital PCR and the unique way the company implements this process in their products.

However, there are some limitations in regards to JN Medsys being able to give me sufficient training in terms of all aspects of Marketing. This is due to the extensive and definitive skill set each different task has which prevents them from also having the required knowledge to give me training in those aspects. Therefore, self-learning from online sources is crucial to the progression of my tasks. Subjects such as Coding, Photoshop and Market Research are just some of the areas of study that most of the staff are not well versed enough in those fields to completely supervise me. This gives me the freedom to discover how to tackle certain tasks and allows me to form my own perspective of these specific skills and how to apply it.

Other than growing in independence and confidence, the training has given me the mindset to find a way to tackle any task given to me. Also, my skill set can be molded to fit the diverse amount of possible tasks that are given to me. This allowed me to accomplish a lot of different tasks such as Product photography, Social Media Research, and Website design.

(464 Words)

Accomplishments

(4d) Describe the accomplishments in your experiments or routine duties. State the significance of your accomplishments in the research project or routine operation of the department. Where appropriate, cite the proper references in your description. (Weightage – 10%)

Over the course of the 16 weeks, I was able to progress on the work given to me and give several renditions in each project to further refine on the completed product.

For example, I was able to refine my posting of social media content in terms of its quality and quantity. My work consisted of creating social media content to give an identity to our brand for people to share and connect with us over. This meant creating eye-catching content that is business appropriate, which emphasizes the professionalism of the posts in order to not damage our reputation and public image.

The Routine assigned to me was to create 2 pieces of content every week, which I have succeeded in doing. The significance of this work is that it upholds our online brand presence and keeps us relevant in an ever-evolving world. Social Media is one of the most popular information sharing platforms on the internet, therefore it is very important that we update our consumers and potential new customers on news about our products and events.

Also, I have worked on the Product photos. This task was assigned initially as the improvement of the current Product photos using photoshop. However, it was decided that new photos needed to be taken as the quality was not up to standard. Therefore I was tasked with photography and editing of marketable product photos. The task required me to constantly find ways to make the photos look presentable which is important as the photo of the product is the first impression that our customer has of the product. If any flaws or defects are spotted in the photo, it could affect the credibility of our company and thus, our products. A flawless and aesthetically pleasing photo also helps improve the marketability of the photo, which could eventually also lead to an increase in sales. Eventually, I managed to complete the product photos of our Kit-Assay based products using a camera, light box and acrylic sheet for special effect.

Lastly, my largest project was the design of the JN Medsys Website. In the modern day and age, the Internet has become the largest source of Information Sharing. It is essential for a company to have a website on the Internet for Brand representation. The higher the quality and design of the website in terms of User Interface and Experience, the higher the SEO we have, which eventually increases our site Traffic, and thus brand popularity.

Over the course of my internship, the responsibility of fixing the websites bugs and implementation of simple features was in my responsibilities which I fulfilled. The Design was implemented through the Keynote software which I kept upgrading and applying new features that would increase SEO and aesthetic. Ultimately, I was able to create a suitable design for the company to implement.

(476 words)

Workplace safety

(5a) Describe the state of workplace safety at the company and suggest improvements to the work environment. (Weightage – 5%)

As a firm that does some of its production and all of its Research and Development in-house there is a lot of Industrial grade machinery in the office. Some good safety practices are that Heavy machinery with sharp and moving parts that could kill or seriously injure someone is tagged, isolated and contained. For example, test instruments required for the quality control and engineering of the machinery do have parts which require this procedure to avoid injury. Another good practice they implement is that they provide PPE to avoid contact with hazards. Gloves are given to the Laboratory staff to avoid contact between skin and reagents and also to the Production and Engineering team to avoid direct contact with sharp or rusty instruments and machinery parts. Fume Hoods are also used to protect the user from hazards such as reactive chemicals, boling materials and inhaling noxious fumes.

However, the company still has in some areas, where safety could be improved, such as in terms of the organization of space in the office. There is a lot of inventory that cannot be kept in the storage room due to space constraints, and thus, has to take up space in the working areas. This hazard can be amended with more precaution towards the organization of the working space. By the better organization of the working space, the hazards such as confined working spaces and chances of possible workplace accidents can be reduced.

