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An Intern’s Impressions: all making coffees and running errands?

We are delighted to have a Summer Intern at AlphaBio Control this year . Ellie Jaques, a third year student at Bristol University is working with a number of the team across the business. We asked her to describe her first week and thought we would share it with you….

When you think of internships and interns the first thing that often springs to mind is a glorified assistant for the office, endlessly getting coffees, spending hours at the printer and doing tasks no one else really wants to do. From my first week at AlphaBio Control, I have found my time here to be quite the opposite. This was made apparent as soon as I attended my first meeting at 10am on Monday morning; not just any meeting but a meeting with everyone who works here! I was made to feel like part of the team instantly but also realised I was going to be treated as a member of the team.

After one successful meeting I was asked to sit in on the company B Corporation meeting on Tuesday morning, which turned out to be a mammoth meeting lasting no less than 3 hours. As a geography student whose degree is centred on climate change and its consequences, I found the meeting incredibly interesting. It was clear that AlphaBio are determined to do what they can to help the environment, becoming B Corporation-certified will only solidify this.

Different members of the team have been asked to set me different activities and tasks to do throughout my time here so that I gain a better understanding of how a company works. My first task was set by Julian, the director of comms. This is a big task: I’ve been asked to research the different marketing strategies of pesticide companies, from their websites to how they tackle the daunting world of social media. This may appear a simple activity on the surface, but don’t be fooled. From what I can tell there are three main parts of the pesticide world, the R&D companies, the manufactures, and the distributors, each having different marketing strategies. For example, R&D companies don’t tend to sell to the end customer, thus marketing here is very different to the marketing I first envisioned it to be. As this task is still in its infancy, I have a long way to go before I fully understand the marketing world of pesticides. Therefore, the majority of my week has been spent trying to get my head around the different types of company (something that has taken a considerable amount of time) and their marketing strategies.

My first week has been a far cry from the internship stereotypes that are so often portrayed in the media, in fact, I don’t think I’ve been to the printer once! I have been in many meetings and even taken part in a few, researched pesticide companies to an extent I didn’t think possible and finally learnt how to actually use Microsoft Teams. I have been making a lot of coffees, but mostly for me, as getting up at any time before 10am let alone being in an office and working from 9am is worlds away from what I’m used to as a typical uni student.