(240 Words)

Challenges and solutions

(5b) Describe the challenges you faced during your internship and how you overcame those challenges (Weightage – 15%)

For this internship, I have had to adapt to working in an unfamiliar field which I had no background in, this gave me many challenges that I had to face.

The field of marketing is very large and consist of many different areas of expertise, it is uncommon for a single person to be proficient in every aspect. It is because that the marketing team is also relatively small that limited guidance can be given to me in terms of technical work. For all my routine duties, my source of information on different types of Marketing skills would be to learn online. The difficulty of this is to find relevant and trustable content by evaluating facts and reliability of source in order to find an optimal learning platform for myself. Another problem is that whenever I did run into a situation that did require troubleshooting and analysis, the internet would not able to be consistently accurate in giving the information to help me tackle my problems. After much perseverance and discipline in learning and implementing these new skills, I had become proficient enough in the areas of photoshop, web design and social media content creation to be able to implement them in my daily work to sufficient quality.

This would be possible due to the vast areas that online tutorials cover in different marketing subjects, which makes it possible to find a solution for every query i have although extensive research is required.

As the company is an SME, there is a lack of online resources and news about the company. Also, the company does not engage in as many events as large scale corporation would. Therefore, the generation of online web and social media content was difficult as the parent resources were scarce. This posed a challenge when the routine task was to make 2 social media posts online every week. I was able to overcome this obstacle by generating passive content. Passive content for social media is defined as content in which the company can generate regardless of activity or action done by the company such as celebration cards or Research articles applicable to our products. This allowed me to be more flexible with my content creation.

One of the more challenging problems I faced is in the product photo taking, this was difficult as the ideal photo that was wanted had to consist of a realistic and bright reflection. This effect in the photo is usually done by Photoshop, therefore my initial attempt at making the reflection was through Photoshop and using existing photos. The result was rather unflattering. The reflection was distorted and the edges jagged, with various exporting errors.

Therefore, with the help of different colleagues that specialize in certain areas of my project, I made several renditions of the photo, which improved in each version. For example, I outsourced a Camera from one of my colleagues whom I knew was a photographer and learned how to effectively take photos while setting in factors such as understanding lighting, composition and product placement. To reduce editing errors, I decided to take the photos using a lightbox which helped give a clean background without any major editing required. This helped me cut down on the use of photoshop which could have make the photo look unprofessional due to editing faults. Finally, having a real reflection required me to use a reflective material for the product base, I tried a few materials that did not work such as a Table surface, Mirror and plastic sheet as all where either too harsh or too weak. I observed an unused acrylic sheet from the engineering workshop, and asked for a piece to be cut out in the correct dimensions to fit the lightbox. The material had worked and the reflection came out clear and with a lighting gradient making it ideal for the photo.

During the whole course of my internship, I have understood the importance of learning from previous mistakes and making constant improvements in order to get optimal results based on past experiences.

(675 Words)

Applying prior knowledge

(5c) Describe the aspects of learning (e.g. modules, ALPS training etc.) at NP that has helped you with your internship. (Weightage – 10%)

Modules in the Biomedical Science course do provide a wide coverage on the understanding of the basic knowledge required for a job in the biomedical and biotechnological industries. On top of that, the whole experience of being in a polytechnic, whether it is from the course, co-curricular activities or electives, do present opportunities for students to develop in other areas. Essential non-technical skills such as teamwork, communication and project management are crucial for one to adapt, and excel in any role or position they are given.

Specifically, for my role in JN Medsys, understanding of PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) and the theory behind it was essential in picking up the concept and understanding the workflow for the experiments. Knowledge such as this helped me grasp the concept of Digital PCR quickly, applying it also in the content creation of my marketing projects. The knowledge of PCR was obtained from the practical sessions of molecular biology, Genomics and Proteomics modules and also from my Final-Year Project which was based on using Real-time PCR to detect the absence of a gene that is characteristic of a patient with Alzheimer’s disease.

However, the content in the Biomedical science course was limited in terms of helping me prepare for my internship, as the role I was given did not relate to what I have learned in most modules due to the specificity of the Digital-PCR technology and the field of my role. In Marketing, the non-technical aspects from the Polytechnic experience are crucial to the successful fulfillment of the tasks entrusted to me.

Presentation of content is a skill applicable to any role which can consist of development of experimental data, production or machine troubleshooting and content creation. From Year 1, the assessments implemented in modules have ensured that students obtain gradual experience in confidently communicating the important points of their projects. This makes sure that all students develop a level of proficiency in presentations and communication skills, this allowed me to be able to back up the important points and limitations of the ideas or content such as my website design elements and product photos that I have implemented into my marketing work.

In Marketing, the producer of content has to ensure a level of polish and professionalism to their work, as the work is most likely going to be a reflection of the companies competence. To ensure the best possible job done, the person must have acute attention to detail. It is a trait that is important in almost every field of work as the fine details of a piece of work is usually what gives the work a sense of integrity and less vulnerable to criticism. Attention to detail in essential in almost all assignments that are done in Ngee Ann Poly, therefore it proved useful when analyzing my work for errors in JN Medsys.

(474 Words)

Career Discussion

(5d) Describe how does the internship and workplace career mentor discussion experience influence your future choice of career? (Weightage – 10%)

The different experiences in life are accountable for the choices we make concerning what we want to portray ourselves as what we want to be adept in and how we want to spend our time. In Singapore, holistic education is supported to give every individual a unique view of their possible career paths and what they could become if they are willing to put in the effort. In Ngee Ann Poly, the 4-Month Internship Module, I felt would be one of the biggest factors in affecting a students choices for future career options. This is because the student’s get a more comprehensive view of work life in their industry of choice. The Benefits can be weighed with the drawbacks for every sector in any field of work while being catered to the lifestyle of the person themselves.

Specifically for myself, the benefits of working as a marketing intern were the freedom I had in my schedule as long as I completed my tasks within the required time frame. Also, having freedom in terms of the design and creativity in my content allowed me to feel a sense of pride whenever I was to complete a task for the company. For example, when I was designing the website for the company, there was the feeling of self-accomplishment whenever anyone commented that the website design looked innovative, polished or elegant. That drive to create content based in design has driven me to lean towards a career path focused on aesthetic design, web media creation or even something as focused and technical as architecture.

Still, I do admire the technical and logical aspects that a career in Biotechnology and Engineering can provide. However, the heavy usage of analysis to prove experimental data and the monotony of repeat experimentation and troubleshooting has made my view on these topics rather dry. Therefore although I am sure I am capable of building a career in this line of work, I am not sure whether I to actively pursue a career in these sectors.

I have discussed the current line of work I am in with my mentor and discovered that I should pursue a role that compliments my interests and work-style in order to have a career that I can enjoy and have the drive to become extremely proficient in. My strengths have been identified by myself and my supervisor as my presentation ability, design proficiency and anticipation of problems. While the weaknesses that I have yet to improve on would be my Discipline, technical skills and, Scientific writing. Knowing one’s strengths and weaknesses are essential in finding a field of work where an individual can flourish and have the most optimal career path for them. For Instance, by analyzing my strengths and weaknesses I would lean towards more freedom and project-based occupations such as a Web Designer, an Events planner or a Project developer.

(480 Words)

Acknowledgements

(6) Acknowledgement letter to the company (max. 300 words). (Weightage – 5%)

I would like to thank JN Medsys and its family for taking me under their tutelage and guidance for the past 4 months. Especially to my mentors, xxx and xxx who have been patient, kind and helpful for my growth and development as an employee.

It has not been all smooth sailing, being hired as a marketing intern with no experience proved a daunting task. This made me have regular confidence issues with the work I was producing as I wanted to prove my competence in this area.

The feedback I received was harsh, but fair. I was told to improve my discipline and habits due to a few incidents in the workplace and also that the quality of my work did not have to be perfect as it was more of the effort put into the work. This criticism made me have a different, more positive outlook on my internship programme as a whole. I am thankful for my mentors for being able to point out my flaws and lead me to a path with a more wholesome internship experience.

I am also thankful for whenever my work was praised. It gives a person assurance and confidence to continue working when they know that their work would not go unnoticed or unappreciated.

I would like to affirm JN Medsys on its friendly work environment and its dedication to its cause. These qualities of the company has really made my internship a fruitful one and I wish JN Medsys and their family all the best in their future endeavours.

(259 Words)

Total Word Count: 3997 Words

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